You may have heard about Behavioural Optometry but do you know what it means? If a child is not progressing as expected at school then their teacher may recommend an assessment by a Behavioural Optometrist.
A behavioural optometrist is an optometrist with expertise in the development of vision . Many vision problems remain unrecognized as people with clear sight (ie. ’20/20′ on a distance letter chart) can actually have vision problems! Only behavioural optometrists will check for visual dysfunctions thoroughly enough to pick up these visual problems.
First we take a thorough look at vision and eye health, then the efficiency of how well the eyes work together as a ‘team’ so that you can maintain symptom free and efficient reading, office work and sporting activities. Problems of Focussing, Eye Teaming, or Eye Tracking (broadly called Visual Dysfunctions) are then eliminated, or detected and treated.
If indicated, we assess Visual Information Processing skills, to determine how a patient is processing what they ‘see’. Visual Information Processing skills are required for reading development, math, good spelling and general day to day functioning. For example, to successfully read, we need to be able to simultaneously keep our place on the line of text (tracking skills) while keeping our focus on the page (focusing skills). In addition, we need visual spatial skills and visual discrimination to recognise subtle visual differences between letters such as ‘b’ and ‘d’ or the words ‘saw’ and ‘was’. We also require good visual memory skills for word recognition and copying tasks, such as writing, spelling and reading. Visual motor integration is another important skill in visual processing and involves using visual information to guide motor activity, especially fine motor skills such as writing and drawing.
If a deficiency is found in one or more areas of Visual Information Processing or Eye Teaming and Focusing skills, then this can be improved through Lenses and/or Vision Therapy. An individual Vision Therapy programme is prepared for each child/adult and the training is done on a weekly basis in-office over a number of weeks, with homework activities also done throughout the week.
All our optometrists at Berwick Family Eyecare are experienced Behavioural Optometrists, so if you think your child may have some issues with their development at school, or you are an adult with symptoms of fatigue/sore eyes/headaches, then contact us for a suitable appointment time.