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Lisa in CO

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  1. One of my sons did syntonic phototherapy as part of his vision therapy about 2 years ago. He had convergence insufficiency, strabismus, and some suppression issues. My son had to do the phototherapy and NeuroNet before we could go on to "Phase II" of the treatment, which was the more traditional vision therapy stuff. It was weird. I was totally skeptical, but I figured we would go along with it for awhile. Basically, he looked into a machine that shone a light through a blue/violet lens. I think he had to do this for about 20 mins. each session, and we did this for several weeks. We got to take the machine home with us for daily use, but we had to go in to the developmental optometrist's office once a week to be tested and to see if they needed to change the colored lens. They also tested his functional visual field. He started out having a narrow functional visual field (kind of like tunnel vision). The technician let me watch, so I could see what they were doing, and my son did improve. Before the therapy, if he was asked to copy something from the board, he would look at the board, write about three letters, look back up, find his place, get three more letters, write that down, look back up for the next three, etc. He wasn't very efficient. After the therapy, he could "take in" a whole sentence or at least several words at one glance. I'm not sure what other improvements were due to the phototherapy. We were doing the NeuroNet at the same time. I still don't understand how it all works. I will say that the vision therapy was well worth the money and time and energy for my son (and also for one of my daughters whose vision therapy was for different problems). My son's reading and writing are markedly improved. He can mentally focus on his work for a longer time now without daydreaming. He also seems more coordinated and not as nervous about little stuff. As far as the phototherapy, I'm not sure what it did beyond increasing his functional visual field, but I think it was worth the effort.
  2. My 15 y/o did this as part of his vision therapy. I was extremely sceptical, but we went along with it for a few weeks. My son had to look into a machine that projected a colored light, and he had to look at the light for 20 minutes each day. After a few weeks, the vision therapist added another colored lens to change the color a little bit. It was very weird, but after several weeks, my son's peripheral vision improved markedly. (He was not doing any other vision exercises yet, just the weird colored light stuff.) He was shocked at how much his working visual field opened up. I was too. I don't know how it works or if it works for SAD, but it might be worth a try.
  3. My dd completed vision therapy when she was 6 years old. (Her problems were mostly with eye teaming and suppression after successful patching treatment for amblyopia.) Our optometrist reccommended that we keep doing one or two exercises every day just to keep her from regressing. DD had started supressing her weaker eye again about 6 months after we stopped VT. We do the Brock string every day, and we rotate between other exercises. We do near/far charts with red-green glasses, circling the alphabet for tracking, an near/far exercise with pictures on two pencils, a game called "Tricky Fingers" that she does with a patch over her dominant eye, and whatever else I can find in our bag of VT stuff. We just include it as another subject in her list of schoolwork, and it only takes 2-3 minutes per day. My dd is 10 yo now and doing well, but I can tell when she needs a new Rx for her glasses because she starts turning her head and looking at things with her "good" eye again. Now that she's older, she realizes when her eyes are not working right, and she knows what she needs to work on to fix it. She reminds me to do VT with her before she starts her schoolwork. Lisa
  4. One of my daughters was diagnosed with lazy eye at age 4. Her vision was 20/200+ in her left eye. We patched for several months and her vision greatly improved. Then she did vision therapy to help her eyes to work together as a team. It was expensive, but it was well worth the effort and the money! My daughter is now 10 years old and has 20/20 vision in her formerly "lazy" eye. We have worked with three different COVD optometrists, (because we move all the time) and they have all been excellent. I would go for it! Lazy eye is fixable, and eyes are really important! Lisa Homeschooling 4 in Louisiana (for now)
  5. :grouphug: It's probably not too late. I have a 14-year-old son working on vision therapy now. He is what the optometrist called an "alternate suppressor". His brain suppresses the image from one eye for several minutes, then switches to the other eye for awhile, then back and forth like that all day long. He has good vision in both eyes, but for some reason his brain doesn't want to use them together. If my son tries to focus (especially close up) with both eyes, he sees double. This was his "normal" for so long, he didn't realize it was a problem. We have been doing vision therapy for 3 months now, and he is making progress. One of my daughters did vision therapy and patching for lazy eye. She was 4 years old when she was diagnosed. After about a year, her vision in her weak eye was 20/40. We couldn't get it any better, but I was thrilled because she had started at 20/200+!! That daughter is now 10, and her vision in her "lazy" eye is 20/20. It just kept improving over the years. Her optometrist says she no longer qualifies for the amblyopia label. We go to optometrists on the COVD list. They have been excellent. Vision therapy has been well worth the time, effort, and money for us. There is a book entitled "Fixing My Gaze" written by a woman who did vision therapy as an adult, and it changed her life. Very encouraging. Our brains can adapt remarkably, even when we're older. Keep fighting for your child! You're doing a great job for him! Lisa homeschooling 4 (ages 14, 12, 10, and 7)
  6. You might check out the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. They have good programs in engineering and nursing. I'm not sure about the University "atmosphere", but the general atmosphere of the Springs is conservative. We also have many military folks here (Army and Air Force), so the financial aid people should know how to work the GI bill money. Lisa in CO (AF wife currently stationed at the AF Academy)
  7. My dd was diagnosed at age 3 with amblyopia (lazy eye). She did not have strabismus (where the eye drifts in or out). We patched for 8 months. Her vision in her weaker eye improved from 20/200+ to 20/40. Not perfect, but much better! Dd could see, but she still wasn't using her eyes together, so the developmental optometrist gave us some VT exercises to do at home to improve her binocular vision. It took about 2 months before she was able to use both eyes at the same time and see in 3-D. When dd was 5 we moved and found a new developmental optometrist. She suggested vision therapy to help dd with reading. We were given the options of in-office therapy (pricey!) or home therapy. We chose home therapy. We met with the vision therapist for 45 mins. to get some activities to do at home, and we returned after 6 weeks to get some more activities. After 3 months, our optometrist said dd's eyes weren't "doing funky things" anymore, and dd's reading had improved dramatically. Dd says VT helped her. I know it probably doesn't work for everyone, but it was very beneficial for us. We were referred to a pediatric opthalmologist when dd was first diagnosed, but ended up going with a developmental optometrist instead. The opthalmologist wanted to use atropine drops to blur dd's vision in her good eye to make the other eye work harder. I didn't think that was necessary as dd was compliant with the patching. (And as a pharmacist, I don't like using drugs when they are not needed.) But I do think we would have had the same outcome if we had gone with the ped. opthalmologist. We have never used one of the home VT computer programs, so I don't know anything about those. Let your optometrist or opthalmologist know that money is a problem. They may be able to work an alternative for you. I do think VT is worthwhile in most cases. Lisa in CO
  8. Our insurance would not cover vision therapy, so the developmental optometrist gave us a set of exercises to do at home. We went back at 6-week intervals for my daughter to be tested and to get some new exercises. She is doing very well, and I can definitely see improvement in her reading. I would tell your optometrist about your situation. He or she might be willing to work some kind of alternative to weekly in-office sessions. The important thing is to keep working at the exercises. Fortunately, my daughter thinks they are fun. HTH, Lisa in CO
  9. We are military and we loved living in England. However, things in England (houses, cars, refrigerators, . . .) are much smaller than in the US. If you are in the London area housing will be very expensive. We lived in a 2-bedroom, 1 bath house, but we were about 90 miles from London. We had two kids at the time. It was tight. Most of the houses are not single stand-alone houses but duplexes or 3- or 4- or 5- or more plexes, so you share a wall or two with neighbors. And you can still find many homes with thatched roofs--they're really that old. England is a great place to homeschool! There are castle ruins and historical places around every corner. London is a classical homeschooler's paradise. I wish my children had been older when we lived in England. The British people are wonderful, friendly, and very well educated. When we moved back to the US it was a relief to have a full-size refrigerator again, and a big washer and dryer, and an oven big enough to hold a turkey! We took our '96 Chevy Blazer over there, and it looked like an elephant next to the cute little British cars. I would gladly go back to England! It takes some getting used to, but it also makes you appreciate the good things we have in the US. Lisa in CO homeschooling four (ages 11, 9, 7, and 4)
  10. My daughter was diagnosed with amblyopia at age 3. Her eyes have never turned out or in--she would just turn her entire head to look at things. The pediatric opthamologist wanted to put her in glasses right away. The developmental optometrist wanted to use patches first. We went with the DO even though our insurance wouldn't pay for it. We patched for 8 months, and her vision in her weaker eye returned to almost normal. We did vision therapy for several months because her brain still wanted to use those eyes separately. She is now seven. She wears glasses to correct far-sightedness in the weaker eye, and we are doing VT to keep her eyes working together. She has had more difficulty learning to read, but she is tough and a hard worker, and I think she'll be just fine!
  11. We're in Colorado Springs! We are military and have only been here a year and a half, but we love it. Yes, it's cold here, but not as cold as other places we have been. Lisa in CO homeschooling four (ages 11, 9, 7, and 4)
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