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How to best support a child in vision therapy


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#1 Runningmom80

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 08:03 PM

I guess my question is more,"what should our homeschool look like?"

 

My 7 year old DD, who I have posted about here before, was finally diagnosed with convergence and saccadic issues.  She starts vision therapy next week and we ordered her some stress relief reading glasses.

 

 

I am just wondering what, if any adjustments you made to accommodate the tracking issues while they were being sorted out. I really don't have much planned, as we are relaxed in the early years, but I also don't want to keep her from progressing academically while we go through this. 

 

 

Any resources or tips are greatly appreciated!


Edited by Runningmom80, 23 August 2017 - 08:03 PM.

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#2 Arcadia

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 08:18 PM

How well does she learn by listening?

Verbal math problems, audio books with discussions, listening to podcasts instead of watching. Large print books if you want to practice reading. Basically lots of verbal discussions/instructions versus written ones.

I had an accommodation squint, even seeing the classroom blackboard or white board was eye straining. I was cruising through public school so it didn't matter so much that I could not see the board as long as I could see the exam script.

My DS11's tracking issues wasn't bad enough to qualify for vision therapy. He just did everything at about half the speed of DS12 if it involves reading.
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#3 EKS

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 08:42 PM

I put an index card above the line they were reading and I only had them read their reading lesson.  I read everything else aloud.


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#4 Runningmom80

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 08:50 PM

Thank you! I appreciate seeing what others do.

#5 sbgrace

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 10:38 PM

My son did it a year or so younger, but it was exhausting for him. We did the homework diligently, and it was one of the hardest things we've done. 

 

So, in our case, that was all I did with him school wise. Your daughter is older and may well tolerate it better (my son had significant issues w/tracking particularly). I'd plan on doing most things aloud, following her cues as far as what might be too much. 


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#6 Runningmom80

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 06:20 AM

My son did it a year or so younger, but it was exhausting for him. We did the homework diligently, and it was one of the hardest things we've done.

So, in our case, that was all I did with him school wise. Your daughter is older and may well tolerate it better (my son had significant issues w/tracking particularly). I'd plan on doing most things aloud, following her cues as far as what might be too much.

q

Our pediatrician said it was exhausting with her daughter who was 7, so I'm expecting it to be rough. I definitely hold off on the copywork and those kinds of things for now.

#7 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 08:05 AM

1.  Rely on audio input (audio books, verbal instruction) if your child learns/functions well that way.

2.  Even with audio books, try to stick with things that are familiar so their brain isn't having to work so hard.  This is hard work for brain and body.  For instance, pick the next book in a series you have maybe already started so the context and most of the characters are already established in their brains.  If it is a science or history related something then maybe a topic you have already discussed and hopefully had fun with.

3.  No copywork.

4.  Plenty of time to play or veg out as needed.

5.  Understanding that there will be days they will quite literally be exhausted and frustrated and need lots of smiles and hugs and support hopefully BEFORE they completely lose it.

6.  Even something like LEGOS might be challenging for a bit.

7.  Anything (within reason) that gets them laughing.  Mad Libs (you do the writing and reading), funny games, whatever.  If you can give them some intentional funny things to do it can help.


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#8 Runningmom80

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 12:30 PM

1.  Rely on audio input (audio books, verbal instruction) if your child learns/functions well that way.

2.  Even with audio books, try to stick with things that are familiar so their brain isn't having to work so hard.  This is hard work for brain and body.  For instance, pick the next book in a series you have maybe already started so the context and most of the characters are already established in their brains.  If it is a science or history related something then maybe a topic you have already discussed and hopefully had fun with.

3.  No copywork.

4.  Plenty of time to play or veg out as needed.

5.  Understanding that there will be days they will quite literally be exhausted and frustrated and need lots of smiles and hugs and support hopefully BEFORE they completely lose it.

6.  Even something like LEGOS might be challenging for a bit.

7.  Anything (within reason) that gets them laughing.  Mad Libs (you do the writing and reading), funny games, whatever.  If you can give them some intentional funny things to do it can help.

 

 

This is really helpful, thank you!


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#9 OhElizabeth

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 03:08 PM

Lego kits and chocolate? :D

 

Honestly, my kid was such a pain in the butt during VT, we didn't do much school work. I know some people do. In hindsight, we realize my dd had some primitive reflexes not integrated that were probably making it harder, grr. Anyways, in general, I'd just do field trips and fun stuff and hang school for the semester. We did a lot of field trips, and those were good memories! I don't regret not doing much school work then, and she had a HUGE SURGE post-VT.


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#10 Runningmom80

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 03:30 PM

Lego kits and chocolate? :D

 

Honestly, my kid was such a pain in the butt during VT, we didn't do much school work. I know some people do. In hindsight, we realize my dd had some primitive reflexes not integrated that were probably making it harder, grr. Anyways, in general, I'd just do field trips and fun stuff and hang school for the semester. We did a lot of field trips, and those were good memories! I don't regret not doing much school work then, and she had a HUGE SURGE post-VT.

 

 

My DD has some retained reflexes as well.  I kind of glossed over that part yesterday, I need to look more into what that means for her. 

 

She hates legos, and I think it's because of the vision piece!  We will definitely keep it light, I don't want to over load her and it sounds like this therapy is a lot of work. 

 

 

Thank you for the help everyone!  It's nice to have my instinct to take it easy validated. :)


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#11 Arcadia

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 03:44 PM

She hates legos, and I think it's because of the vision piece!


I did Legos, cross-stitch, threading a needle by touch/feel. My eye doctor was very surprised I could thread a needle until he saw how I was doing it. Basically hearing and touch compensated for sight for me and I was so used to compensating that old habits die hard even when sight improved.

Playing tennis, table tennis and badminton was the tough one. Basketball, volleyball and soccer was quite fun as the ball is relatively big. Snooker was played by mentally adjusting what I think I see. I kept swimming out of my lane at the olympic size pool but that wasn't a big issue since I didn't cut into someone else's lane.

I know you are asking about academics but public school PE was difficult and I sat out most PE lessons.
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#12 Runningmom80

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 03:52 PM

I did Legos, cross-stitch, threading a needle by touch/feel. My eye doctor was very surprised I could thread a needle until he saw how I was doing it. Basically hearing and touch compensated for sight for me and I was so used to compensating that old habits die hard even when sight improved.

Playing tennis, table tennis and badminton was the tough one. Basketball, volleyball and soccer was quite fun as the ball is relatively big. Snooker was played by mentally adjusting what I think I see. I kept swimming out of my lane at the olympic size pool but that wasn't a big issue since I didn't cut into someone else's lane.

I know you are asking about academics but public school PE was difficult and I sat out most PE lessons.

 

 

Good to know!  This is my sporty kid, which is kind of out of the norm, from what I've read.  She does soccer, gymnastics and swimming, but now that I think of it, she had trouble with things at swim lessons that left us puzzled. For example, she couldn't float on her back.  She can swim across the pool, but not float stationary for 15 seconds.  The dr said something about her not being able to tell just half of her body to do something so maybe that is why she can't float?  

 

She loves soccer, which I guess makes sense because the ball is huge.  :lol:



#13 OhElizabeth

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 03:56 PM

You can either work on the reflexes during the VT or before. Is the doc giving you exercises or he ignored them and it's you who are the one driving that? If the doc doesn't have a plan to work on both the reflexes AND the vision, then I would put a big WHOA sign up on the VT, work on the reflexes, chuck that doc like an idiot (oops, you didn't read that), and then do your VT with someone.

 

But I'm grouchy and opinionated today. But really, vision is partly reflexes. How is it going to work properly when the primitive reflexes (the most foundational, earliest ones) aren't dealt with? It's not. So do everyone a big fat favor and don't trust that eye doc farther than you can throw him. If they aren't integrated or he doesn't have a plan where he's doing it, then you want to work on those first.


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#14 Arcadia

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 04:23 PM

She can swim across the pool, but not float stationary for 15 seconds. The dr said something about her not being able to tell just half of her body to do something so maybe that is why she can't float?

I could float but I would be unintentionally rotating while floating in a pool. So I could not float at one spot. My doctors jokingly called it "left side not talking to right side". For me perception of the midline and also depth was bad.

If I wear an eye patch, I could do archery, darts and play racquet games. So I had good focus, wrong depth (like a parallax error) with an eye patch but horrible focus when using both eyes.

Bowling was another sport I could compensate for but I could only handle the lightest bowling ball.

Most of my childhood symptoms tally with the retained reflex Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR) except that my handwriting (script and cursive) was very slow but good and multitasking wasn't an issue. I was a preemie (surviving twin).
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#15 OhElizabeth

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 05:23 PM

For my ds to float, we had to do some work on the floor. They tell the kids to lift their legs, but he couldn't tell where his legs were in space (proprioception). So we put him on the floor and gently pressed down on his legs saying these are your legs, feel how they feel, lift up, etc. So then, as he gained a sense of his legs, then he could go in the pool and know where his body was in space and get hold of it.

 

It's an OT thing, like those retained reflexes.


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#16 Runningmom80

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 06:59 PM

You can either work on the reflexes during the VT or before. Is the doc giving you exercises or he ignored them and it's you who are the one driving that? If the doc doesn't have a plan to work on both the reflexes AND the vision, then I would put a big WHOA sign up on the VT, work on the reflexes, chuck that doc like an idiot (oops, you didn't read that), and then do your VT with someone.

But I'm grouchy and opinionated today. But really, vision is partly reflexes. How is it going to work properly when the primitive reflexes (the most foundational, earliest ones) aren't dealt with? It's not. So do everyone a big fat favor and don't trust that eye doc farther than you can throw him. If they aren't integrated or he doesn't have a plan where he's doing it, then you want to work on those first.

He tested for them and said she had the moro reflex. He said that eyes and the reflexes are related but I don't remember exactly what he said. I also can't remember if she is working on that in therapy or not. I will definitely look into it!

Edited by Runningmom80, 24 August 2017 - 07:21 PM.

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#17 Runningmom80

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 07:01 PM

I could float but I would be unintentionally rotating while floating in a pool. So I could not float at one spot. My doctors jokingly called it "left side not talking to right side". For me perception of the midline and also depth was bad.

If I wear an eye patch, I could do archery, darts and play racquet games. So I had good focus, wrong depth (like a parallax error) with an eye patch but horrible focus when using both eyes.

Bowling was another sport I could compensate for but I could only handle the lightest bowling ball.

Most of my childhood symptoms tally with the retained reflex Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR) except that my handwriting (script and cursive) was very slow but good and multitasking wasn't an issue. I was a preemie (surviving twin).


DD is a twin, emergency C-section and he mentioned that c-section babies sometimes don't lose the reflexes because being squeezed in the birth canal is what sends the message that you are about to be born and so their reflexes are behind (or something to that effect.) does that sound right?

This is all kind of fascinating!

#18 Runningmom80

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 07:03 PM

For my ds to float, we had to do some work on the floor. They tell the kids to lift their legs, but he couldn't tell where his legs were in space (proprioception). So we put him on the floor and gently pressed down on his legs saying these are your legs, feel how they feel, lift up, etc. So then, as he gained a sense of his legs, then he could go in the pool and know where his body was in space and get hold of it.

It's an OT thing, like those retained reflexes.


I'm going to try this! It's so crazy how this is all related. DD is tiny and wanted to go down the slide so she wanted to pass the swim test at our pool. She could swim across no problem but she could not stay floating! She will be so excited if this works. (Bummer that the pool is closing soon, but for next year!)

#19 Arcadia

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 07:48 PM

DD is a twin, emergency C-section and he mentioned that c-section babies sometimes don't lose the reflexes because being squeezed in the birth canal is what sends the message that you are about to be born and so their reflexes are behind (or something to that effect.) does that sound right?


Both me and my younger brother were born by Caesarean section due to my mom's health issues. My brother was a few days past the due date and has no retained reflexes that we know of.

The pediatrician and general practitioners just told my parents that preemies would typically catch up with full term babies at around six years old. My identical twin died of cardiac arrest and pulmonary failure when she was a few days old. I was born in the early 70s.

My SIL's identical 19 year old twins had vision therapy for lazy eye and convergence issues when they were six and had vision problems in school. Her twins had a short stay at NICU.

I have fraternal twins cousins that are more than 10 years older than me. They don't have any issues that we know of and I don't know if my paternal aunt has a Caesarean section or natural birth with them but they were close to full term, no medical complications and no NICU needed.

So if there is any effect, I would guess the preemie effects would be stronger than the Caesarean section effect.
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#20 OhElizabeth

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 10:31 PM

Yes, there are reflexes involved with birth so there is that theory that being born too quickly or coming out a different way would leave them unused, hence unintegrated. 

 

But now you know! That's good that he's checking on them. You may find you get improvement in other areas just by working on the reflexes...


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#21 Runningmom80

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 12:52 PM

Both me and my younger brother were born by Caesarean section due to my mom's health issues. My brother was a few days past the due date and has no retained reflexes that we know of.

The pediatrician and general practitioners just told my parents that preemies would typically catch up with full term babies at around six years old. My identical twin died of cardiac arrest and pulmonary failure when she was a few days old. I was born in the early 70s.

My SIL's identical 19 year old twins had vision therapy for lazy eye and convergence issues when they were six and had vision problems in school. Her twins had a short stay at NICU.

I have fraternal twins cousins that are more than 10 years older than me. They don't have any issues that we know of and I don't know if my paternal aunt has a Caesarean section or natural birth with them but they were close to full term, no medical complications and no NICU needed.

So if there is any effect, I would guess the preemie effects would be stronger than the Caesarean section effect.

 

Wow! You have a lot of twins in your family. I'm sorry to hear about your twin.  :grouphug:   

 

My twins actually weren't early, but I was induced at 38.5 weeks, and while DS was 6lbs, 6 oz, DD "presented like a preemie" according to all the nurses.  She was only 5lbs 3 oz at birth, dropped to below 5 lbs, needed various things and we did crania sacral therapy at 6 days old to help her nurse better.  So I always hypothesized that she grew slower and just wasn't ready to be born. (Her placenta was tiny, DS's was large.)



#22 Runningmom80

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 12:53 PM

Yes, there are reflexes involved with birth so there is that theory that being born too quickly or coming out a different way would leave them unused, hence unintegrated. 

 

But now you know! That's good that he's checking on them. You may find you get improvement in other areas just by working on the reflexes...

 

 

I'll make sure we work on them because it makes perfect sense that working on the vision alone is going to make things harder.  Thanks for the heads up on that!


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#23 kbutton

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 11:10 AM

Good to know!  This is my sporty kid, which is kind of out of the norm, from what I've read.  She does soccer, gymnastics and swimming, but now that I think of it, she had trouble with things at swim lessons that left us puzzled. For example, she couldn't float on her back.  She can swim across the pool, but not float stationary for 15 seconds.  The dr said something about her not being able to tell just half of her body to do something so maybe that is why she can't float?  

 

She loves soccer, which I guess makes sense because the ball is huge.  :lol:

 

On the sports thing, I have heard of people who could do things uni-directionally. So, they could do rotate one direction while on a snowboard, for instance, but not the other way, and they just worked around it. Or they can do a lay-up in basketball from one side but not the other.

 

I think one of the neck reflexes has a lot to do with floating, but I can't remember for sure.

 

DD is a twin, emergency C-section and he mentioned that c-section babies sometimes don't lose the reflexes because being squeezed in the birth canal is what sends the message that you are about to be born and so their reflexes are behind (or something to that effect.) does that sound right?

This is all kind of fascinating!

 

I read that babies participate in the birth process, and that passing through certain stages of labor stimulates the reflexes. My kids were born FAST, and they have had reflex issues. I was born fast, and I know I have reflex issues. I think it's more of a pattern that a 1:1 correspondence, but many things are like that.

 

Moro is a difficult reflex to integrate, and it takes a lot of time. I have heard that a lot of other reflexes integrate faster once Moro starts to get better. 

 

There are lots of typical people out there with reflex issues who do not have significant issues in other areas of life, so there is some tension between perfect integration and good enough, and you will run into that line multiple times. I strongly suspect that integration happens for some kids in fits and starts (a little therapy here, a little therapy there) as long the therapy is actually effective and targeted. Hang in there! 


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#24 MistyMountain

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 01:23 AM

I planned on doing a light summer but stopped all together due to vision therapy. Ds really disliked it and he had nothing left for other type of work. We started back and he is much more resistant then last school year. I am not having him do much writing and was scribing. I guess I did not think of the brain working that much harder. He also seems to have less interests lately. I wonder if that could be due to a tired brain from the VT.

My two younger ones were born really fast. I did not even need to push with them. They did have retained reflexes.

Edited by MistyMountain, 31 August 2017 - 01:41 AM.


#25 OhElizabeth

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 06:55 AM

Misty, that is exactly what happened with my dd. You're not crazy. Is he still doing the VT or done? If he's done, did they get through visual processing stuff and really get him to the other side? My dd had a real surge academically as her skills started coming in.

 

If he finished, you could have a party and a break and just do field trips for a couple weeks, field trips and maybe science and read alouds. Then slowly ramp back up, adding in games for math, then...

 

With my dd, it was almost like she was seeing everything afresh. We ended up going BACK THROUGH all your basic spelling, etc. We did it really fast, but she just needed to see things again with her new eyes. So I wouldn't even assume he'll go back into the curriculum he had been using. He might be ready for something totally different.


Edited by OhElizabeth, 01 September 2017 - 06:56 AM.


#26 Pegs

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 11:37 PM

How are things going for you and your DD, Runningmom?
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