As a former teacher, Dr. Cline was in charge of teaching children through the system they learn the most. Eighty five percent of what a child learns in school comes through the visual system. Notice that I did not say the eyes. As a teacher I knew nothing about how the visual system works. It would be like working on an engine but not understanding how internal combustion works. Vision allows one to track, focus, use two eyes together to get one image, to understand and interpret what we see, draw what we see, and ultimately to use all these skills together at one time. Vision also allows us to know where we are in space, where someone else is in space, identify what we see in space, and then tell someone about it by use of the speech auditory system.
Assessing the visual system in detail can often reveal problems in various parts of the visual system. Tracking problems, focusing problems, eye teaming problems, perceptual problems, and visual motor problems can interfere with how a child learns. Have your child's VISUAL SYSTEM checked out today.
What are the Common Signs of a Vision Problem?
- Rubbing eyes
- Closing or covering an eye to read
- Holding books or reading material close
- Skipping lines and words while reading
- Difficulty copying from board to book
- Double vision
- Blurred vision
- Tilting or turning a head to read
- Headaches during or after school
- Short attention span
- Using finger to read
- Reduced reading comprehension
- Reversals of numbers or letters
If you notice any of the above signs, have your child's vision checked by an optometrist that works with vision related learning problems. Click here to access a Checklist for Possible Learning Related Visual Problems.
What is a Visagraph?
Research has shown eye movements are an important part of the reading act. The Visagraph is an instrument used to measure 4 variables of eye movements in the reading process.
- Number of fixations
- Number of regressions
- Span of recognition
- Duration of fixations
The number of fixations is the number of stops the eye makes while reading. The regressions are the number of times one backs up while reading. Span of recognition is how big a "visual bite" one can take. Duration of fixation is the amount of time spent on each "visual bite."
These variables have been normalized from 1st grade through 12th grade, so results can be compared to age matched norms. A high number of fixations and regressions for ones age may indicate a tracking problem.
Vision Therapist Becomes Board Certified
Kathy Cillessen completed board certification as a vision therapist in 2003. She had to have over 1000 clinical hours as a therapist under Dr. Cline, complete open book testing, a closed book exam, and oral testing to be certified. She attends conferences and training yearly to remain certified. Her back ground is in education.
When Mark first started vision-therapy my goal was to make reading easier for him. Reading was hard for Mark and only with a great amount of effort on his part and time on mine could he keep up with his class. He read to me every night and most of the time he ended up in tears. His eyes hurt, he was tired or he just didn't feel like reading. Now Mark loves to read-he picks up books and reads for long periods with no prompting. He has moved from the lower 20% of his class in reading to the top 10%. Mark worked hard during therapy sessions and at home and it paid off. I believe because of vision therapy everything in school will be easier. His confidence is so much better.
- Kathy S.
A letter from Jalen's parents after vision therapy.
Last year on the Kansas State Assessments, Jalen was at Academic Warning. With a lot of work from him, Kathy at vision therapy and his teachers, Mrs. Moran and Mrs. Riffel, Jalen made EXEMPLARY on his state assessments this year. I am such a proud mommy! They just finished with the state assessments yesterday and they have not been informed how they did, but a little bird knew how much this meant to us and gave me the news, of course I couldn't help but to tell him how well he did.
He told me that vision therapy changed his life, he also told me even though tomorrow (which is today) is his last day at vision therapy he knows that he has to continue to use the tools that he has learned that he will continue to apply them and improve not only this year but for the rest of his life.
I am with Jalen of not returning to the past where reading was such a struggle, when doing homework ended up with either me or him crying or one of us getting mad - or me having to set right next to him while he did his homework. (I am telling you those days were nightmares.)
We cannot express our gratitude to Dr. Reimer and Dr. Cockrell for sending us to Dr. Cline. Jalen truly enjoyed working with Kathy at Dr. Cline's office; she would get him motivated and encourage him, and gave him skills that he needed. Again thank you for giving him his self-confidence back.
- Rachel and Clay