We Have a Vision Therapy Graduate!

We made it! After 16-months our daughter will be graduating from her vision therapy program tomorrow with Dr. Fabian Tai & Associates.

It’s been a long haul, that was difficult at times, but mostly fun, and we have seen some pretty awesome results:

  • Our daughter is reading 6-months ahead of grade expectation, and her teacher says her comprehension is “lovely” and her fluency continues to improve.
  • She is able to read for extended periods of time without fatigue. (No more yawning, tearing or red-rimmed eyes.)
  • Her printing has improved dramatically; she prints on the line, with more even- sized letters and very few reversals. (On the odd occasion when she does reverse a letter or number, she self corrects; something she didn’t do before VT.)
  • She is much more aware of her surroundings. Prior to Vision Therapy she’d focus on what was immediately in front of her, and would startle or take several steps backwards when one of her friends would step into view, or stand too close. She no longer does this.
  • She’s more confident.
  • Her artistic abilities are flourishing. We have really noticed how much detail she puts into her drawings and paintings. And she carries her “drawing book” with her regularly to make notes, pictures or doodles. (This has also proved to be a wonderful outlet for coping with general anxiety.)
  • Her interests are expanding. She’s asked to enrol in art classes. She joined the choir at school and she’s hoping to begin gymnastics this summer.

I feel confident in saying that more positive changes are still to come as we continue to work on catching up on what she missed prior to her visual issues being addressed and treated.

Our sincerest thanks go to Dr. Fabian Tai and vision therapists Helen and Kathleen.  They took great care of our daughter, and went to tremendous lengths to support her through the vision therapy program.

I’ll be back to write a more detailed summary of the current improvements compared to where we were sixteen months ago, but I couldn’t delay any longer in announcing:

We have a Vision Therapy Graduate!!

“Dear Jillian: Vision Therapy Changed My Life Too”

The names Robin Benoit and Jillian Benoit are synonymous with Vision Therapy. Robin and her daughter Jillian are tireless advocates; they Skype with optometry schools world-wide, and give presentations at conferences. Furthermore, both Robin and Jillian reach out to vision therapy patients and their families to lend a listening ear or encouragement.

A little over a year ago, when we first decided to pursue vision therapy for our daughter, one of the first books I read was “Jillian’s Story: How Vision Therapy Changed My Daughter’s Life” Robin and Jillian’s first book.   After reading about Jillian’s experiences with vision therapy, and how much her life has improved since she completed her program I knew that my husband & I had made the right choice for our daughter.

Now, Robin and Jillian have released a new book entitled, “Dear Jillian: Vision Therapy Changed My Life Too.” With a Foreword by Larry Fitzgerald, all-pro wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals (and a former vision therapy patient), this latest publication includes twenty-two true stories of both children and adults, whose lives have been changed for the better because of vision therapy.

Dear Jillian Photo

“Dear Jillian: Vision Therapy Changed My Life Too” features inspirational stories including that of R.J. (chapter 8), a little boy who was so unhappy at school, he once hid in a closet. Initially diagnosed with receptive-expressive disorder and ADD, R.J’s parents took him to see a behavioural optometrist who discovered R.J. had amblyopia, and it was interfering with his ability to learn. (Now 9 years old, R.J. loves school and continues to do well in his vision therapy program.)

“Dear Jillian: Vision Therapy Changed My Life Too” isn’t limited to the success of young children either. It also includes chapters profiling adults who have experienced success following a vision therapy program.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to purchase your copy of “Dear Jillian: Vision Therapy Changed My Life Too” now. If you’re an optometrist offering Vision Therapy consider adding this book to your information kits for prospective VT patients.

To order your copy, please visit www.Jilliansstory.com.  Or visit the “Dear Jillian: Vision Therapy Changed My Life Too” Facebook page.

Help spread the word about the benefits of Vision Therapy!

Sometimes it isn’t about the ‘WOW’

‘Thirty-eight, thirty-nine, forty, forty-one, forty-two, forty-three, forty four …’

On a beautiful fall day I found myself counting quietly in my head as I watched my daughter dribbling a basketball.

‘Forty-five, forty-six, forty-seven, forty-eight, forty-nine, fifty …’ she was still going.

It occurred to me in that quiet moment that a year ago, she couldn’t even make it to three when she tried to dribble a ball, and her movements were a little less controlled. She also had to concentrate so hard on what she was doing, that she wasn’t aware of what was taking place around her. Her movements on this beautiful day were steady, controlled & confident as she bounced the ball with one hand, then switching hands, and carried on a conversation with her friend.

How long has she been able to do that? I wondered.

As I sat quietly on this unseasonably warm day, watching my children play it occurred to me that maybe it isn’t about the ‘wow’. This time last year I was researching everything I could find about vision therapy. Every testimonial (and there are several) talked about the Wow. “Wow … it was amazing how quickly his reading improved.” or “Vision therapy changed our lives forever. My daughter was reading at a first grade level, and now she’s reading several grades ahead.”  Or “Since completing his vision therapy program, our son no longer requires supports in school.” This was the ‘wow’ I was expecting. I naively thought it would just come out of the blue one day; that all of our hard work would pay off, and suddenly things our daughter had trouble with before would be easier.

Vision Therapy has made things easier, but it has been gradual. And our daughter worked extremely hard to get there.  (Our hard work isn’t over yet!)

Back to the day when our daughter was dribbling her basketball – on the way home I mentioned to her, “You know, you did great dribbling that ball today. Before you started vision therapy, I don’t think you were able to do that.” My daughter – being the young tween that she is – gave me that “duh, Mom, what planet did you just come from?” look and said, “Uh, I could always do that.”

No my darling child, you could not. I thought to myself.

We drove home in silence for a while, and then my daughter volunteered:

“The only thing that has changed since I started Vision Therapy, is that I can print in a straight line now. I just follow the line with my eyes.”

I almost slammed on the brakes, but remembering I was dealing with a tween, I kept it cool and said, “That’s great. You have worked really hard, it’s nice that you’re noticing some of the benefits.” But inside I was doing a happy dance: ’I just follow the line with my eyes’ she said, tracking … feedback … awareness …” I was giddy!  This.Is.Big.

Fast forward to earlier this week when I had a meeting with our daughter’s third grade teacher and I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting the usual, “She misses words when she’s reading. She’s not quite grasping the main idea of the story … etc … etc” But her teacher had something quite different to tell me. Our daughter is reading at grade level. Her comprehension is very good. “She’s getting what she’s reading.” Her teacher said, “And that’s big. Fluency remains an issue, but that comes with practice.” Our daughter can read for longer periods of time, and she’s retaining the information – this is a very, very BIG DEAL!!

Our daughter is still having issues with short term memory and this is especially evident when it comes to math. She doesn’t always retain the concepts. So we’ll be shifting our focus to helping her with numeracy and all it encompasses. And that’s okay. She’s come so far since last October, that I know we’ll be seeing further improvements in time.  We are working with the school to get some grade level accommodations in place to support her learning. She’s catching up, and eventually we hope she’ll no longer need those supports.

Sometimes Vision Therapy is the only piece of the puzzle, and sometimes it’s a piece of a much larger puzzle.  Regardless of the individual situation I say with all confidence that Vision Therapy definitely makes a positive difference.

Our journey isn’t over, but for now I’m going to savour the wins, because I am certain there are more to come.

We’re back!

It’s a cool (actually very chilly), crisp fall-like day in our little corner of the world. After an enjoyable and somewhat relaxing summer, we are back into our regular daily routines.

Last year was a difficult year school-wise for our daughter. Her primary teacher was often overwhelmed teaching a split-grade class (understandably so) and didn’t always remember our daughter’s visual issues, which often left our daughter on her own to try to figure things out for herself. (She also felt that additional review and extra homework would help our daughter. All it did was frustrate her further.) Her science teacher was an awesome support, and implemented several of the suggestions offered by The Vision Therapy Center, Inc. (Be sure to visit their page, and download their learning guide if you haven’t already.) Suffice it to say, by the time the last day of school rolled around last June, our daughter (as well as the rest of our household) were completely exhausted. So, other than our weekly vision therapy appointments and daily homework I ordered a break for all of us for the summer! We played. Read books for fun. Had lazy days. It was perfect; just what we needed.

And now we’re back.

Our daughter is coming up on one year in her Vision Therapy program. We have been focussing on retained primitive reflexes, and while we haven’t seen any huge changes we remain hopeful.

We’ve been experiencing a plateau for some time, and I know it isn’t uncommon, but my instincts (once again) were telling me there may be more contributing to the situation. This prompted me to seek out a psycho-educational assessment for our daughter. I wanted to rule out any other issues that might be contributing to her areas of difficulty. The results were both surprising and not. She has been found to have:

– a Visual Processing Disorder (VPD);
– an Auditory Processing Delay (APD);
– and is at risk for developing an anxiety disorder.

All of which are likely contributing to this obstacle in her VT.

Next steps include getting some supports in place in class to help our daughter with her learning. She has a great deal of anxiety about her academic performance, which is a lot to manage at the young age of 7 1/4 years. Our daughter was very nervous about beginning her third grade school year. She thought it would be like last year, but I have assured her that I am taking steps to work with her teachers to get her the help she needs (and deserves). Thus far her third grade teacher has been very receptive. She even called me on the third day of school to let me know what things she was trying out in class to help our daughter. Could this be the year when we turn a corner? Here’s hoping!

We are continuing with Vision Therapy. (We have four months left in our program.) While the psychologist who reviewed our daughter’s test results admitted to not knowing a great deal about Vision Therapy, he felt strongly that it was worthwhile that she continued with her program. They could see the evidence of its effectiveness and the strategies our daughter is learning can help her going forward.

I plan to continue with our blog, but our readers are going to find that we’ll be taking a slightly different direction. In addition to discussing Vision Therapy, you’ll notice the addition of other subjects. I have been doing a lot of research about Auditory Processing Disorder/Delay as well as childhood anxiety. You’ll see reviews of books and articles specific to VPD, APD and anxiety, as well as updates about our progress.

In the meantime, my focus will be on restoring my daughter’s emotional well-being, and increasing her self-esteem. She continues to make good progress, albeit slowly – but progress is progress no matter how small!

National Center for Learning Disabilities Addresses Vision Therapy

An excellent article by Dr. Leonard Press for The VisionHelp Blog sharing [accurate] information about the benefits of Vision Therapy. A worthwhile read, and a must share!

The VisionHelp Blog

NCLD logo

Wonderful to see the interview in which Dr. Debbie Walhof and I participated, Could Vision Issues Be Contributing to Your Child’s Difficulty With Learning?  The article is a very timely one, particularly for the back-to-school season that is almost upon us.  But it should be recommended reading for pediatricians, educators, and parents year-round.

Walhof

Let me tell you a little bit more about Debbie Walhof, M.D., as noted on the NCLD website.  First and foremost, she is a parent and believes that all children need to be in an environment that helps them blossom and be the best they can be. Her son Jack is 13 years old and has Dyslexia. It is a journey for him, their family and those involved in his education. In her words, “the field of education just likes the field of healthcare needs to undergo a paradigm shift: a shift that supports multiple…

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“Vision Therapy Parents Unite”

When our daughter was first identified as having issues with her binocular vision I took to doing my own research in an attempt to educate myself on the subject of Vision Therapy (VT) and the vision-learning connection. At the time, one thing that was missing was a central place to commiserate with other people who had undergone Vision Therapy or were in a similar position we were – just starting their VT program, feeling a bit overwhelmed and looking for answers.

Thanks to a group of passionate parents who are enthusiastic about promoting awareness of the positive effects of Vision Therapy such a place now exists!

“Vision Therapy Parents Unite” is a new group on Facebook whose members include parents whose children have already experienced success from Vision Therapy, parents like myself whose children are still undergoing a VT program, Vision Therapists, Behavioural Optometrists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists – the membership increases daily – all of whom are willing to take the time to answer questions and discuss the effectiveness of Vision Therapy. Information resources are updated regularly, and the atmosphere is friendly, welcoming and positive.

If you haven’t already, stop by the group. Membership is by request, but the administrators are very quick to respond and soon you will find yourself chatting along with the rest of us. Join the united front to help increase awareness about Vision Therapy and in return you’ll likely make at least one new virtual friend!

To request to join click here: Vision Therapy Parents Unite    and if you feel inclined, spread the word by sharing the link with others you know who may be interested.

Plateaux, New Discoveries and Retained Primitive Reflexes

It’s been awhile since my last blog entry. Life has been hectic as it is for so many of us at this time of year. Homework, projects, report card assessments, extra-curriculars, birthday parties, end of the year school concerts on top of vision therapy and life has been a whirlwind of activity! (Seven more days until summer vacation from school!)

We are at 36 weeks in our daughter’s Vision Therapy program. Her reading skills have improved, and she no longer tires after a few lines or complains of a headache and sore eyes. She even said to me the other day that she “loves reading now”. This is progress! We saw Dr. Tai yesterday for the post 30w assessment and while testing indicated that eye tracking and eye teaming have improved greatly, convergence is still being stubborn. My husband and I have been quietly hopeful these past several weeks, encouraging our daughter through her exercises, but admittedly not really seeing any additional improvements. (At least not to the degree we’d been seeing earlier in her therapy.) I refer to it as a plateau. Our Vision Therapist and Dr. Tai both sensed that “something” has created a barrier to our daughter’s success. Yesterday brought a new term to the forefront of my mind:

Retained Primitive Reflexes

While I had heard the term before, I gave it little attention. After all, as an infant our daughter reached   her milestones ahead of schedule. She rolled over, sat up unassisted, crawled, walked and talked earlier than the average, and expressed keen interest in the world around her. All good things, right? Well, yes and no.

What are primitive reflexes?

As I understand it, primitive reflexes are automatic reflex actions that the majority of babies are born with that present in response to certain stimuli.  For a more concise definition, I encourage you to read the following article from Minnesota Vision Therapy.

Eventually, usually by 12-months of age, primitive reflexes go away as new, more sophisticated skills develop. If this doesn’t happen, or there are delays, a child could struggle with reading and learning. This is referred to as “Retained Primitive Reflexes” or RPR for short.  (I am being vague on purpose as I am not an expert on this subject by any stretch of the imagination. Please refer to the following article entitled “Primitive Reflexes” from Lynn Valley Optometry for a better explanation.)

Confused yet? You’re in good company!

Dr. Tai assessed our daughter yesterday and came to discover that she has Retained Primitive Reflexes. As her mother I immediately wondered how that’s possible if she reached all her milestones in record time. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the quality of these skills matters much more than when she actually achieved them! While there are hundreds of reasons why a child (or adult) may have retained primitive reflexes, one possibility is not enough time spent developing a skill. Take crawling for example; while our daughter crawled early, (and did so on all fours versus scooting on her derriere) looking back, she didn’t spend a great deal of time doing it as she moved on to walking soon after. Is this why she has retained primitive reflexes? I have no idea. Admittedly, I’m feeling like a fish out of water as I try to educate myself on this subject.

I do know that if RPR hasn’t been corrected, these retained primitive reflexes can impede the successful outcome of a vision therapy treatment program.

What does this mean?

This new discovery means two things for us, or more specifically for our daughter:

  • Her therapy program has been modified to include a series of physical exercises that will be completed twice per day, every day for the next few months to address the issue of RPR.
  • Her Vision Therapy program has been extended until at least the end of December.

Few journeys follow a straight line to their final destination, and this has certainly proved true for our journey through vision therapy. At first, I saw this as a delay, but upon further reflection it really isn’t. Instead it’s a new direction that will hopefully lead us to helping our daughter reach her full potential.

We’re discouraged, but we’re not out of the game. I can’t tell you exactly why, except that instinct tells me to keep the faith.

(NOTE: Please forgive any errors I inadvertently included above. As I mentioned, RPR and all it encompasses is very new territory for us.)  

Living in the Land of Can! “The Kingdom of Should” ~ Review

“Children on the spectrum are heroes, too!”

I have just returned from the Land of Can in the Kingdom of Should where I met Frankie, his cat Fuzzy, and his new friends Princess Didi, Lester the Court Jester, Mr. Pick-it, Doctor Dazzle and Penelope, a very, very, very BIG bird!

Frankie – who has autism – has five favourite things including his pet cat Fuzzy and a LOVE of waffles. After a not-so-nice encounter with the Meanies (bullies who pick on Frankie) Frankie and Fuzzy venture over the Great Hill, across the Maple Syrup Sea through the Great Woods until they reach The Kingdom of Should. Along the way Frankie and Fuzzy meet Penelope, a very, very big bird, who as a hatchling looked and behaved differently from all of the other hatchlings, and was teased as a result. They also met Mr. Pick-it, Keeper of the Songs. (“I’m the Song Catcher” is a fun tune that shouldn’t be missed. You’ll find yourself humming it after you’ve heard it!)

At the Kingdom of Should Frankie and Fuzzy also meet Princess Didi and Lester the Court Jester. Princess Didi has ADHD and while creative, smart and loads of fun, Princess Didi has a little bit of trouble staying focussed on the things other people want her to do; namely her father, the King.

Lester the Court Jester has Asperger’s and visual issues and is misunderstood by those in the Kingdom who mostly find his behaviour annoying, and feel Lester just gets in the way.

We later learn that Mr. Pick-it, Keeper of the Songs used to be bullied as a child because he had crossed-eyes. Thanks to Doctor Dazzle, Keeper of the Lenses, Mr. Pick-it no longer has issues with crossed-eyes.

Courtesy of www.kingdomofshould.com (Copyright,  Kingdom of Should)

As we follow Frankie, Princess Didi and Lester the court jester we hear how they learn to embrace their exceptionalities, and what happens when they find the courage to stand up to their bullies. (No spoilers from me, but you won’t be disappointed!)

This fun and colourful story is told through a combination of narration and music. While aimed at those who have exceptionalities such as Autism, ADD/ADHD, or ASD, The Kingdom of Should is an audio book suitable for children of all ages – including those of us who are only children at heart.

There are many things I liked about The Kingdom of Should. Clearly, the creators, Joan Raina, Joe Romano and Dr. Steve Gallop understand and relate to children, especially those dealing with challenges surrounding their differences. Within each character they incorporate some common behaviours and limitations found in children who have autism, Asperger’s, ADHD or vision issues. It is through those portions of the story that the reasons behind some of those behaviors, are explained for the benefit of anyone who may not know. The Kingdom of Should sends the message that it’s okay to be different, and that there are ways to help each child grow and reach their full potential. In my experience, not many books (print or audio) convey such a message. And the inclusion of music makes it that much more fun.

The Kingdom of Should is a 2-disc audiobook. The accompanying CD entitled “Dreaming in the Land of Can” features sleep music based on the story and music of The Kingdom of Should. In addition, www.kingdomofshould.com the website for both The Kingdom of Should audiobook and Dreaming in the Land of Can, features an entertaining interactive component, (Click on the “Children’s Interactive Portal” arrow found in the top right corner of the home page.) bios on its creators and lots of fun and vibrant illustrations.

Dreaming in the Land of Can:

I enjoyed Dreaming in the Land of Can as much as I did the audiobook. I couldn’t possibly do it justice by attempting to describe it here. (In my opinion the music is both unique and beautiful.) Developed by Joe Romano, a Developmental Music Therapist, the music is really something you should experience for yourself. You won’t be sorry you did. I left it playing one afternoon while working at home, and it really does have the desired effect of relaxation.

If asked to describe The Kingdom of Should and Dreaming in the Land of Can using only one word, I would have to choose exceptional – because it truly is!

The Kingdom of Should 2-disc audiobook is available for purchase for $29.99USD. Dreaming in the Land of Can, a “therapeutic tool, designed to promote deep, restful and relaxing sleep” is available for $19.99USD. This story is so much fun and the music so well done, that I encourage you to buy the combo pack for $39.99USD to receive both the audiobook and music CD. You will find yourself replaying both and enjoying it more each time. All Land of Can products are available for purchase via The Kingdom of Should website found at www.KingdomofShould.com. Also, be sure to check-out their Facebook page at Kingdom of Should.

Boston ~ 15.04.2013

I have tried numerous times over the past several hours to write a tribute fitting of the victims of the Boston Marathon and their families.  The words seem trite and cliché, and yet I can’t not say anything, and I certainly won’t ignore what has happened.

Our Canadian media headlines have been filled with news about yesterday’s tragedy in Boston. We feel the pain along with our neighbours in the United States. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, our admiration holds firm for the first responders who – as bystanders ran from the explosions in search of safety – they ran towards it. We held our collective breaths as many of us waited for news of loved ones, colleagues and friends who were participating in and/or watching the marathon. We watched in awe as we heard multiple stories of runners heading directly to a nearby hospital to donate blood, images of strangers holding each other up, or stopping amidst the chaos to help the injured.

It’s been all consuming as we ask ourselves “why?” and “how could this happen?” the answers to which we may never know.

Many of us have said a prayer, lit a candle, held our children extra tight. We’re feeling helpless thinking there is nothing we can do. And yet perhaps there is. We cannot make sense of the horrible tragedy of yesterday, but our continued love and respect for one another can make a difference for tomorrow:

Martin Luther King Jr.

‘When Your Child Struggles: The Myth of 20/20 Vision (What Every Parent Needs to Know)’ – Book Review

A friend recently sent me the following quote via Facebook:

 “A worried mother does better research than the FBI.”

It was intended to be funny, but very fitting in my case, as I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about visual challenges and its impact on learning, and vision therapy and how it can correct my daughter’s smorgasbord of visual issues. My research has led me to a recent discovery, Dr. David Cook’s book, “When Your Child Struggles: The Myth of 20/20 Vision (What every Parent Needs to Know)”, Invision Press, Atlanta, Copyright 2004, David L. Cook O.D. ISBN 0-9632657-0-9, 173 pages, www.cookvisiontherapy.com.

by Dr. David, Cook, Cook Vision Therapy Centers

by Dr. David, Cook, Cook Vision Therapy Centers

Intended for parents, “When Your Child Struggles” is very informative, concise and easy to understand. For those of you with a limited (or no) medical background, you won’t need to Google medical terms or try to decipher complicated diagrams to get through this book.   It’s also a fast read, because let’s face it, it’s difficult to carve out time from our busy family schedules to read an encyclopedia-sized tome.I really like the three-section breakdown of the book. Specifically:

Section 1: Understanding 20/20

Section 2: The Visual Abilities

Section 3: Finding Help

Section one outlines the myth of 20/20 vision; “the dangerous assumption” as Dr. Cook calls it. Those of us with children undergoing Vision Therapy are all too aware of the price of assuming 20/20 vision means there isn’t an issue with the visual system – it has cost us time, and for some, self-esteem and overall emotional well-being.

Chapter two discusses the definition of visual acuity, how visual acuity is measured, the Snellen Chart and the “Snellen Fraction”. Specifically, what the Snellen Chart tells us (and what it doesn’t) and the possible reasons for reduced visual acuity.

Chapter three outlines the anatomy of the eyes, and chapter four reviews how corrective lenses work and how they can help with some of the commonly known visual conditions that affect visual acuity such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.

Section two addresses specific visual abilities. I particularly like Dr. Cook’s statement on page 62, “20/20 means only that your child can see tiny letters across the room for as long as it takes to read the eye chart.”  In his book, Dr. Cook emphasized, ‘for as long as it takes to read the eye chart’ by placing the words in all capital letters.

On page 63, Dr. Cook defines visual abilities and how these abilities are much more than 20/20 vision. I sat with head nodding as I read: “In addition to 20/20 acuity, there are a number of other visual abilities which are necessary for your child to perform at potential in school. These abilities include keeping things clear at different distances (including reading distance), keeping things from going double, judging depth, locating words when reading, guiding a pencil, recognizing what is seen, and remembering what is seen.” All of which are issues my daughter has, albeit less so since starting Vision Therapy.

Each of the remaining chapters in section two outlines issues that can impact ones visual abilities including: accommodation, eye teaming, eye movements, visual perception, eye-hand co-ordination and visual memory.

I like how each chapter begins with a patient story outlining their specific struggles and reasons for them, as well as the drills and checklists and questions to ask yourself (or your child) if you suspect they may have issues with their visual abilities. The summaries at the end of each chapter are helpful as well.

Section three offers suggestions of where to find help. Chapter twelve (page 125) outlines the seven main visual abilities for learning including accommodation and eye teaming, which Dr. Cook suggests “are the two which are the most crucial for good reading.” (page 127)

Chapter thirteen describes how vision therapy works, some of the instruments used such as the stereoscope (pages 134 & 135), the importance of the role a Vision Therapist plays in a successful program and the 3-step vision therapy sequence used at Cook Vision Therapy Centers.

Chapter fourteen offers resources to find additional information and how to find behavioral optometrists in your area. I also like how this chapter outlines the additional education some optometrists pursue when they elect to offer vision therapy in their practice, such as obtaining their fellowship via the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (www.covd.org).

Chapter fifteen (the final chapter) found on pages 145 to 153 features testimonials from patients who have successfully completed a vision therapy program and the benefits they’re now enjoying as a result.

My copy of “When Your Child Struggles” is filled with highlighted passages and flagged pages containing information I feel is specific to my daughter and her visual issues. I only wish I had come across Dr. Cook’s book earlier, when my daughter was in kindergarten and I took her to see a local optometrist who said, “Her vision is 20/20. There’s nothing wrong with her eyes.” I would have been better informed, and could have saved her from a lot of frustration.

To purchase a copy of “When Your Child Struggles: The Myths of 20/20 Vision (What Every Parent Needs to Know)” by Dr. David Cook visit the Optometric Extension Program Foundation’s online store, www.oepf.org or visit Cook Vision Therapy Center’s website at http://www.cookvisiontherapy.com/.