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vision therapy: is the hart chart counterproductive for dyslexics?

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Dyslexic 11 yo Ds is doing maintenance homework at home until we see the VT doc for a recheck. I'm so tired of him doing the Hart chart. The current exercise is the chart split in 4, put up on the wall and he is marching or on the trampoline reading out the letters to a metronome. We are suppose to tilt the quarters and this is to help with tracking. He gets so frustrated with it because it involves rapidly naming letters, which of course dyslexics have a hard time with. Will this ever improve, always be difficult but effective or is this a useless exercise for him? What has your experience been?


disclaimer: we're not using VT to help his dyslexia, 2 separate issues. 

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Well if you're asking if therapists can be idiots and not know what they're doing, the answer is always yes. If you're asking the better question, whether the dc has the foundational skills to be able to do the task comfortably, the answer appears to be no. So then how do you break down the task? Well your person says he wants to work on tracking but that is a really complex way of doing it. He's hitting EF (the metronome), RAN/RAS (yes, a disability in dyslexia), and doing it possibly with midline or motion. 

So go back to basics. 

-reflexes integrated? If they aren't, do that.

-can he march and talk at the same time? I'm not joking. Don't assume. Find out. That's a lot of motor planning. And once he can march and talk, trying marching with the metronome. Then try all three. While you're at it, try jumping with the metronome. Each of those things is challenging, let alone pulling together so many tasks at once.

-Work on RAN/RAS separately, yes. You can do RAN/RAS with letters, sure, but you could make charts with numbers, colored dots, anything. I would suggest going to colored dots to decrease the language processing, give variety, etc. I've shared pages in the past. Just read them without all the other stuff because you need to isolate the skill and make sure he has it before bringing it into something MORE complex and stressful. Working on RAN/RAS alone is incredibly valuable. I did it with my ds 3-4X a day, reading through the sheet a few ways.

-add in the other stuff (metronome, motor planning, etc.) AFTER each skill in isolation works. The more disabilities there are, the more careful you have to be about this. My ds has them all (SLDs, praxis, etc.), so we had to build each thing separately. It's not appropriate to start all kids with such a complex task. 

-consider finding a new VT doc. He may be workable, but you're going to want to be very cautious from this point. He's clearly not a deep thinker, since he was telling you the task was for something other than what it was and had no clue all the therapeutic issues involved.

You're lucky your kid isn't on the spectrum. My kid would have been over and done with such an inappropriate starting point. Hopefully you can work it out. Just be cautious. 

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