Hi, my name is Sharon Mischio, and I’ve been teaching for almost 20 years. I have taught first grade, fourth grade and middle and high school aged kids.
I first learned about vision therapy with my own child. My daughter, Anna, was in kindergarten when I first felt that something wasn’t right with her reading/writing development. She was reversing many letters, and not excited at all about learning to read. In fact she avoided reading at all costs. She also had lots of tummy aches.
Another thing that caught my attention was that she had trouble balancing on the low balance beams in her gymnastics class, and did not want to even attempt to learn to ride a bike or play catch with any type of balls.
Little did my husband and I know at the time, that these were all symptoms of a child with a vision issue.
When Anna entered first grade, school really became painful for her. Writing made her incredibly frustrated, as did attempting to read. Most of her classmates were passing her by, reading chapter books, and writing stories, while Anna was still reading very basic “Bob” books and reversing letters. Her writing also had an odd slant to it.
Finally one night as I was online doing research, thinking that maybe she was dyslexic, I ran into an article about undetected vision issues. Everything in the article described Anna perfectly! I decided to take her to a developmental optometrist and get her checked out. That’s when I met Dr. Knueppel.
It turned out that Anna had several different vision issues going on, and needed vision therapy. At the time, there was no office in Madison, just in Brookfield. So we drove to Brookfield each week for nine months to have therapy, and practiced at home each night. I always tell people, that even though it was one of the most difficult things we’ve had to do (the driving, the practice, the cost), I would do it again if I had to.
Anna’s life changed incredibly from the help she received in vision therapy. She went from being the lowest reader in her class to consistantly scoring in the 95 percentile or higher on reading standardized tests. It was amazing.
Now that I know and understand the signs of vision issues in kids, I can spot kids in my class who may have vision problems. I have suggested vision therapy to many families during the past four years. It has been amazing and wonderful to watch their children’s school lives turn around after they have spent some time in vision therapy.
This year I had two students in my fourth grade class who received therapy at The Vision Therapy Center. Interestingly, it was those two kids who made the most progress in their standarized test scores for reading.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about vision therapy. I am very happy to talk about it with you!