Vision Training - what is it and what does it do?
Optometric Vision Training is a treatment plan used to correct or improve specific dysfunctions of the vision system. It includes, but is not limited to, the treatment of strabismus, amblyopia, accommodation, ocular motor function, and visual-perceptual-motor abilities. Optometric Vision Training is a treatment plan used to correct or improve specific dysfunctions of the vision system. It includes, but is not limited to, the treatment of strabismus, amblyopia, accommodation, ocular motor function, and visual-perceptual-motor abilities.
Here at MPOC our Vision Training program is run by our BV specialist Dr. Cindy Ho
Optometric Vision Training works on the development of visual skills, such as:
- The ability to follow a moving object smoothly, accurately, and effortlessly with both eyes and at the same time think, talk, read or listen without losing alignment of eyes. This pursuit ability is used to follow a ball or a person, to guide a pencil while writing, to read symbols on moving objects, etc.
- The ability to aim the eyes at objects accurately and quickly, with both eyes, and at the same time know what each object is. This is a skill used to read words from left to right, add columns of numbers, read maps, etc.
- The ability to change focus quickly, without blur, from far objects to near objects and vice versa, repeatedly, effortlessly, and at the same time. This ability is used to copy from the chalkboard, to watch the road ahead and check the speedometer, to read a book or watch TV from across the room, etc.
- The ability to have both eyes work together as a team. This skill should work so well that no interference exists between the two eyes. Visual information from each eye should contribute equally when viewing objects. This shutting off of information to one eye lowers understanding and speed, increases fatigue and distractibility, and shortens attention span.
- The ability to see over a large area while pointing the eyes straight ahead. For safety, self-confidence and rapid reading, a person needs to see .the big picture.. This skill aids the ability to know easily where they are on a page while reading and to take in large amounts of information,(i.e. a large number of words) per look.
- The ability to see and recognize objects quickly. Efficient vision is dependent on the ability to see rapidly, to see and know an object, people or words in a very small fraction of a second. The less time required to see, the faster the reading and thinking.
- The ability to see in depth. A child should be able to throw a bean bag into a hat 10 feet away, to judge the visual distance and control the arm movements needed. An adult needs to see and judge how far it is to the curb, make accurate decisions about the speed and distances of other cars to be safe.
What is the relationship between Vision and Learning?
When a child reads, they do five keys things:
- See and Recognize the characters that form words - which in turn requires:
- accurate eye movements from word to word, across to next sentence/line
- stable binocular coordination such that both eyes aim in the same direction simultaneously
- stable accommodation such that both eyes maintain perfect focus while reading
- Remember the word the way it appears is imprinted in memory
- Use visual-auditory skills to sound out the words, out loud or silently
- Use visual-motor skills to write or copy the words accurately
- Extract meaning from the words to comprehend what is being read
How does Vision Training help with learning?
Children who have difficulties learning often get frustrated and develop coping mechanisms such as becoming distracted, inattentive, lose concentration, and have poor attention spans. If visual problems are contributing to learning difficulties, these behaviors may improve throughout Vision Training as the visual systems become more efficient and learning becomes less challenging.
Vision Training uses the principles of perceptual learning. The higher level visual processing areas in the brain maintain plasticity throughout our lives even into adulthood. Another good example of neural plasticity is the ability to re-learn motor skills after a debilitating stroke if an appropriate program of physiotherapy training is completed.
Please Note: Vision Training does NOT treat reading or learning difficulties but treats the visual deficiencies that are related to learning.