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Thread: Struggling reader (7yo) and vision therapy

  1. #1
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    Default Struggling reader (7yo) and vision therapy

    Hello,
    I was wondering if anyone has used vision therapy with their children. My 7yo (just turned 7), is still really struggling with reading. I had him evaluated by a teacher who does some testing for students. She did a simple test on his eyes and is concerned about his eye movement. His eyes are not tracking together left to right, in a circle or near far. She referred us to a therapist who specializes in this field. I didn't even know this field existed. Is there anyone who wouldn't mind sharing their experience with vision therapy and reading? My son is doing well mastering math but reading is just NOT happening. I switched from AAR to MP's phonics program this year in hopes that he just needed a change of pace. The teacher suggested I look at Sing, Spell, Read and Write. I hesitate to buy yet another phonics program. But I've never taught a child with these specific challenges, so I am looking for some input. Thank you so much.
    Laurel
    DD-11 yr MP 5
    DD-9yr MP 4
    DS-7yr K/1st-speech therapy
    DD-5yr SC-B Down Syndrome, daily therapies, and specializing in her life's work of being adored

  2. #2
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Struggling reader (7yo) and vision therapy

    When you switched from AAR to MP, did you begin using the SC 1 plans? If not, the SC 1 plans could be a less expensive add-on for you, rather than making yet another full switch.

    The SC 1 plans for Phonics & Reading can be purchased separately under Individual Subject Lesson Plans. Scroll to near the bottom of the page. They will give you more intensive and explicit phonics instruction with visual-tactile ways of learning and reviewing. These might not tax his eyes quite so much as using primarily paper-pencil/book exercises, yet this will allow him to continue the same phonics progression he will have in Traditional Spelling and in his reading practice for fluency.

    We never used vision therapy. I just wanted to make sure you knew about this alternate option for phonics and reading instruction.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Struggling reader (7yo) and vision therapy

    Quote Originally Posted by cherylswope View Post
    When you switched from AAR to MP, did you begin using the SC 1 plans? If not, the SC 1 plans could be a less expensive add-on for you, rather than making yet another full switch.

    The SC 1 plans for Phonics & Reading can be purchased separately under Individual Subject Lesson Plans. Scroll to near the bottom of the page. They will give you more intensive and explicit phonics instruction with visual-tactile ways of learning and reviewing. These might not tax his eyes quite so much as using primarily paper-pencil/book exercises, yet this will allow him to continue the same phonics progression he will have in Traditional Spelling and in his reading practice for fluency.

    We never used vision therapy. I just wanted to make sure you knew about this alternate option for phonics and reading instruction.
    Thank you for the reply. I will look at that. My youngest is using SC, and I have not looked ahead at what is available for older students. I will look at that! Thank you!
    DD-11 yr MP 5
    DD-9yr MP 4
    DS-7yr K/1st-speech therapy
    DD-5yr SC-B Down Syndrome, daily therapies, and specializing in her life's work of being adored

  4. #4
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    Sep 2016
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    small farm in Northern IN
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    Default Re: Struggling reader (7yo) and vision therapy

    Iíve had 3 children receive VT, one actually repeating currently (which is not typical but she needed reinforcement for a wandering eye issue). Weíve have a number of different issues from eye-teaming, field of vision, tracking and eye-to-brain messaging. Only the wandering eye was obvious from casual observation.
    Our VT lasts typically from 10 months to a yr, once a week in-office and then daily Home activities. Some of it stemmed from retained reflexes so there were activities to integrate those, some treatment was sitting in a dark closet staring at a red light followed by a green light (for field of vision). Then there was just eye-chart things you might expect, hand-eye coordination computer games, etc.
    but the big thing is, it made an amazing difference...math, handwriting, pleasure reading (silent and verbal), memory since they arenít struggling simply to figure out the words. Learning left-right, up-down orientations was great...learning how to mentally flip a figure and picture what it would look like...
    so for my 10-yr old last year, I took her out of Lit 5 for the VT year, put her back in SC2 phonics/reading so that we could firm up her phonics which were weak and would also take the stress off of reading. Now she has completed and rocked VT, is in Lit 6 and loves to read and crochet, math has improved greatly (in R&S 5) and her confidence is much better. She did not magically become an A student but she is a much more eager student and much less frustrated overall.
    Last edited by Hahcook; 11-12-2018 at 10:42 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Struggling reader (7yo) and vision therapy

    We did vision therapy with my twin boys, who had issues with convergence insufficiency and tracking.

    You'll want to find a developmental optometrist. (check here https://www.covd.org/)

    The testing is pretty involved --- series of exams, then you'll meet with the optometrist to discuss the results.

    A caveat --- I actually went to two different doctors. One suggested 18 -24 months of therapy; while the second doctor that we consulted gave me a timeline of 12 months.

    You'll have weekly therapy visits, and (more importantly) daily exercises at home.

    Like Hahcook mentioned, my boys' exams also revealed retained reflexes. (something we haven't addressed)
    DD #1 : 23, college GRADUATE
    DD #2 : 12 MP 7A - HLS Cottage School Louisville, MPOA
    DS #3 : 10, MP3M+Simply Classical4; HLS Cottage School Louisville
    DS #4 : 10, MP3M+Simply Classical4; HLS Cottage School Louisville
    DD #5: 6, MP 1 at HLS
    DS #6: 4, cutest caboose on the loose
    http://www.thekennedyadventures.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    FL
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    Default Re: Struggling reader (7yo) and vision therapy

    Quote Originally Posted by Hahcook View Post
    Iíve had 3 children receive VT, one actually repeating currently (which is not typical but she needed reinforcement for a wandering eye issue). Weíve have a number of different issues from eye-teaming, field of vision, tracking and eye-to-brain messaging. Only the wandering eye was obvious from casual observation.
    Our VT lasts typically from 10 months to a yr, once a week in-office and then daily Home activities. Some of it stemmed from retained reflexes so there were activities to integrate those, some treatment was sitting in a dark closet staring at a red light followed by a green light (for field of vision). Then there was just eye-chart things you might expect, hand-eye coordination computer games, etc.
    but the big thing is, it made an amazing difference...math, handwriting, pleasure reading (silent and verbal), memory since they arenít struggling simply to figure out the words. Learning left-right, up-down orientations was great...learning how to mentally flip a figure and picture what it would look like...
    so for my 10-yr old last year, I took her out of Lit 5 for the VT year, put her back in SC2 phonics/reading so that we could firm up her phonics which were weak and would also take the stress off of reading. Now she has completed and rocked VT, is in Lit 6 and loves to read and crochet, math has improved greatly (in R&S 5) and her confidence is much better. She did not magically become an A student but she is a much more eager student and much less frustrated overall.
    I really appreciate the encouraging report. I'm so happy your daughter has improved so dramatically. Therapies are a lot of work, so I know you must have worked hard at the homework they gave you. May I ask who helped you understand the retained reflexes diagnosis? Is the VT helping you with those exercises as well?
    Thank you for your reply!
    Laurel
    DD-11 yr MP 5
    DD-9yr MP 4
    DS-7yr K/1st-speech therapy
    DD-5yr SC-B Down Syndrome, daily therapies, and specializing in her life's work of being adored

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    FL
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    Default Re: Struggling reader (7yo) and vision therapy

    Quote Originally Posted by DiannaKennedy View Post
    We did vision therapy with my twin boys, who had issues with convergence insufficiency and tracking.

    You'll want to find a developmental optometrist. (check here https://www.covd.org/)

    The testing is pretty involved --- series of exams, then you'll meet with the optometrist to discuss the results.

    A caveat --- I actually went to two different doctors. One suggested 18 -24 months of therapy; while the second doctor that we consulted gave me a timeline of 12 months.

    You'll have weekly therapy visits, and (more importantly) daily exercises at home.

    Like Hahcook mentioned, my boys' exams also revealed retained reflexes. (something we haven't addressed)
    Thank you for this information. May I ask if you used SC or Classical Phonics for your boys' phonics/reading/writing? Since it sounds like our boys have had similar issues, I'd be interested in your experience.
    Blessings,
    Laurel
    DD-11 yr MP 5
    DD-9yr MP 4
    DS-7yr K/1st-speech therapy
    DD-5yr SC-B Down Syndrome, daily therapies, and specializing in her life's work of being adored

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Struggling reader (7yo) and vision therapy

    Quote Originally Posted by Muddlingthrough View Post
    Thank you for this information. May I ask if you used SC or Classical Phonics for your boys' phonics/reading/writing? Since it sounds like our boys have had similar issues, I'd be interested in your experience.
    Blessings,
    Laurel
    We actually used Simply Storytime Treaures for literature, Simply Classical Writing, and then for phonics/spelling, we used Barton Reading and Spelling. At that time, I suspected dyslexia with my twins. (later finding out that one has dyslexia while his brother has auditory processing disorder.)

    Once we finished Simply Storytime Treaures, we moved right into MP 2.
    DD #1 : 23, college GRADUATE
    DD #2 : 12 MP 7A - HLS Cottage School Louisville, MPOA
    DS #3 : 10, MP3M+Simply Classical4; HLS Cottage School Louisville
    DS #4 : 10, MP3M+Simply Classical4; HLS Cottage School Louisville
    DD #5: 6, MP 1 at HLS
    DS #6: 4, cutest caboose on the loose
    http://www.thekennedyadventures.com

  9. #9
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    Mar 2012
    Posts
    2,249

    Default Re: Struggling reader (7yo) and vision therapy

    Quote Originally Posted by Muddlingthrough View Post
    Thank you for this information. May I ask if you used SC or Classical Phonics for your boys' phonics/reading/writing? Since it sounds like our boys have had similar issues, I'd be interested in your experience.
    Blessings,
    Laurel

    Just to clarify, Laurel, SC Phonics/Reading includes Classical Phonics. SC Phonics/Reading also includes First Start Reading.

    Links to some resources Dianna mentioned: Simply Classical Storytime, Simply Classical Writing.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2016
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    small farm in Northern IN
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    Default Re: Struggling reader (7yo) and vision therapy

    The VT we have gone through is the one who identified the retained reflexes and part of my DD3ís therapy is to integrate that. They are walking us through that process which should help to eliminate her wandering eye. She is only scheduled to be in VT for 6 months.
    DD1 & DD2 are both in bifocals long-term to help them maintain their focusing abilities.

    As was stated by Diane...there is vast difference in therapists, costs and length of treatment. We drive a distance but have been very impressed with our experience and results. And it is certainly hard to get to the therapy each day but it pays off in results. But the child has to be on board or it is wasted time & money.
    Regards,
    Hollie

    2018-19:
    4 family co-op using MP materials
    DD & DS - 9th: MPOA: TFL, Algebra I, Ref/Con; Novare Intro to Physics, 9th Lit, Light to the Nations I
    DS - 6th
    DD - 6th with a backtrack to SC3 phonics/spelling/reading
    DD - 5A, 5th Lit.
    DD - 2nd
    DS - 3yrs - pre-school when he will sit still
    Using MP complete since 2016-17; bits and pieces for many years previous

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