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Old 01-10-2013, 01:56 PM   #1
kirstenb1
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Does anyone have experience with vision therapy for visual perception disorder?

Our 7 yr old has a visual perception disorder. She is in first grade, and currently doing far below grade level work in reading, writing, and math. Her teacher said that she's currently on track for retention (repeating first grade). She does receive private occupational therapy once a week.

However, I'm wondering about vision therapy. Has anyone had their child try this?
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:57 PM   #2
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I had perception issues as a child. I remember doing exercises with mirrors, light bulbs, etc. It obviously worked. I grew up to be a music teacher, a wife, a mom, and a very happy adult.

It can't hurt to TRY anything. If it will help your child not stumble, not fall, not reach for things in all the wrong places - then it is worth it.

I can remember my Mom crying because of my eye problems. Don't let your child see you cry, please! I will never forget how I thought I was such an awful child for being so difficult & different. Please don't let your child feel like this. It was a long time before I realized that I was a good person with bad eyes - not a bad person!

Enjoy your child - with the bad eyes. Do the exercises with her. It will be fun if you approach it that way! Thanks for letting me explain my feelings!
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:09 PM   #3
cgncga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirstenb1 View Post
Our 7 yr old has a visual perception disorder. She is in first grade, and currently doing far below grade level work in reading, writing, and math. Her teacher said that she's currently on track for retention (repeating first grade). She does receive private occupational therapy once a week.

However, I'm wondering about vision therapy. Has anyone had their child try this?
My 9 year old daughter started a home vision therapy program (overseen by an optometrist) between kindergarten and grade 1 because of vision tracking problems. It took her about 3 years to finish the program, but that was because of several other issues (extremely low vision, seizures and a very bad reaction to a seizure medication). Most people work through the program much more quicly than she did.

However, despite how long it took her to complete the program, it worked. She is reading and comprehending well above grade level now--and she is one of the youngest in her grade. When she started her eyes were jumping all over the place--from letter to letter, from word to word and line to line. Now she can read full pages of print without a problem.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:39 PM   #4
kirstenb1
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Thank you both!! She has 20/20 vision. But she has a definite problem with copying what she sees from the whiteboard, etc.

She's currently in O/T, but I'm debating vision therapy too.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:39 PM   #5
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Visual perception is such a wide reage of issues, that it is important that a professional more narrowly define the particular issue. Often EF and Auditory processing (yes the visual perception may be OK but when she reads it to herself in her head that is the breakdown) issues and mislabeled as visual perception issues. For highly visual non linear kids there are often tracking issues that are manageable in the the short term with masks, but it could be almost anything by the broad label they have given you
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:05 PM   #6
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Bookwormde, her dx came from her O/T. I read up on it, and unfortunately she meets virtually every single criteria. It also sounds like a wicked disorder that affects both reading and math. Copying from the board is torture for her. She consistently guesses at sight words, and very badly.

For instance, I show her the word "there" and she says "over". I get that she associates the 2 words, but she is showing no ability to decode words. I have tried to repeatedly ask her to just look at the first letter in the word, make the sound it makes, and we'll figure it out together from there.

She can't remember how to write numbers. For instance, they have been counting nickels and pennies. Say the answer is 37. She has no idea what 37 looks like. I break out her number chart, and she goes ballistic and says she doesn't need it. I feel that she knows she's behind all the other kids, and she's trying to fake it.

Right now, I'm trying to figure out if we should try vision therapy. I'm also meeting with her teacher and her SPED teacher to see exactly how they teach reading/writing in the classroom setting. One thing that bugs me is they have a set of vocab words, a set of sight words, then a set of "word families" every week. If I were teaching Zoe I'd pick a "word family" and spend however long we needed to, until she mastered it. Those same words would be our vocalb and spelling words.

I know they are trying to avoid pulling her out for SPED services, and I appreciate it. I also know we are going to have to do a lot of work at home too.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:16 AM   #7
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Yes it sounds very much like a linear decoding issue, which at varying levels exists with all visual non linear kids just sound like your daughter got an extra dose.
There are many techniques to develop this skill. Some of the new computer masking computer programs where they literally only allow one word on the screen at a time can help. Often the dyslexia specialists have some of the best insight into these issues
In math is it actually very simple and is just a matter of creating a word to number translation structure that works for her. Assuming she know the primary base 10 units (0-9) it is often a matter of going back and technically teaching or reinforcing the structure of base ten, and then us a more technical "verbiage" for her auditory input/output.
In the end instead of "thirty seven", you end up with "three tens plus seven". Chunking the numbers on graph type paper, with the place definers above is used until this becomes generalized. It sound funny to NTs, but is actually much more technically accurate than typical language adaptation of math, and should allow her to move forward with her computational skills. It is one of those early education skills that any highly competent special educator should have in their toolbox.

MY guess is that she does not think she is faking it in math, but instead is thinking in base infinity (each number is unique and only related as they relate to the number line). If this is the case, any computational ability she has demonstrated is truly amazing if you understand the memory and processing it takes even at the simplest level. Getting her a real mathematician to re-teach the theory of base 10 is likely the core skill that she missed since she could not take the number apart.
I work with a lot of kids on math, and it is almost miraculous once you find the "key" to helping them understand, how quickly they catch up and often surpass their peers.

She has probably already used them, but drag back out the Cuisenaire rods (math manipulative) since they will help give physical form to the concepts (do not use the mono color plastic type initially until you need to move to the 1000 cube concept for exponential work)
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:30 PM   #8
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With the "masking", is there a particular program or resource you could recommend?

Good point about rephrasing how she hears the number. We have the Cuisenaire blocks. I thought they would be such a great tool. She seems to think they're for babies. So we switched to counting bears, LOL!!! Because apparently they are more sophisticated.

I actually cannot remember if they did place values in first grade yet. There's been reviewing patterns in the beginning of the year, then lots of adding and subtracting. I tried to show her how a number line would help her greatly in adding and subtracting, but she won't use it either at home, or with her teachers. Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked.

I could definitely go over place values, and try to break out 2 digit numbers that way. It might well be a way to get math to click for her.

Bookwormde, thank you as always for your thorough advice.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:29 AM   #9
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I will have to dig for the masking programs.

Even though your daughter is relatively young it sound like it might be time to advance her self awareness of her gifts and differences since she is being "resitant". Not uncommon as our kids know they are smart but often have the missimpression that the special techniques are because we believe they are not, instead of the understaning the educational system discrimination against non linear learners.
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