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Need a pep talk- vision therapy is ruining our lives!

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I don’t know why it’s so hard. We could do reflex work 2-3X a day without too much issue. Why is vision so much harder for my kids? Not to mention the four hours we spend actually in office and driving there (it’s over an hour away) each week.

My kids just hate it and there are tears more often than not still, every single time we try to do the exercises at home. Twenty minutes of actual exercises take us anywhere from 30min to 2 hrs, depending on the day, and then we repeat this again later and every day. We’re two months in and I need a pep talk to help me not quit I think... My husband has even suggested we just quit because it’s such a battle. By the time we finish our morning exercises, I have no mental energy left, and it’s all I feel like I can do to recoup some before we do it all again in the afternoon.

FWIW, they are making progress (the older one faster than the 7yo). I just feel like it’s not sustainable and I’m exhausted of the fight. They have a progress eval in another three appointments, and I’m trying to hold on!

Somebody just tell me it won’t stay like this or suggest a way to make it more bearable please!

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I don't know about vision therapy, but just the strain of getting a regular eye test puts me into a foul mood. 

Hugs, Mamma.

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Ok, sigh. We've already said nasty things about the doc you're using and that he didn't integrate reflexes first. Are you SURE all your primitive reflexes are integrated? It's really important. And do you have any OTHER option for VT docs? Like is the option this guy or NOTHING? 

VT was pretty much a horrible experience for us as far as getting dd to do it. We have no good, pleasant, jolly memories of it AT ALL. It gave dd horrific headaches, had to be broken up into torture sessions like you're saying, and was so fatiguing we basically didn't do any other things. You also are driving a boatload. I've driven farther for therapy (2+ hours each way), but still an hour each way with the number of kids you're taking is a PAIN. Sigh.

I think if you didn't have that long-ish drive it wouldn't feel so bad. Can your dh take them one week and let you just stay home and prop your feet up and watch girl flicks and sip chai? Cuz I think if you get a break to do that and he's really stand-up about it, it might rejuvenate you. VT  IS IS IS IS worth it. But either you're gonna be tougher than how hard it is or it's gonna beat you.

If you have another VT option, sure, check them out. But if you're seeing progress and know you're seeing progress and really have no other option, then yes it's really this bad and yes you need to scrap everything else and go into BE KIND TO MOM MODE.

I used $$$$$ lego kits as motivators for my dd. And I'm talking like a lego house kit ($35) for a week's worth of therapy done. Maybe put out a complaint jar and fill it with nickels. Every complaint from any kid about VT work gets a nickel removed, and at the end of the week they get an awesome group thing with the money that is left. Make the jar big obviously so they can at least get a cone even if they fail a lot. 

I'm sorry it's awful. How long is the doc projecting? However long it is, it won't be forever. You're tough. Be tougher than eye problems. You've done childbirth how many times, and that was WAY worse than this. Or lie and tell yourself it was. 

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Also, give everyone ibuprofen. Don't do something nice on the liver or go homeopathic or skimp here. Everyone who is doing VT gets dosed with ibuprofen. My dd was the hypersensitive sort of sensory issues person, and the pain was just off the charts for her. Like I'd get a mild headache and she would be in agony and torture. Are any of your kids like that? So for her, the doc told her to take ibuprofen 30 minutes BEFORE any therapy. Therapy was super super intense and she'd come out dead, just wiped out. Usually then I drove for an hour to some random place and we'd have a field trip. No school work, just therapy and field trips and torture and earning lego kits.

It will be worth it, but pretty much do whatever it takes. However much ibuprofen, however much you blow in motivators.

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I never even thought to give ibuprofen before hand. I’ll try that. 

It’s this vt or nothing (there’s no way we can afford the $10k out of pocket to go with someone not covered by insurance, and most aren’t).

I will recheck their reflexes. That’s a good idea. 

I feel like I’m neglecting their education and a bad mom but I also KNOW there’s no way we can do actual academics during this season. You’re right that I probably need more breaks. I don’t think I take any right now except staying up after kids go to bed, but that’s not ideal from a sleeping perspective... lol.

just last week we got a membership to a fun kids space museum near the therapy place that we intend to visit on a regular basis.

thanks for the encouragement and the “permission” to scrap everything else. We’ve been scrapping it (everything except instrument practice and then assuaging my conscience with lots of audiobooks), but I it’s hard to shake this guilty conscience. 

You're right. We can do this. But I do need to suck it up and find extra childcare so I can take a break sometimes, and really make peace somehow with not getting anything else done. We ARE making progress, it’s imporant to remind myself. ?

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2 hours ago, Rosie_0801 said:

I don't know about vision therapy, but just the strain of getting a regular eye test puts me into a foul mood. 

Hugs, Mamma.

 

Ha ha. This made me laugh. Thank you. ?

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I have no advice.  We tried valiantly for months.  My daughter developed full blown PTSD bad enough that five years later she has flashbacks, and we got absolutely no improvement.  I believe it can be life changing for lots of people, but it was an unmitigated disaster for us.

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Just to flesh that out, I think progress is really important. Some people's wiring issues go way beyond what a typical dev. optom is ready to handle. And progress shouldn't be like oh I wish it would happen in 6 months. We had slight progress in a month (the exercises were getting easier, little hints) and significant progress by two months in. It's possible to have a kid above the paygrade of the person you're seeing, someone who has more wiring issues, someone who needs a more whole body approach, etc. In theory everyone ought to be doing lots of bodywork, but it isn't reality. You'll get places that are doing lots of worksheets, and that can work for some kids. 

But I totally agree, use your head. If there's no progress, it's not a good fit. 

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40 minutes ago, Terabith said:

I have no advice.  We tried valiantly for months.  My daughter developed full blown PTSD bad enough that five years later she has flashbacks, and we got absolutely no improvement.  I believe it can be life changing for lots of people, but it was an unmitigated disaster for us.

 

Yikes. This sounds awful!! I'm sorry. ? I've considered switching to a VT they like more, but it hasn't YET been bad enough to want to eat that $10K bill for going out of network.

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I still don't understand why you're saying $10k. Take one dc only or take them all but just once a month. If you talked with the doc, they might find some solutions to get the price down. More homework, less sessions, that kind of thing. Some will work with you and get the price down. It would be worth a try.

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PeterPan, when I was looking for vision therapy, the price for the man in town (who gave me the creeps) was $10,000 for one child, going once a week in person.  He wouldn't do it any other way.  So we went to the place that was a 2 hour drive each way, going once a month, which was less money, but then it was hard to gauge how much progress to expect, so it took us six months to realize we were making absolutely no progress, despite being diligent about the daily at home practice.  

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2 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I still don't understand why you're saying $10k. Take one dc only or take them all but just once a month. If you talked with the doc, they might find some solutions to get the price down. More homework, less sessions, that kind of thing. Some will work with you and get the price down. It would be worth a try.

 

The place my kids really liked is also the best place around and so has no reason to work with us to get the price down. They have a waitlist six to nine months long of people willing to pay full price. They were very nice about it, but they are unwilling to compromise. It is a weekly commitment of a specific day and time - no rescheduling for being sick and you still pay if you miss. They are just that packed full and in demand. Hence our hour long drive for a place that is more flexible and affordable, even if not nearly as desirable.

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I've had friends in other places (not where I live) pursue VT, and it seemed like one of the things they ran into was style, if that makes sense. Like it was an area where it was the norm to have full-time live-in nannies, and in that setting a really full-service, we do everything, top-down kind of VT actually made sense. And it sounds like this in your area is kind of in the middle. I'm just saying I wouldn't assume it's *better*. It might be. Or the doc owning the practice could be a real control freak. 

Well how long is your current doc forecasting? Is he blending in visual perception and doing it separately? Ours did the basic stuff (convergence, depth, tracking, etc.) first and THEN did visual perception. So for us, it was 3 months of torture and then 3 months that were kinda riding it out, not so bad. And we've had people nail their whole VT in 6 weeks, start to finish, bam. What is this guy predicting? 

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9 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I've had friends in other places (not where I live) pursue VT, and it seemed like one of the things they ran into was style, if that makes sense. Like it was an area where it was the norm to have full-time live-in nannies, and in that setting a really full-service, we do everything, top-down kind of VT actually made sense. And it sounds like this in your area is kind of in the middle. I'm just saying I wouldn't assume it's *better*. It might be. Or the doc owning the practice could be a real control freak. 

Well how long is your current doc forecasting? Is he blending in visual perception and doing it separately? Ours did the basic stuff (convergence, depth, tracking, etc.) first and THEN did visual perception. So for us, it was 3 months of torture and then 3 months that were kinda riding it out, not so bad. And we've had people nail their whole VT in 6 weeks, start to finish, bam. What is this guy predicting? 

 

They gave us no predictions, per se. They only ever suggest VT in increments of three months and then re-evaluate. So our re-evaluation is due in three weeks and then I feel like we’ll have more to go off of.

Part of what is frustrating for me is the lack of good information from the place we’re actually going. No report for us with standardized scores of any sort or anything like that (like we did get from the other place because somehow insurance did work out to have our initial evaluation done there.) The place we’re  going is a bit old school. On the one hand, it’s encouraging, because the doc has been a supporter of VT since the 80s, so I feel like they must know their stuff. On the other hand, they strike me as very disorganized/scatterbrained and not great at communicating relevant instructional information to me and it’s still miserable for my kids. They act surprised that my kids have a hard time focusing, but every square inch of wall and desk is covered with stuff and even I find it visually overwhelming! Lol. (Maybe that’s part of the plan! Who knows?!) ?

I’m feeling more encouraged this morning. It’s not actually ruining our lives, and we’re about a quarter or a third of the way through what our insurance will cover anyway. So for better or for worse, the end is at least in sight! After the next progress report, I might consider switching to biweekly appointments and cutting down our vision practice at home. I realize that will slow our progress, but I don’t know that I want to continue to sacrifice everything for it. And I think it’s very possible that dd7 would perhaps get more out of the vision exercises if she were slightly older and more mature. I’m not sure and much may depend on how much progress has actually been made. Eighth now, the main progress I can gauge is how much they complain about u or do it incorrectly. ?

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Attention issues definitely affect how they'll do with the visual processing exercises. I agree disorganized therapy is frustrating to work with. Do you know WHAT they're working on? What are they targeting? Convergence? Focusing? Depth perception? If you ask, do they tell you what the exercises are for??

If you are doing exercises for the physical stuff of vision (how the eyes converge, focus, perceive depth, etc.) and it's hard, then suck it up buttercup. 

If you are doing exercises for visual perception (figure/ground, spatial skills, etc.) and you feel your dc' attention issues are affecting their ability to do the tasks, that's totally different. That's actually why we finally stopped VT. The doc was like go do some OT and come back. The OT was an idiot, so we just gave up. And the world went on and life was fine.

Definitely figure out what they're targeting. It might be multiple things, but you should be able to know. Fwiw I slightly disagree or will play devil's advocate on the messy desk thing. Reality is, the VT should involve distractions (carefully chosen, intentional distractions), because you want them to be able to use their new skills in the presence of distractions. So probably the place is hairbrained and them not explaining things well is further sign. But distractions, in general, are good. 

Are you observing the sessions? Is something really amiss to your mind? 

Your comment about your 7 yo is odd to me. What are her assignments targeting? If they're visual perception, that might be the problem. Exercises for convergence, peripheral vision, etc. should be fine with her. They'll do VT as young as 2 or even younger.

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Oh man. I feel you because I went through this with one of my dc and another one really needs to do it but I am so not ready right now to do it all over again. The next time I will do the retain reflex thing before VT not together but I am not even ready for just the reflex exercises quite yet. My child never got used to the exercises and hated it the whole time they did it. It took so much longer to graduate because it was a fight and they did not have buy in. Doing the homework daily was so hard every single day. I do not feel like they got the full changes they could if it was not a fight the whole time and there is still lots of room for improvement with the kid that did it. There definitely was changes from doing it though and it did make a difference. VT definitely can work and have dramatic positive life altering outcomes but omg that was hard to go through.

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