The following Vision Therapy Success Story comes to us from Morgan and her mom. After struggling to determine what was wrong with her daughter’s vision, Morgan’s family discovered vision therapy. Read her mother’s first-hand account of their vision therapy story!
I’d like to tell you about our daughter, Morgan. She’s a very bright and an extremely hard-working young lady. Beginning mid-year 1st grade she started mentioning that the words on her little reader pages would get fuzzy.
I took her to see our family ophthalmologist who gave her a complete eye exam. Well, at least at the time, I thought it was a complete eye exam.
The doctor said everything looked good and no glasses were required. We went home thinking everything must be good with Morgan’s eyes. Yet, Morgan continued to express seeing fuzzy words when reading but no problem when doing math. She’d occasionally flip flop letters and mix up her left and right directions. This led to even more confusion on our part.
I consulted with a dyslexia expert but wasn’t convinced that was Morgan’s problem. So back to the eye doctor we went. Again, she got a clean bill of health. We tried a second ophthalmologist for the third visit and still nothing.
Still my gut was telling me it was her eyes. Little did I know at the time “eyes” vs. “vision” are two completely different things!
I discussed it with Morgan’s teachers each year at conferences and no one seemed to understand what we were trying to explain. Two teachers said they could tell something was off slightly but nothing consistently jumped out at them. I was definitely feeling overwhelmed by not knowing where to turn.
Morgan continued to do well in school but had to work so hard and had to spend so much time on her homework. She loved to play the violin, but even it was becoming such a struggle when she went from Suzuki to traditional note reading. By now I was noticing a trend of problems occurring horizontally and not vertically. Remember, math wasn’t a problem.
Morgan now went to see a third ophthalmologist who did spend a great deal of time checking her eyes and listening to our concerns and examples but still found no problems with her eyes.
By this time, luck would have it and in stepped fate. A new principal arrived at Morgan’s school who had previously worked as a resource teacher. I thought it couldn’t hurt to ask the principal if she had ever seen or heard examples of this before. She almost immediately said it sounded a lot like a tracking issue.
I was overjoyed at the possibility that someone might be able to point me in the right direction even though I didn’t have a clue as to what we were getting ourselves into!
Remember how I mentioned fate? Well Morgan’s aunt, my sister, called right afterwards telling me about a conversation at a recent playgroup. It was about vision therapy and a mom describing the same tracking issues that Morgan was experiencing. Wow! I could hardly contain myself.
The internet search immediately began for articles on vision therapy and tracking issues. Little did I know that all this time I should have been taking Morgan to a specially trained behavioral optometrist and not to an ophthalmologist. I thought we were seeing the “eye expert” when we went to a medical doctor. I’ve learned a lot since then and now better understand the importance and differences between the two types of eye doctors.
As I began reading articles and looking for a “local” office, I ran across an office in Brookfield and thought the doctor’s name, Dr. Kellye Knueppel, and information sounded familiar. Morgan’s kindergarten teacher’s son had interned with the doctor from Brookfield. I went and spoke with Morgan’s previous kindergarten teacher, and she filled me in on some of the things they did at the office.
Still a little nervous about trying a relatively new field of therapy, I made the call and the appointment with Dr. Knueppel. We went for the preliminary testing which was very extensive and covered a lot of vision processing, not just a “traditional complete eye exam.”
I intentionally didn’t detail all that Morgan was experiencing on the parent questionnaire since I wasn’t completely convinced that this new therapy was proven. See, my husband and I both come from a more traditional science background where everything is tested and proven and documented. This therapy approach was almost a little too new for us.
When we met to go over Morgan’s results, I sat in amazement with how they were able to describe how Morgan was processing what she saw. They were putting words and examples to how she had been explaining what she had been seeing for the last couple of years.
The clincher was when they mentioned that they were surprised Morgan hadn’t complained of a particular situation with her vision. I began to cry because that was the piece I had intentionally omitted from the questionnaire. I knew we were in the right place.
Our long journey to get there had ended but our next steps to fixing the problems were just beginning. I won’t tell you it was easy. It’s a huge family commitment especially when you live over an hour away. There are weekly vision therapy sessions and home therapy exercises every night. However, the weekly triumphs and end results were all worth it.
I could never begin to express in words how wonderful the end results are. No more migraine headaches, no more hours spent on homework, no more scribbled handwriting, and no more illegible notes copied from the board. Now, there’s just a lot of relief in knowing what was wrong and that it’s fixed.
It’s awesome seeing Morgan curled up with a book and enjoying it. The worst thing now is that we have to tell her to put the book down and go to sleep. Gee, what an awful problem!
The most important thing I can stress to parents is don’t give up on trying to find out what’s the problem and how to fix it. We couldn’t give up because she wouldn’t give up! I think it’s worth it to call The Vision Therapy Center and to see what their doctors think they can do to help your child. We’re so glad we did.