Learning Difficulties

Our practice works to ensure your child is seeing as clearly and comfortably as possible.  Once your child is seeing properly then other professionals will be able to help your child read and learn.  We do not diagnose people with learning difficulties but we do help those who have been.

We have a special interest in binocular vision and work to fine tune the visual system so both eyes see clearly and comfortably.  Your child may be able to generally see well but there is something just not right.  We are able to identify small problems that have a big effect on their vision particularly for reading and learning.

You may have been told by a regular optometrist that your childs vision is fine but they are still having difficulties.  Sometimes a small vision problem is enough to make reading more difficult and lead to poor attention and comprehension.  Once your child starts to fall behind it is much harder to catch up.

We are able to detect and correct abnormalities in the visual system that make learning difficult. These abnormalities produce visual confusion as we get rid of the confusion it will allow the work of the teachers, occupational therapists, psychologists to be more effective.

Whilst there is some argument about whether certain learning difficulties are visual or auditory or both there is no doubt if you have a vision problem it will make it more difficult for therapy from other professionals to work as well as expected.  Its like being able to do exercise without one arm tied behind your back.

A comprehensive binocular (3D) vision assessment takes about an hour.  You may have found other eye examinations before to be very quick and whilst they might pick up the bigger issues it is harder for them to spend them time to assess your child thoroughly.  Our aim is to promote the right visual environment where both eyes work together to see clearly and comfortably.  The sooner this is corrected the sooner your child will start improving.

Commonly patients find our practice through word of mouth referral after:

  • Seeing a shopping centre optometrist
  • Seeing a behavioural optometrist
  • Being given vision therapy and eye exercises for months but it didn’t help
  • Being  given reading glasses but they didn’t work
  • Having a colour filter assessment
  • Being diagnosed with Dyslexia.

How many visits are required?

After the first examination we will see you again at 3 months when we can expect to see an improvement.  If you are doing well at 3 months we will see you every 6 months during the critical period up until year 7.  Once the vision has stabilised at that stage and if there are no problems a yearly review should be sufficient.

Why don’t we give exercises?

Because if there is some visual misalingment or stress in the visual system already the exercises make them strain.  Exercises can be used later when the visual system has been stablilised and any misalignment and stress corrected.

What do we aim to do?

Our method promotes binocular fusion where both eyes work well together.  Think of it as high definition 3D vision.  Without using both eyes together properly it is much harder to read and comprehend.

Other methods used elsewhere promote supression of one eye and you will lose access to half of your visual processing and neural capacity and can limit you for life.

How long before it improves?

Once you have provided the best visual environment then you have the best chance to adapt.

Some people recover quickly once we start treatment others take longer. It takes 3 years to create new neural synapses.

Our aim is to correct the misalingment so when there is creation of new synpases the right ones form and the wrong ones don’t.

How long do I need to wear the glasses for?

The demand on your visual system only increases with age with increasing reading and computer work.

If you have a misalingment that we have demonstrated that we can correct they do improve but can they do more without their glasses yes but they will only be at their best with the correction. You will be better without them but to be at your best you need to.

If your child starts taking the glasses on and off and say they don’t help anymore they may have started to improve their alignment and concentration.  Whilst they may be able to read more clearly/comfortable for a short time it is important to ask if their reading vision can be sustained for a longer period.  Even if the glasses only help a small amountthat would allow you to do more or get tired slower so you can work longer or concentrate harder.  The difference between being able to concentrate on reading for 10 minutes versus 20 minutes is enormous when you consider the effect on learning.