Project "10,000" Success Stories

10000aP.A.V.E.® has had the wonderful privilege of being a resource to thousands of individuals who benefited from behavioral optometry. What keeps us motivated to fulfill our mission is the stories we hear every day about how we helped those individuals that were diagnosed as having visual issues that ultimately affected their learning.P.A.V.E.® ‘s goal is to share 10,000 success stories of parents, teachers and other professionals so that we all can spread the word of how important vision can be to a child not working at his/her potential.

If you have a success story you would like to share with other parents, we encourage you to email your story to us at info@pavevision.org and you will bring us one story closer to meeting our 10,000 story goal.

47 Responses to “Project "10,000" Success Stories”

  • Terry Grillo:

    Terry Grillo – West Chester, PA – Friday, September 10, 2004
    Dear Parents Active for Vision Education:

    Thank you so much for creating http://www.pavevision.org, which I first saw in late May 2003. Immediately after reading your web site, I decided to schedule a comprehensive vision exam for my nine year old son.

    Sure enough, my son was diagnosed with a tracking problem. His tracking problem was called oculomotor dysfunction, which simply meant that both eyes did not work in unison when following a moving object. I was shocked when the developmental optometrist showed me that one of his eyes clearly “quivered” when my son performed the task of staring at a moving wand! When his eyes were tested with a computerized device, we found out that he had poor pursuits and saccades. It was a relief to uncover why my son really struggled when writing sentences. Additionally, my son was diagnosed with another problem called accommodative insufficiency. When he looked at something far and then looked at something nearby, he would go out of focus. This problem made it very hard for my son to copy definitions from a dictionary. I finally had an explanation for why my son aced mostly all subjects except writing. He did not have trouble paying attention, he had trouble seeing!

    Last summer my son went through three months of Vision Therapy. Fourth Grade went very well for him and he is doing well in Fifth Grade too. He is most proud of his first “A” Grade which he earned in Writing Class. Prior to Vision Therapy, he almost always omitted words when writing sentences, even though he excelled at most other subjects. Since Vision Therapy, writing is a joy, not a nearly unattainable feat! Now, my son loves playing soccer and other ball games. He even plays the trumpet really well now. He is very happy that Vision Therapy helped him so much.

    I believe we had great success with Vision Therapy because we were diligent about doing daily vision exercises at home every single day for about one hundred consecutive days. We also elected to have our son see the Vision Therapist twice a week, instead of once a week, for three consecutive months. I highly recommend Vision Therapy, given the fantastic results we have seen.

    Sincerely,
    Terry Grillo
    West Chester, PA

  • Pam Clausen:

    Always Last to Finish a Test – Monday, November 05, 2007
    My daughter, Molly embraced reading through the second grade. When she began to read chapter books, she had a hard time with comprehension and retention. In high school she remarked that she was always last to finish a test. That is what finally made me realize that something was really wrong! She was diagnosed and treated at the Chapel Hills Vision Clinic in Colorado Springs, where after 4 months of eye exercises she was cured! Molly is now taking college courses and doing very well. I only wish I would have been more pro-active when she was younger!

    Pam Clausen

  • Chris Blake – Monday, October 15, 2007
    In the few months Erin has been attending vision therapy, we are already beginning to notice changes. Homework doesn’t take as long as it did two months ago, there are no more tears when she has a lot to write, she is becoming more and more independent as time goes on. She still needs a lot of guidance, but seems to “catch on” to what is expected of her a lot faster. The greatest improvement, however, has been in her report card. Last year, Erin’s third grade teacher wanted to fail her because she had so much difficulty in “keeping up” with the class. This year, her first 9 week report card put Erin on the “A” Honor Roll!! She’s been working hard. We’re both so grateful for all the wonderful work being done in this office!!!

  • Camber A. Fulmer – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Rob’s patience with reading seems to be improving. He actually read me a whole story at one time recently. He has decided that he does not like to take Ritalin anymore. He did not tell me that for two weeks he had not been taking his midday medication!

  • Doris I. Hofsas – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Would I recommend vision therapy for a person young or middle aged as myself? A thousand times, “Yes!”

    During February 1989, I was involved in an accident, breaking bones and causing a closed head injury. I was unable to communicate properly, had great difficulty with balance and fatigue, and a great memory loss. Unable to read, I was having bad headaches along with dizziness.

    My vision therapy was in conjunction with cognitive therapy. As I relearned, I was also trained to bring my eye focus back. I was taught how to control my balance and how to speed up my thinking process.

    This therapy took many months of hard work and when I talk about it, I get very emotional because I was a person who was unable to think or see properly and had to be led around by the hand. I do know that today, I can associate with normal people and not be embarrassed. I drive, read, use the computer, TV and participate in most normal activities. I have come from a person who had to have a caretaker, to a person who lives a complete life.

    Would I recommend vision therapy for a person young or middle aged as myself? A thousand times, “Yes!”

    Your family will be thrilled at all kinds of results of learning that is possible after vision therapy.

  • Terry Grillo – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Thought I’d share a wonderful moment with you. As you know from my phone calls and e-mails, our ten year old son nadme Michael has fared much better in school after Vision Therapy. Apparently, this was an understatement. Michael just came home with an A in Writing on his report card!

    Michael always earned flat C’s in Writing last year throughout Third grade. His teacher was convinced he had an “impairment”. He always omitted words and when writing sentences and they thought that psychological tests would help. We sent him to an excellent outside psychologist, (not the school psychologist). who completely ruled out any psychological conditions.

    In school, our son found Math to be easy. Other things were not so easy. He took more time than other students when he formed letters on paper to make words and when he wrote sentences. When he was eight years old, he still could not tie his shoes. Unlike most of the boys in his class, he hated soccer and baseball and so he felt fairly isolated. By third grade, his biggest academic problem was that he omitted words when he wrote sentences. Also, he had trouble finishing class work which required him to write anything down. It seemed like he could not “Read to Learn” when one time I did not read his Science Chapter aloud to him to prepare for a test as usual, and earned a very low grade on the test. He had previously always earned A’s in Science every year in school. It was odd how Michael’s eyes were always itchy. The pediatrician could not explain why the maximum dosage of prescription eye drops for allergies barely helped.

    In June 2003, on a hunch, we guessed that maybe Michael could have something wrong with his eyes or his vision (I am extremely near-sighted) After we searched the Internet for answers, we stumbled onto your web site, http://www.Pavevision.org. Michael fit almost every symptom of a child with an undetected vision problem! Within 72 hours of finding your web site we visited a qualified developmental optometrist. During the comprehensive vision exam, which lasted about and hour and was covered by insurance, we found out that Michael had two vision problems called oculomotor dysfuntion and accomodative insufficiency.

    We are thrilled today! As I said, for the Third Marking Period of Fourth Grade, Michael just got his “first ever” “A” in Writing! He also earned all A’s in every subject except Reading, for which he earned a B. We attribute this outstanding success not only to his inspiring teacher this year, but also to his success after completing Vision Therapy. Michael diligently worked on Vision Therapy all last summer. (Twice weekly visits to the Developmental Optometrist for Vision Therapy PLUS One hundred consecutive days of daily vision therapy for 30 minutes each day at home with me…way to go Michael!)

    If I had not found your web site in June, my son would still have itchy, burning eyes that did not work in unison. He would still have eyes that went in and out of focus when he looked at a reference book, such as the dictionary. He still would be unable to write down dictionary definitions on paper without skipping words. He still would be having trouble in sports. His vision issues would have been undetected and not corrected.

    I hope that more people will find out about how undetected vision issues can be the cause of problems in school. I believe that Teachers, Pediatricians, Psychologists, and Reading Specialists should push any under performing students to get their vision tested, before they push for expensive psychological tests that don’t help. The psychological tests are hopelessly subjective. Vision issues are scientifically measurable and Michael is proof that they are correctable. It is too bad that we discovered these vision issues near the last days of Third Grade.

    I will now write another letter to my Pennsylvania Representatives, asking them to pass the Pennsylvania House Bill 2561 introduced by Representative Fleagle (R-Franklin) that requires all children in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to have a comprehensive eye examination upon original entry into school and in the third and seventh grade by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist. I will also write in support of the Children’s Access to Vision Act of 2003 (Introduced in House) HR 3602 IH. Please let me know what I can do to help you with Vision Education Awareness. It will be my way of showing my sincere gratitude. You have my permission to add this letter to your site on the Internet called “Project 10,000 Success Stories”. Thank you so much for helping us!

  • Mary Beth Knepp – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Through vision therapy, I have discovered a whole new way of seeing. I am more aware of things around me and the improvement in my peripheral vision is amazing. School work has become easier now that I no longer suffer from “eye stress” headaches after long periods of reading. I feel like my eyesight has totally changed for the better. My eye exercises make me feel good, both mentally and physically. I’m glad I caught the problem now, not later.

  • Vicki Lovin – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Thank you so much for introducing me to vision therapy. This was brand new to me and it surprised me with it’s effectiveness. I can definitely tell a difference in my eyes while reading. This has particularly improved at times when my eyes are tired, when I used to get most uncomfortable. As a student, I can tell a difference in my study habits, and vision therapy has also helped me enjoy reading more than I used to.

    I would recommend this vision therapy to anyone with a similar problem with their eyes. My only regret is that I did not find this help sooner. It would have saved me a lot of discomfort and frustration. Thank you again for everything.

  • Mary Reimers – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Before I started vision therapy, I hated doing homework or reading. I would give my mom a hard time and homework would take forever. Now, I love school, schoolwork, homework, and reading. My glasses helped out a lot. I have seen a difference in my handwriting, reading and just seeing things in a new way. Vision therapy has helped me open up and accept changes, it has helped me be more aware of what is going on. Vision therapy kept me out of the Special Ed. class at my old school and helped me start fresh in my new school. I have done so well, I have been on the Honor Roll since I’ve been there (2 years). I’ve been getting “A’s” and “B’s” on tests, in all subjects and hope to keep it that way.

    I would tell anyone about vision therapy if they have or had a problem like I did. And I hope that schools and doctors accept and admit the things vision therapy does.

  • Gail L Osteander – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    I have been in vision therapy for six months and I have noticed a great change in my awareness level of my surroundings. I’m more relaxed and I can switch activities with much more ease than I could in the past which allows me to work much more efficiently and for longer periods of time. I also have much better coordination than before. One drawback, I had a lot of problems with my insurance company. They only paid for three months. I wasn’t referred to vision therapy, but stumbled on to it when I saw my optometrist who also did behavioral vision therapy.

  • Martina Nelson – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Our son, Chris, suffered from excruciating headaches and dizziness, starting in 3rd grade. Many days he could not even walk, definitely not participate in school due to “jack-hammer pain” in his head.

    After many examinations he was neurologically diagnosed with severe migraines. Permanent medication was the path suggested. We opted for a strict elimination diet that seemed to help at first. In the following years I helped a lot with reading assignments. In 7th grade the pains came back severely along with dizziness and centered more around his eyeballs. Incidentally, that was the grade that most studies involved intense personally assigned reading. By fall in the 8th grade the concentrated eye/headache pain and dizziness were taking its toll: 30 min of school work took 5-6 hours due to pain that turned unbearable. Regular and repeated eye exams proved 20/20 vision; more neurological and allergy testing followed, and ten different heavy medications prescribed as trial and error. None worked. Mid year a very motivated A/B student was failing 8th grade, not being able to keep up with his studies, but furthermore living with unexplainable amount of pain that even prevented a good night’s sleep. No doctor knew what to do next.

    A routine visit with a new optometrist, who performed and extended examination revealed very severe perception and close focus problems and vision therapy was highly recommended. until this point I did not even know about vision therapy.

    After the thorough exam at the doctor’s office the fact that Chris’s close focus muscles go into severe spasm after about 15-20 min. was confirmed and explained what we had been experiencing in daily life/school. The possible cause for this extreme eye/head pain?

    Intensive vision therapy provided relief even after a few weeks; various sensitivities to light and colors as well as the dizziness were specifically addressed.

    Chris was VERY diligent with his daily home exercises.

    Within a couple of months he could resume normal schoolwork again. In 9th grade he took two Honor’s courses and continued vision therapy proved pivotal for Chris, being able to handle the reading work load involved.

    At the end of therapy the change had been quite dramatic:

    Personally~ the pain was mostly gone and relief exercises learned; self-confidence regained.

    Academically~ 9th grade saw him as an A student in all subjects.

    In Sports~ Chris had been a determined competitive swimmer. The pain and dizziness had even caused moments of blackout during practice. After VT completion these effects were eliminated and he could fully focus on training and competing.

    People have approached him with questions and doubts about the effectiveness of vision therapy. Chris has been always ready to share his dramatic and life-changing experience through vision therapy; pointing out, however, that the key to success is daily diligence with home therapy.

    As a mother and teacher I hold the conviction that successful vision therapy not only brought physical relief for our son, but furthermore opened the path for academic performance to potential! How much personal grief could have been prevented, had we found out in 3rd grade about Chris’ “real” problem instead of in 8th.

    We are so thankful for the work in the field of behavioral optometry!

  • Anonymous – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    We began to suspect that Chris was not seeing words and letters correctly when he was in kindergarten. We took him to two different ophthalmologists over the next four years. Both said that Chris is slightly farsighted and prescribed reading glasses. Chris complained that the glasses hurt his eyes, and we were told that he needed to get used to them. We saw that he tired faster when he read with the glasses than without them.

    Chris’ 4th grade teacher brought up the subject of vision again when she saw him skipping letters in spelling words, and holding reading books sideways. The school recommended that we take him to a vision therapist, who changed his lenses and recommended eye exercises. Chris immediately began to wear the glasses for reading and said they no longer hurt. He began to read much faster with the glasses than without. Over the semester that he did the eye exercises, he went up about one full grade in every subject. His teacher has commented on his improved work. We definitely feel that the eye exercises have been worth the effort and the cost.

  • Patricia E Meyers – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Several visits to several different ophthalmologists all yielded the same diagnosis and treatment, lazy eye—patch the good eye and wear strong glasses. Each time I ended up with an extremely frustrated child – constantly complaining that she couldn’t see. She literally trashed 2 pair of glasses… I realize now that Jennifer knew more than those “learned” eye doctors. Jennifer was experiencing many problems in school and the issue was her vision and vision therapy – a totally unknown treatment to this concerned Mom. When I couldn’t find help for Jen via the ophthalmologist, I decided to have her seen by an optometrist. Well, one look in her eyes and vision therapy was recommended. Despite Jen’s attention deficit and hyperactive problems, she was tested and the results were startling. Her eyes seldom worked together. After only 1 year of therapy, her eyes focus together, her behavior is greatly improved and her attention span is a complete turnaround. She now has the eye-hand coordination to beat the entire family at videogames whereas before her only reaction to Nintendo was to throw the control pad down in frustration. Vision therapy was an integral part in helping this concerned Mom put together the pieces of the puzzle “Jennifer.” Thank you!

  • Marcia Parrish – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    We were lucky with Sam, now 9 years old, to have had his second grade teacher be also a vision therapist. She spotted Sam so that he didn’t “slip through the cracks” for years like so many other kids because their teachers do not know what to look for. These children end up failing because they cannot read or they just feel like failures! Sam is a bright boy, however, he was not learning to read and his low self-esteem bled over into other areas of his life – social and emotional. He couldn’t play ball or ride a bike and felt like a baby when we bought him shoes with Velcro closures because he had trouble even tying his shoes.

    Although my husband did not want to accept any “problem” with his son, I dragged him along to Sam’s screening appointment where the doctor had us sit across form Sam so we could observe his eye movement. Wow! It was so obvious that his eyes didn’t work together. He could not change focus from one distance to another, his eyes didn’t track across lines of type on a page, he often skipped the little words and even whole lines.

    The doctor prescribed 7 sessions of vision training/therapy including one hour per week with the therapist (his teacher) and 20 minute nightly sessions with me doing various exercises for his eyes. The difference in just 2 weeks was wonderful! Suddenly, Sam could tie his shoes and catch even a small ball every time. He got on his bike and rode down the street to join the other boys and HE COULD READ! More importantly, the change in his self-confidence and self image, well, he was a new child.

    What I learned from this experience has touched the lives of many more children because I teach computers and have been able to spot many problems that their teachers are just not trained to see. Once I mention a problem, they confirm it with other symptoms like poor handwriting, copying from the blackboard to the paper, headaches, or low self-esteem. More teachers are asking for workshops to learn to “see” their students’ vision problems and make referrals as early as possible.

    I think that action should target two areas: (1) teacher training, since they are in an ideal observational position and parents will accept their advice more quickly; and (2) more comprehensive school screening for VISION not just sight. This would need to go hand in hand with parent education regarding the difference!

  • Carol Jordan – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    We are so pleased with the progress Greg has made under your vision therapy. When we brought him to you in late September, we were sure he would require glasses for reading. He suffered headaches when reading and because of them, avoided his schoolwork.

    Today, Greg is reading again – even reading for pleasure – and enjoying doing his studies. Just 6 weeks later there is so much improvement. We’re really glad we “stumbled onto” vision therapy. Thanks a lot.

  • Janet L. Ray – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    An open letter to all prospective parents of patients:

    I have two children who were in vision therapy. They were both diagnosed as having severe visual focusing and tracking problems and in need of an individualized program where a therapist would work one on one with them. The doctor held little hope that my son would ever have “normal” focusing or tracking.

    One common thread among children with visual problems is having difficulties at school. Both of my children were labeled as “slow-learners” and “disobedient.” They had so many frustrations from focusing problems that they found it impossible to keep moving at the same rate as their “normal sighted” classmates. In spite of my concerns about the children having perceptual problems, none were ever correctly diagnosed during school based tests or the local optometrists’ examinations. This led to three extremely exasperating years for both the children and me. When we moved to a new school, the psychologist who meets and interviews the new students asked me if they were ever tested for focusing problems. Once they began therapy, rapid improvement was seen.

    School work became easier, papers became neater and the frequent stomach aches and headaches became rare. The biggest plus is that their self esteem rose. They could keep up with their classmates and this ended the “disobedient” behavior.

    As a parent, it is thrilling to see how far the children have come. I just wish I could have started the therapy sooner for my son’s sake. I feel the first three school years were wasted. The longer the amount of time without a correct diagnosis and therapy, the farther behind a child falls. If your child can not focus or track, he will never be able to work up to his full potential. Most of his time will be spent just trying to “see” what is on the printed page or board. With this amount of daily frustration, school work becomes a miserable task. It is so unfair to the child. I am pleased and relieved that my children have been able to have this therapy. The results are real and well worth the time spent.

  • Joyce Green – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    While vision therapy may sound like an obscure issue with a narrow focus, I believe it can directly affect the education of our children more than we realize. For example, many children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder may, in fact, have a delay in the development of their visual capacity. This causes symptoms that mimic ADD. Vision therapy is just like physical therapy that teaches the muscles of the eye and brain to work together correctly. There are simple ways for a teacher to tell if a child in class is having learning problems that relate to vision and these need to be introduced into teachers’ college curriculum. This would be a highly cost effective and efficient method to guarantee that children would receive help in their early years, preventing years of torment and destructive struggling, removing roadblocks to development, both physically and mentally.

    Having had the benefits of vision therapy, I understand why you have the families so involved with the therapy. With the many skills you teach, children can be assisted with future skill development. It amazes and confuses me that there is such disagreement in the medical profession about the benefits of the non threatening, non-invasive, proven process.

  • Martin L. Smith – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Since the start of Laura’s eye therapy, she has shown great improvement in her patience with school studies. Laura has shown a remarkable improvement in her general behavior. She says she doesn’t see two of things now. Both Laura’s Mother and I have noticed that Laura doesn’t bump into things like before. We have also seen a big improvement in her confidence and self-esteem. I would say the biggest improvement has been with Laura’s interaction with her sisters on a day to day basis. This therapy has been an answer to many difficulties, all stemming from her vision problem. Thank you so very much.

  • Donna, Frank and Charles – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Prior to beginning vision therapy Charles was struggling in the first grade and his self confidence and self esteem were at rock bottom. I will never forget the night that a little first grader sat in my kitchen and cried. He literally begged Donna and me to not make him go back to school because he just couldn’t read and everyone else could. Charles is a bright little guy and we knew then without a doubt that there was something behind him not being able to catch on. Charles is now in the fourth grade. Last year he caught up to grade level in his reading skills and had the highest test scores in his class. His self confidence has been restored and he looks forward to school and the opportunity to learn.

    Charles had help from wonderful and loving teachers and family members but without the vision therapy he received through your efforts he would no doubt have been placed in a learning disabled class and been branded with that label throughout his school years.

    Donna and I sincerely hope that other children and families can learn from Charles’ experience and benefit from the changes that vision therapy can produce. Again please accept out heartfelt thanks.

  • Jeanne Lagorio, M.S.W. – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    In the midst of a very busy life, I feel an urgency to find the time to write this letter, sharing my experience of a life with a vision problem unacknowledged by most professionals.

    My formative years were ones of academic torture. I couldn’t keep up with the other kids! I felt “abnormal” and “stupid.” I didn’t know I had a severe form of dyslexia. Not only did I see reversals but paragraphs moved around the page. Unfortunately, this was not diagnosed until I was in 8th grade. As a result, I have large gaps in areas of basic skills. These deficits continue to be cause for embarrassment and humiliation today. I distinctly remember the day my disability became known. My mother was threatening to send me away to a boarding school if I did not improve academically. In rage, despair and frustration, I yelled out “maybe I would if the words stopped moving!” At this moment in time, I learned that my vision was not normal, which is very different than me, as a person, being abnormal.

    That is how my dyslexia was discovered. My mother took charge with persistence. Vision therapy was discouraged by optometrists she consulted. Treatment was not covered by insurance. Fortunately, my family was able to cover all accrued costs. In less than 6 weeks of treatment, I was able to read and reversals decreased dramatically.

    Now, at 28 years of age, with a masters degree in social work, I continue to erase deep seated feelings of self doubt and shame resulting from the psychological effects of a vision problem.

    Something needs to happen!

  • Pauline Hurt – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    When our optometrist recommended vision therapy for Christine, to say I was skeptical was an understatement. At that time, Christine was having headaches, blurred and double vision. It took her forever to complete her school work because her eyes were not cooperating with her brain. I thought that glasses alone would be the solution and that any benefit from vision therapy would be secondary. Within several weeks of therapy we were already seeing major improvement. The symptoms Chris was having were starting to decrease. The therapy has had a steady and very positive impact on her. Now that we have almost completed therapy sessions, Christine’s headaches, blurred and double vision are almost nonexistent. After being completely and thoroughly convinced of its value, I would recommend vision therapy, without reservation, to anyone who could benefit from it.

  • Carol Stokes – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    We took our son, Paul, for a thorough examination when he was 5 years of age as he had a condition called exotropia (one eye would wander outward). We began a visual therapy program which involved office sessions and at home with us. Paul is now 10 and we rarely ever see either of his eyes wander. He has learned to control his eye muscles. We are sincerely grateful to have avoided the expense and obvious risks of the only alternative, which would have been surgery.

  • Jerri Patterson – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    The changes I have seen since beginning vision therapy are that I can read a lot faster, I can look at the board once and copy everything down that I see, I am getting a lot of work done faster, and I am able to read words faster and not stumble on them.

    I have seen a great change in my school grades/schoolwork/homework. My teachers compliment me on the grades I am getting since the beginning of the school year. I am very proud of my progress.

  • Mr. and Mrs. Chaoui-Gasco – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    We are writing this letter to express our gratitude we feel for all you have done to our daughter Laetitia.

    Laetitia, 7 year old, has been having strabismus problems since she was a baby (accommodative esotropia with farsightedness and astigmatism). when she was 18 months old, she had surgery to fix her convergence excess. After surgery, her eyes looked straight with still a small remaining inward angle. But several months later, she developed a dissociated vertical deviation on both eyes. when she was tired or mainly when she looked up, the right or left eye was drifting up. she also had amblyopia in one eye, no binocular vision at all and consequently no depth perception. Her problems were not only cosmetic but functional.

    By the time she was 6 and a half years old, Laetitia was followed by an ophthalmologist. He told us that the only option we has was ti do another surgery on both eyes for the vertical deviation problems. Another ophthalmologist told us she would never have binocular vision and the vertical deviation could come back a couple of years after the surgery!

    We were really scared to have another surgery, knowing that maybe she would need a third one, and so on… At this point, we started to lose hope at the idea of fixing her eye problems.

    Trying to find an alternative to surgery, we discovered Vision Therapy through our searches on the Internet. You were the first Doctor who told us that it was not a muscle problem but that she mainly needed re-education of her brain to learn how to control her eyes. Also, you explained to us that the result could not only be cosmetic by having the eyes looking straight, but also functional by getting binocular vision! For the first time, you gave us a real hope on fixing her strabismus problem, and this without any surgery!

    Today, after several months of therapy, the results are awesome. Laetitia is fully able to control her vertical deviation. Her eyes look straight and she now has binocular vision! You made her see depth perception for the first time in her life! We know that binocular vision is an important ability that will also help her at providing long-term ocular alignment. She also improved her balance and her vision. Her amblyopia has been fixed. The result is very impressive. You have been able to fix both her cosmetic and functional problems!

    Knowing that you re-educated both her brain and her eye system, we are now relieved that she didn’t have to go through an eye muscle surgery to fix an intermittent problem. We can easily imagine that not having straight eyes can have a major consequences on self-confidence and self-esteem as a teenager or as an adult. We are convinced you made a tremendous difference in Laetitia’s life. You gave her the best gift she could ever have!

    Thank you so much for all your help and work. We will never forget everything you have done. You have changed our life and especially Laetitia’s for the best.

  • Linda Moranz – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    My quick, intelligent, young daughter was fiercely fighting learning to read. Since second grade, she had been having more and more trouble and to compensate I was spending literally hours each day after school helping, pushing, scolding, motivating, and doing everything I knew how to do to get her to learn to read. Since I knew she was very smart, I figured her problem must be her eyes which I had tested over and over only to get a perfect 20/20 performance every time. I didn’t know what to do besides continue as we were which was really driving a wedge between us, affecting everyone else in the family, and my marriage, which had become strained over this issue.

    On vacation, my friend insisted I have her examined by a wonderful vision therapist who had helped her son who showed similar signs. He found that she was “seeing” with only one eye at a time and that she would switch from one to the other rather rapidly, every 1 or 2 seconds! No wonder words were hard to read if your brain has to “re-see” everything 40 or 50 times a minute.

    Our insurance paid for the examination and glasses but we had to do the exercises on our own as the island we lived on didn’t have a vision therapist. So, with explicit directions and a contract that Malia would be religious about therapy, we practiced exactly what we were told. In the three summer months (by the time she went back to school for the 6th grade), she was fixed! It took a very short period of time for her to make up the three years of struggle and her first report card had her over a 3.0 grade average.

    I have imagined what might have become of Malia if we continued on without knowing there was a problem. She had lost her self respect, love for life (and me!), and was hating school, becoming more reserved, sad and angry. This problem is so prevalent and easily treatable that there is no excuse for our high tech society to miss this huge social problem. No wonder so many kids become “throwaways,” juvenile delinquents, and worse. They aren’t able to figure out that there is a problem because it’s all they’ve ever known. These kids begin to believe that they are lazy, ignorant, stupid, worthless, on and on and on. It’s hard for me to believe that this condition is not tested for like hearing or any of the other tests and inoculations children must have before even entering school. I am quite upset with myself for not realizing that the health information system in this country is lacking. I didn’t even know the possibility that my daughter’s condition existed.

    I thank God for leading us to help. Pass the word to other parents who have children struggling in school. They will bless you for changing their lives.

  • Teresa and Stephanie Witchen – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    When I first noticed my daughter’s eye crossing, I knew I wanted it fixed. I took her to an eye doctor who put her in glasses and told me that nothing else could be done because she was too young (2 1/2) to read. I wasn’t satisfied with that so I started calling all the doctors in the phone book. I guess luck led me here.

    Her eyes were examined and I was told, “Yes, through vision therapy she would see ‘right’ again.” It seemed slow at first but after one year, the progress was great. She uses both eyes now and I am so thankful to all the therapists and the doctor. Stephanie is in kindergarten now and she is doing wonderful. I learned a lot from our visits here and will always recommend this to any one!!!

  • Jane L. Bowie – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Our son, Nathan, is a very popular, creative and happy person. He loved going to school and found reading in first grade to be exciting. Trouble began in the second grade when the print got smaller. The teacher told us that Nathan was purposefully skipping words during reading class just to get attention. She said that he wasn’t trying hard enough and was taking too long with his written work, often staring off into space during assignments. At the time, Nathan was attending one of the “best” schools in Baltimore County.

    Any teacher trained to detect vision related learning problems should have been able to detect Nathan’s trouble at this early stage. This could have saved us from an incredible amount of emotional turmoil, hours and hours of extra time spent on homework, hours of tutoring, multitudes of tests and conferences, and a downward spiral of Nathan’s self-esteem.

    Nathan submitted to hours of study every night (fourth and fifth grades) gave up baseball, school band, piano lessons, and went to the tutor twice weekly without complaining because he wanted to do better.

    Still, he kept failing tests. FINALLY, we secretly learned of vision therapy. The school staff had been chastised for ever recommending this “voodoo,” so this had to be very hush hush. Nathan’s life changed dramatically from just seven months of vision therapy. He comprehended what he read, homework took much less time, and his self-esteem increased. He now wants to be a teacher to help other children like himself.

    It is incomprehensible to us how the educators and medical professionals of the country can ignore such valid help. It is far past the time when proper screening and treatment should have been the norm for all schools. We must act to get this mandatory in all schools so as to prevent any further unnecessary frustration and destruction to the proper flow of learning for our children.

  • Scott and Diana Shaw – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    None of the circumstances that we go through in life are by chance. We believe that it is by God’s divine purpose that you were placed in Scott’s life. You have touched a frustrated, struggling and hurting young boy and became an integral part of all of our lives every Wednesday for what seemed like an eternity.

    We were not convinced that a series of exercises aimed at his eye integration and hand eye coordination could make a difference in Scott’s educational experience. In fact, we were sure that all our efforts were one giant waste of time and money. Who would have thought that a ball hanging from a string, building patterns with blocks and the Vulcan salute could change his attitude toward life? Your continued love, encouragement, education, nurturing, patience and support kept us going when we wanted to quit.

    Your knowledge and expertise in vision therapy and learning disabilities made the difference in altering Scott’s perception of himself. He is beginning to see himself as the intelligent, successful person he is, rather than the failure he perceived himself to be. Thank you for the smiles you put back on our children’s faces.

  • Dee Dobler – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Dana’s teacher sent us Dana’s second grade state test results along with her third grade test results. Wow! What a difference! I truly attribute this and her ability to now see and comprehend what is asked of her to her vision therapy. Her self esteem has had a tremendous boost. Dana’s teacher said she gave a new test to the students expecting them to get a few right here and there, and was “blown away” when Dana did so well. Her teacher is very encouraging and supportive which has helped Dana to shine this year. This is such a wonderful change for her since last year when her teacher had the impression that she was not very bright because she was a slow reader. She even commented in class that Dana was a slow reader and that she should choose someone else to read aloud. Now, Dana will get a book on her own and read, and even enjoy it, whereas before we could not get her to sit for 5 minutes to read to us.

    Again, thank you for caring and for the encouragement and positive time all of you spent with Dana. This is definitely a success story.

  • Susan C. Renic – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Doug has always been a good reader but now he keeps his place better. He can copy his assignments from the board now, a necessary improvement. He no longer falls out of his chair at school, and does not act silly or make strange noises nearly as much. Being off Ritalin has allowed him to gain weight, and his general health is much better. He also has more self confidence, likes himself better, and is more pleasant to have around. He also gets hurt much less, I assume because of improved co-ordination. Vision therapy is truly heaven sent.

  • Susan Danielson – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Steven has read complete books or stories several times lately without our help. Before therapy it was a battle to read one page. He’s also doing more writing on his own. For instance, he wrote a long thank you note to the Easter Bunny.

  • Chris Good (Age 9) – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    I’ve been getting better grades. I can read better. I work better and faster. I can see a lot clearer. I am better in sports.

  • Margaret Anne Farrell – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    My daughter is 14 , learning disabled, with a neuromuscular disorder. It took the first two and a half years of her life to find a doctor who realized there was a “Development Delay.”

    Always having trouble with eye-hand coordination, she had problems reading, tracking, recognizing the same letter/words twice in a row, and mixing “b’s”, “d’s”, “p’s”, “6’s”, and “9’s.” It’s difficult for her to understand that the shape of a letter is always the same. Labeled as “lazy,” “stubborn,” “learning disabled,” and “trainable mentally retarded” makes it extremely hard to keep her self esteem where it should be. It takes time and patience to help her learn, but she can learn.

    I’d had her eyes tested, there was no eye disease, and she wanted to read! I kept asking questions and feeling that there must be some way to help her. I was finally given an optometrist’s name who was quite a ways away and after testing, he felt strongly that he could help. My insurance company would not cover the therapy unless recommended and given by an ophthalmologist, not an optometrist so I took her hoping for a referral. This doctor told me that the therapy would be of no help to her so, no referral, insurance coverage, or help.

    When I saw your article in the paper, my hope returned and I am looking to get a referral from our primary care physician for insurance coverage. I would like to see things change regarding vision therapy. Changes would be to add education for school administrators and teachers, screening/testing for all students including special education students, and education for insurance policy underwriters to include those changes in basic health coverage. Again, a big thank you for the hope that you’ve rekindled.

  • Kurt & Tenley Gritts – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Wow!! We’re finding it hard to put into words the gratitude we feel for what you have done to help our daughter Kaitlyn. thirty weeks ago life was very frustrating for our family as we spent hours each day trying to get Kaitlyn to sit down and finish her homework, trying to understand why she would not want to learn new skills, trying to control her emotional outbursts and temper tantrums, trying to find new ways for her to somehow enjoy reading rather than dread reading…..and the list goes on.

    We would have never dreamed it was an undetected vision problem. What a relief it was to find out there was help for her and us! The dedication you and your staff showed to Kaitlyn has a made a significant impact on her life, both emotionally and educationally. She now willingly gets her homework completed within 45 minutes. She is much more confident and willing to learn new things. she likes to read! although she is still behind in her grade level, her teacher has noticed that she has made good progress on her reading fluency and has definitely improved her ability to work independently. Her tutor has noticed that Kaitlyn can focus much better on her work. she is less easily distracted so she gets her work done quicker and more accurately.

    Admittedly the vision therapy program took a lot of work and dedication on Kaitlyn’s part too, but it was definitely worth it. she knows that she is very lucky to have been able to participate in your program. thank you for bringing confidence and tranquility to Kaitlyn’s life.

  • Doris Rosales, and her son, Michael – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Both my son and I were very frustrated and slipping off the knot at the end of the rope. He felt like he was missing something, felt stupid, like there was something wrong with him. I knew he was a bright boy, but I couldn’t figure out why he was failing classes, or why he was so angry all the time, why sometimes he could do great on his school work and tests, but most of the time he did poorly. It took us forever to get through his homework…many nights up ’till 10 PM when he was only in the 5th grade. Verbally, he knew the answers, but the major problem was getting it down on paper. I can’t tell you the people I’ve talked to, the doctors we’ve seen, the tests we’ve taken. We both felt so discouraged and didn’t know where to turn.

    In total desperation, we agreed to try the vision therapy for 8 weeks. Truthfully, I didn’t believe it could possibly work. After all, we had already tried everything else, and I had heard both pro and con comments regarding the effectiveness of vision therapy. Both the time commitment and the cost were obstacles that I couldn’t see how to overcome. Looking back, I can see that I was not the easiest client to work with. However, thanks to all of you, your persistence in following up and encouraging me initially, and then Michael, once we got started, was nothing short of amazing. Actually that was what me even venture to try the vision therapy. You believed in it so much! You just knew that Michael would have a better quality of life. You told me that we could tell in 8 weeks if the therapy would be effective. Even before the 8 weeks were up, Michael was breaking your office records. Imagine my shock when the doctors would walk past me in the waiting room and tell me how brilliant my son was. I actually looked around to see who you were talking to. In all my son’s short life, I had never heard those words. I can’t tell you the relief and appreciation I felt for validating what I had always known in my heart! Thank you!

    Truly, vision therapy has changed my son’s life. Now he WANTS to go to school. He participates in class. His confidence and self-esteem are just blossoming at the junior high age when most kids are suffering. He is excelling in sports. His peer relationships have improved. The coping skills he had learned throughout the years with poor vision are still serving him well. His memory is sharp and he articulates very well. It is just SO much easier for him to meet the classroom requirements and teachers’ expectations. His vision was so bad previously that he had to double the size of print just to make it clear enough to see. No wonder he had problems with vision related tasks: spelling words, composition and comprehension, math processing, seeing the fast moving balls in sports.

    We are very thankful that God placed us in touch with your office.

  • Darlene, Parker, Ward and Brenda Caldwell – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Just a note to thank everyone for helping and working with Erin and Timothy Caldwell in vision therapy. You are all quite unique and we thank you very much for all your efforts in helping them make improvement in all areas of their vision.

    Timothy came to you with very low self-esteem, a great deal of anger, discouragement, poor reading and math skill, and disliking school. Now, after thirty-six weeks of your excellent help, he is happy, smiling, laughing, doesn’t give up on a task, reading has improved so much, his math is not as difficult as it was, and he loves to go to school. Erin also overcame her low self-esteem, anger and discouragement. Her ability to read and spell improved greatly. Erin is now better prepared to enter the work force after graduating this year. They are both entirely different people. We

  • Bob and Pat Gradzki – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Nichole had a vision problem we didn’t know about. She is now a happy, well adjusted, teenager of fourteen today because we listened to someone who noticed the signs of a problem and decided to say something about it.

    Nichole’s kindergarten teacher noticed that she would make backwards 5’s and 9’s, had trouble writing “in the lines” and overall her writing was not readable. At Open House, she showed us her writing assignments and told us of her mannerisms.

    She also shared that her daughter had a vision problem and that Nichole might need to be tested as well. Her eyes were healthy with normal clarity and didn’t need glasses, but she had trouble aligning both eyes on a target and having them track together. This sent different messages to the brain and produces the symptoms she was exhibiting. Her brain needed to be taught to make her eyes work together. After 6 months, we could not believe the difference. She had made a giant leap forward. Most tests were in normal ranges and comparing her writing now and six months ago looked like two different persons.

    We are so happy and filled with gratitude for the blessing of her improvement. Her self-esteem has risen 300%. The therapist attributed her rapid improvement to taking action while she was young. She is now a teen with tons of energy, a vivid imagination and a zest for life. She loves who she is and her spirit always touches others in a positive way. Nichole might have been “labeled” but she has become a unique shining star that all children have the potential to be. Please be open and listen.

  • Cheryl Troyer – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    After the first 8 weeks of vision therapy, I noticed a huge difference in Sarah’s personality – she was happy! Now I am seeing (along with her teacher) a steady improvement in school work. Sarah’s effort in school along with her reading is improved. Sarah is also becoming more social and outgoing – she joins in. She is noticing new things around her and her tiny world is expanding. When out in a store, instead of me keeping “tabs” on where Sarah is – she keeps “tabs” on me. Family members have noticed her behavior and social skills improve. Her teacher is really pleased as we all are.

  • Pat Sidelinger – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    After the summer months, family members and friends alike have noted remarkable changes in Michael’s behavior. His maturity level, self-esteem and physical coordination has “greatly” excelled! Just over the past week my Mom said, “Mike is a pleasure to take shopping now. He is so mature.” Dad said, “I can’t believe Michael actually paid attention all day and was never corrected. He was fun to be with.”

    My friend said, “Michael has matured over the summer and athletically changed so much that he doesn’t seem to be the same child.” He plays baseball, swims, and started diving with ease. He met a very nice, timid and uncoordinated boy recently and Mike said, “That boy reminds me of myself last year!”

  • Teasie Witte – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    The major change that I have noticed is Liza’s attitude towards reading. Before having her eye problems diagnosed, she was overwhelmed with reading more than a short page at a time. Now she will read chapters at one sitting. I feel the knowledge that a problem exists and can be corrected has restored her self confidence.

  • Regan Price – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    I went through 9 months of vision therapy and have not regretted my decision. I am a commercial photographer and ever since I can remember I was frustrated with not being able to focus my camera and see street signs as clear as I wanted. With my profession demanding such fine detail, I had to do something. I went from checkup to checkup having 20/20 vision and still unable to see clearly. Finally, someone suggested “Vision Therapy!”

    Even though I still cannot see perfectly, the difference in my life and career has been tremendous. I am glad your organization is helping to publish the benefits of vision therapy. Now I know why school and reading were so difficult for me. All schools should have some sort of detection program for vision disabilities.

  • Scott C. Calkins – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Dear friends, a short note to thank you for helping me reach my goal of becoming an airline pilot. Through your program of personalized vision therapy, I was able to improve my vision adequately enough to pass some pretty tough eye exams; exams I could not have successfully passed otherwise. I will continue to recommend your services to fellow pilots with similar aspirations.

  • Kim Holley – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    When I started vision therapy, I was wearing glasses for reading, having headaches and some blurred vision while I worked. They started me on simple eye exercises daily to strengthen my eyes. After a couple of weeks, I could feel a change in how I was working.

    Now, after 4 months, I don’t wear my reading glasses anymore and the headaches and blurred vision are gone. I can see much clearer.

  • Ryan Burnett, Age 9 – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Getting my glasses has been one of the most important positive things that has happened. I probly (sic) would be a lot different if I never have gotten glasses. My grades probly wouldn’t have been as good, I wouldn’t be as good at sports, and I probly wouldn’t have as many friends if I never got glasses. Thank you for recognizing my eye problems when I was younger and fixing me.

  • Carolyn Ziegler – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Doug’s tracking has improved and as a result his reading rhythm is much smoother. I feel his level of self confidence has also increased to the extent that reading at school is no longer a nightmare for him.

  • Carleen E. Clearwater – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    In the beginning, I had troubles with tracking and changing or shifting my focus clearly. While reading, my eyes tired quickly and I soon saw double or blurry. This made it very frustrating to study. Due to my vision therapy, I no longer have troubles reading during school. The activities are simple and less time consuming. My visits were well worth it. I will be leaving for college in a year and it’s comforting to know that the hours of required study will be easier.

  • High School English Teacher – Saturday, October 20, 2007
    Imagine my horror to discover after 20 years of teaching high school English that there is something else I could be offering my nonreaders than “more of the same.” I have just finished watching your video tape “Vision Alert: 20/20 Is Not Enough,” lent to me by a student who has made some real improvement in the last two months after struggling for seventeen years with very little change.

    Please send me any information you can about your organization and the problems students have with vision and school. I can think of at least two students in each of my classes who might benefit from your program. Why haven’t I heard about it before now?

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