Vision therapy helped me with reading, so the words do not move around on the paper. It also has helped me with math and writing. When I do my school work, I am no longer tired or distracted.
Over the last nine months as our daughter went through vision therapy, we saw many improvements in tasks that were very difficult for her before vision therapy. Before vision therapy, school work was extremely fatiguing for her. She came home from kindergarten with dark circles under her eyes and was fatigued almost every day. She was rarely able to finish copying a sentence down from the board, and reading and writing were extremely challenging.
At 7 years old, our daughter was really struggling learning how to read basic short stories. She would frequently see the first letter in a word and then make up an entirely different word that started with the same letter. She wasn’t able to read a word with too many letters and she mixed letters up a lot. She also found it difficult to sit still while reading. Reading soon became a chore and was never fun or exciting. She had to be pulled out of class for additional tutoring in reading.
We are so thankful for the experience we had at Washington Vision Therapy. Before we knew our daughter needed vision therapy, homework was such a frustration for me and for her! She would take hours to get it done when it should have taken 30 minutes. She would complain about reading every time and would be so tired after 3 minutes. I assumed she was just being lazy.
Vision Therapy has helped me in a lot of ways. When I read it was sometimes blurry. Now I can read as long as I want and the words do not get blurry. I am also a lot better at comprehension. I had troubles with remembering what I had read. What I love about vision therapy is that they will work at your own pace and everybody is super nice. I recommend vision therapy to everybody who is having trouble with types of reading. I enjoyed it a lot and I hope everybody else does too.
Before vision therapy, my daughter would take twice as long to complete school work. She struggled with math, especially anything involving shapes (geometry). She had tremendous difficulty copying from the board to her paper. Her handwriting was extremely difficult to read and though she always tried hard, she was struggling in school.
After vision therapy, the world seems to have become much easier for my daughter. Homework now takes an appropriate amount of time, copying shapes is no longer difficult for her as she is no longer seeing double or having skewed vision. She appears to have less difficulty copying from the board and her handwriting is completely transformed- she now stays on the lines and her letters are beautiful! We are very thankful that we found Washington Vision Therapy Center and for all of the professional and caring staff here. Thank you all for helping my daughter gain a better view of the world!
-Joseph, age 8
As the parents of a struggling reader, there was no better educational decision we could have made than to have him evaluated for a vision-related learning problem.
The summer after his first-grade year we had given up on encouraging our son to read. We decided we would continue to read to him, but we would not ask him to read to us. All through first grade, every time we sat down to read together, it was a small battle. Headaches, fatigue, excuses and a disdain for reading were the only results. He could read some sight words and decode them if cajoled but never for a sustained amount of time. He was struggling in school and his self-esteem was plummeting. He was a super sharp kid: what was the issue?
When our son was evaluated at Washington Vision Therapy Center our suspicions were confirmed. He had a vision-related learning problem. His eye movements were without control, he was over-focusing, and he was generally lacking in the basic visual skills necessary for efficient reading. Since his father is an optometrist, we knew we could do vision therapy at home, but to be really successful he needed to have someone other than just his parents helping him through the journey.
After six months of vision therapy, we had a new child! The child, who was struggling with basic beginning level second grade books before vision therapy, would stay up way past his bedtime reading several chapters of a Hardy Boys novel. His test scores in reading were just as encouraging. At the end of first grade, his standardized tests scores showed his reading level at first grade, fourth month. After vision therapy, at the end of second grade, his scores had skyrocketed to fourth grade, second month.
The journey wasn’t easy. At the beginning, getting him to his appointments was a challenge. He would hide, refuse to go, or sit outside the door of the office and pout. I would have to beg, bribe, and bargain to get him through the door. Completing home activities was no easier. If the activity was difficult he would just give up. He complained that vision therapy took away his play time. He whined. He fussed. But we persisted and finally, after he started having some successes (Mom, I can make you have three eyes!), he would readily go to his appointments with a smile on his face and binder in hand.
Quote from his 1st and 2nd grade teacher: “It’s like night and day, last year he was so moody and grumpy and struggling so much with reading. This year I haven’t seen the grumpiness nearly at all and he is doing great in all subjects. Something happened over the summer. A light went on!”
Vision Therapy helped me in school. When I ended 2nd grade and started 3rd grade, school was a challenge. Whenever I was reading, testing, or doing close up work, I would see double or the lines would be blurry. When I got my new glasses, I still had blurred and double vision. Then I was lucky enough to start vision therapy. At first, I struggled with my vision therapy homework like the patch flipper reading. I started other things like the heart chart and I would skip a lot of letters. I had big challenge with the brock-string. Now I can do all of my vision therapy without problems. I can do the heart chart (without skipping any of the lines), could make my X’s on the brock-string, and my patch flipper reading is easy, even at the hardest level. I was able to move up to Red/Green Flipper reading, with red/green glasses and a red/green bar reader. I learned to diverge and converge my eyes on my own.
In school, by the end of the 3rd grade I could read perfectly, and it wasn’t blurry or double. I could concentrate more on my school work. I wasn’t off task nearly as much, plus my handwriting improved. I am so lucky I was able to go to vision therapy, School is so much easier now. Thank-you Carrie and everyone else who worked with me, and helping make school easier.
Vison Therapy helped me a lot, with school, reading, and ballet. I enjoy school a lot more than I did before, I get straight A’s. Before vison therapy I could not do my turns across the floor (when you have to spot so you can go straight), but now I can! Vision Therapy helped me in reading, I enjoy it a lot more. My reading level is a lot higher, I had an eighth grade level book once this year. I enjoy each thing more than I have in the past.
I am so thankful that I got to do Vision Therapy. It has helped me so much. During the school year it would take me a whole semester to read a 200-300 page book. During the summer it would take me the whole summer to read my summer reading book, which was only 250 pages. Now it only takes me a couple of weeks! Also, it would take me a couple of hours to finish by five page science packet, but now it takes me 20 minutes! I now enjoy reading so much, that I read my book everywhere. It’s so nice to understand and enjoy reading, so I can enjoy it with everybody else. That is my story.
Vision therapy helped me improve in many things. Like improving my reading and not having my eyes shut down during the day. Before vision therapy I hated reading because I would see double, and my eyes would get tired. Reading now is kind of fun for me to do. I can also last the whole day without people telling me that my eye is turned out.
Now I can get my driver’s license because I don't see double. I am very happy that I will be able to drive in about 2.5 years. I enjoyed working on all of the exercises. My favorite eye exercise was marsden ball but I really enjoyed the whole thing. I had a lot of fun going down and doing eye therapy.
As the main parent driving our son from Cashmere, WA to Yakima weekly, I would like to add that our experience with Washington Vision Therapy Center has been a huge success. This was our second round of eye therapy. The first round occurred when our son was in about the third grade. We were told that he may need a second round of eye therapy as an alternative to surgery once the teenage years arrived. It came as no surprises then when his eye began drifting again just prior to adolescence. This led us to WAVTC. We are proud of our son for his diligence in taking the therapy seriously and performing his eye exercises consistently. We are also grateful to WAVTC for their quality of care and attention to each patient they serve. I noticed a marked improvement in alertness, reading, and awareness of his eye focusing as it should. His hard work and excellent instruction resulted in graduation 12 weeks ahead of schedule!
You changed James' life and we will forever be grateful! His last appointment was great and better than before if possible. Sorry we won't see you again but we are so excited James is completely finished! Thank you just doesn't seem sufficient but is all we have to say! Thank YOU!!
Meet The Developmental Optometrist
Dr. Winters is board-certified in vision development and vision therapy. In 2010, he started a vision therapy center in Yakima, Washington. His advocacy for children that struggle with life-altering developmental vision problems has included over 100 lectures in colleges, professional groups, parent groups, and schools. He is one of the founders of Building Vision, a non-profit that raises awareness and funds for individuals struggling with these vision problems and which has given free screenings to almost 1000 children in the Yakima area. He established the Harvest in the Heart of the Northwest Conference which is an educational seminar held biennially in Yakima, providing continuing education specific to developmental optometry. He is the clinical director of Washington Vision Therapy Center and is currently serving as the president of the Yakima Valley Optometric Society.