The effectiveness of home vision therapy for the treatment of learning disabilities is often debated by professionals, but as someone who has worked with learning disabilities for over 20 years, I am absolutely convinced of the power that home vision therapy offers to help the frustrated and disillusioned parents of a struggling child!
What Is Home Vision Therapy?
Home Vision Therapy is the term given to a series of vision training exercises that are able to be adequately performed at home by parents. With careful and complete instruction, many vision exercises can be performed by parents at home, with the big advantage that they can be done every day rather than making a special trip into the behavioral optometrist, orthoptist, occupational therapist or the like.
The power of doing a task every day rather than once or twice a week has been well documented, with the accumulative effect of daily exercises being the major reason for home vision therapy. The big question is, can the parents do what the professional can? If the exercises are well thought out and explained, in many cases the answer is, “Yes”!
How Can Home Vision Therapy Help?
Home Vision Therapy is more effective in certain areas of vision training than in others. Some types of training require a higher level of skill, observation or equipment that the parent simply does not have, and professionals have paid thousands of dollars to obtain the equipment and training necessary to perform these tasks. Other tasks, however, are a lot easier to incorporate into a home vision therapy program.
The great news is that the types of therapies which are easily performed at home and require equipment most parents have are very often the most effective techniques for improving learning in children struggling to read, write and spell! It is not easy to incorporate therapies for focus, eye coordination or binocular problems into a home vision therapy program, but visual skills necessary for learning, such as visual memory, sequencing, coding, hand-eye coordination and left-right awareness can easily be performed at home by a parent who has been given concise and detailed instructions.
What is the Most Effective Home Vision Therapy?
For home vision therapy to be effective it must have certain characteristics. It must be simple and easily taught to parents. It must have simple equipment that can be sourced in or around the home at very little expense. It needs to be clearly and concisely detailed to the parents so that they understand exactly what they need to do, and also what they need to observe in their child as they do the exercises.
Above all, for Home Vision Therapy to be successful it has to be fun for both the children and the adults! I cannot overemphasize this point because unless there is enjoyment the chances of the program being pursued to the end are very small. In fact, I have had many parents tell me that the activities in my home vision therapy are not only fun, helpful and extremely powerful, but they have also resulted in quality time being spent by parents with the children! If you can invest time into something that makes sense and is fun, the compliance from children skyrockets and the effectiveness of the program increases accordingly!
So, if carefully arranged and instructed by a skilled professional, Home Vision Therapy can be extremely helpful in the treatment of learning disabilities and offers the advantage of being able to be used every day for maximum effectiveness.