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Difficulty with Eye Tracking on One Side?


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I took my little one to the UC Berkeley Binocular Vision clinic yesterday for the first half of the developmental vision exam (we go back next week for the 2nd half). We had seen a COVD fellow back last spring for a regular eye exam and she had noted difficulties with eye tracking. DD kept wanting to follow by turning her whole head rather than just moving her eyes. The question is whether that is due to an BV issue vs. simply not understanding the task. I took her to the university clinic rather than the COVD for the BV exam because of insurance.

 

At the end of the first half of the exam yesterday, the supervising professor told me and the optometry interns that she thinks it is a neurological issue related to the LD's rather than a BV issue. She also noted that it was more pronounced on one side. I will have to ask which side at the 2nd appointment because I can't remember whether it was tracking to the left (indicating an issue with the right hemisphere of the brain) or the right (left brain hemisphere).

 

Has anybody experienced this with their child? Did VT help? I'm pretty sure that the university clinic is going to say that DD does not qualify for VT through them and that's unfortunate because we wouldn't get any insurance coverage if we go to see the COVD.

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If OT helps, that is good to know because getting insurance coverage for OT is easy with the autism diagnosis. She has done a couple of rounds of OT in the past, the most recently in summer 2013. OT was one of the things we dropped when we gained insurance approval for Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy. Her fine motor skills are actually pretty good so OT was focused on sensory integration work with some fine motor and self-help goals tossed in to keep the insurance company happy. But I can definitely call around to OT clinics and see who has experience with primitive reflex stuff.

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Retained reflex work was totally key for both my kiddos to do well in VT. The reflex work was light for one and heavy for the other, but it influenced a lot of things far beyond vision issues. Our COVD actually used an OT billing code for part of the sessions. You might find out what codes your local COVD's use if you haven't done that. We didn't get insurance coverage, but it was because of high deductibles. They would've covered a big chunk of VT if we'd hit our deductible. It was cheaper for us to pay cash and get a discount.

***Edited to note that our COVD said to call the company and run the billing codes by them vs. asking if they cover VT. It sometimes leads to more productive answers. They will eventually want to know the service provider.

 

My one son did sometimes turn his head to see better, but it was for objects coming toward him, like if someone threw a ball. It was mostly evident when he was trying to hit a ball with a bat. I think he did it other times, but it wasn't visible to us. My other kiddo has one eye that is more "lazy" than the other--he's the one that had more tracking issues.

 

I am not sure that a specific vision issue always leads to x symptom. I think it's more like a range of possible symptoms. My kids have some of the same vision issues and some that were different, but they didn't have the same symptoms at all. I would not have guessed my second one had issues based on how my first manifested symptoms.

Edited by kbutton
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Had the 2nd half of the eval today and it is the left side that DD is having difficulty with. The professor thinks it is a good idea to mention it to the neurologist when we have an appointment at the end of the month.

 

The visual perceptual skills testing was interesting because of the dramatic variation from test to test. The test where DD had to find the two matching objects in a field of 5 she scored very high on while the one that was essentially a rapid naming test she scored 9 standard deviations below the mean. :scared:

 

The clinic is recommending going through a home training kit and then re-testing in 3 months. If she still is struggling during the re-test, they want her to do a round of in-clinic VT.

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