Archive for the ‘President’s Blog’ Category
Parents Active for Vision Education P.A.V.E.®
After P.A.V.E.® was founded by Marjie Thompson, it grew nationally by the reciprocal support of parents and teachers with children in their homes and classrooms who had suffered the effects of undiagnosed vision problems. After years of searching for answers to their children’s learning problems, their children were finally diagnosed and successfully treated by a Developmental/Behavioral Optometrist through a form of treatment called VISION THERAPY!
P.A.V.E.® finds it unacceptable that children and adults continue to suffer needless frustration and failure because too often parents, educators, and medical professionals are unaware of the critical link between VISION and efficient learning.
P.A.V.E.® is a national non-profit education 501(c)3, resource and support organization whose mission is to raise public awareness of the crucial relationship between vision and achievement.
I had an interesting conversation today with a mother from Pennsylvania. Her daughter has been struggling in school for some time, and after a vision exam has been diagnosed with a “visual issue”. The doctor — who I know first hand to have an excellent reputation –recommended 6 months of Vision Therapy.
It was evident to me early on in the conversation that this mother was very concerned about her child. Mom spent a few minutes explaining her daughter’s difficulties, explaining the significant financial considerations and sacrifices she and her husband were going to endure because the costs for Vision Therapy are considerable, explaining the drive of over an hour (each way) to complete these weekly visits, and explaining the overall lifestyle adjustment the entire family was considering in order to get this little girl Vision Therapy. After a long pause, mom came to a question of “Is Vision Therapy worth it?
My answer: Yes
See, Vision Therapy offers patients the opportunity to rebuild and replace the inefficient visual skills. Since vision is the predominant sense in human beings, so much of what we know about the world, even beyond academics, is based of visual input. In fact, it is estimated that 92% of our brain’s input is through the visual system. The other four senses are relied upon to a far lesser degree. Therefore, if your visual system is inefficient , your input is not always going to correct. If your input is incorrect or inaccurate, your response will most definitely be inappropriate because you are making judgements based on bad information. I believe this child is trying hard….probably harder than anyone else in the class. The problem is the information she’s processing and using to form decisions is inaccurate because of poor visual skills, and therefore no amount of effort will produce the correct answer.
After I explained this to this mom in Pennsylvania, other pieces began to click. “Could this be why she can’t kick a rolling soccer ball?”, I answered “Yes, she cannot time the kick because of poor visual input”. “Could this be why she gets car sick?”, again I answered “Yes, when the visual system is inefficient, it can create ‘mismatches” from one eye to the other. That is to say the brain is receiving two totally different pictures; one from the right eye and one from the left eye, and the pictures do match. When you have this condition is a dynamic setting, like a car, the person can have a visceral response as the brain becomes overloaded with these mismatches”. I went on to explain that anything her daughter does with her eyes opened is affected by vision. All the concerns she had about her child could be directly related back to the visual system and faulty input.
As the conversation concluded I asked her “do you now think Vision Therapy is worth it?”
Her answer: “Yes”
Thanks Meredith, you made my day!
Welcome to our NEW President’s blog. This blog has been created for you as parents to discuss your child’s situation with other parents. So many times I am asked about the costs of Vision Therapy, defeating insurance companies, realistic outcomes after treatment, and so on. My best resources for answering these questions are other parents…..and so many of you have different perspectives that may prove to be very helpful for other parents. So, this is a way for you to discuss it directly with eachother. If you have a question, comment, feedback, or advice for other parents, please leave it here. We would love to hear from all of you.
Looking forward to hearing from you!!
P.A.V.E. is pleased to announce we are on a record setting pace for helping families this year. As of May 15, 2008, we have referred over 400 families to Behavioral Optometrists all over the United States.
The predominant question lately seems to revolve around getting insurance companies to pay for Vision Therapy. Below is an excerpt from an email we received recently, followed by my response.
QUESTION: I have 9 year old son, who was diagnosed with convergence problem by an Optometrist in our area. I tried to find out if this treatment would be covered under my health or vision insurance. When I talked with my insurance company they asked me for diagnosis code and treatment code for him. When I gave them this information they told me that it is not covered under my insurance. Is there some thing I can do to fight this out with my insurance company?
ANSWER: The only loop hole I ever discovered is that in some cases, some insurance companies will cover the “specific” codes and deny the codes that tend to be more general. An example would be billing “the flu” (which is usually denied) versus a more specific diagnosis of strep throat (which usually gets covered). You may want to ask your doctor to consider if your child would qualify for a different — and more specific — ICD-9 code given the diagnosis. I am in no way suggesting the doctor manipulate the diagnosis for purposes of insurance billing; rather, sometimes there are codes that are very specific to a diagnosis (as my example above) that will help your case. If you are willing to “play the numbers game” with the insurance company, you may discover the codes they are willing to accept.
Most offices have an “insurance biller” on staff. Talk it over with this person and see what they come up with. As I said, sometimes it’s just a matter of finding the correct billing code.
I am always fielding questions about the difference between Behavioral Optometrists and Pediatric Opthamologists. In fact, I spend much of my day “defending” Optometry from the relentless attack on Vision Therapy’s credibility launched by most Opthamologists. While I personally understand the arguement — and side with Optometry – it is important to PAVE that you understand the differences as well.
Many folks get overwhelmed trying to compare the “apples and oranges” of vision care. I found a GREAT website that explains many FAQ’s on why Behavioral Vision is so important, and why Vision Therapy really works.
Feel free to read the entire page. There is some great information about several topics related to Behavioral Vision Care. If you have questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Are there any topics you would like to discuss? I would love to hear from you. Simply register for our website, and you can add to a discussion or send your questions. Looking forward to hearing from you!
My name is Robert Nurisio and I was elected as National President of P.A.V.E. in January 2007. I became a Vision Therapist in 1998 and have worked in Vision Therapy practices in San Francisco, CA, San Diego, CA, and Magnolia, TX In my time as a therapist, I have been involved with patient care, coordinated seminars for several different doctors, as well as presented at seminars on various topics. I invite you to join this discussion with your questions, your concerns, or just simply if you want to comment on someone elese’s thoughts. There is no charge to join our website and you will not be asked for a credit card number. We only require membership so we can monitor and moderate the conversations. Thanks for listening, and I look forward to speaking to you soon.
We are still working the site, excuse our “dust”. If you find things broken or have suggestions, we are all “ears!” -Heiki