Discovering Vision Therapy Blog

Her Symptoms of Dyslexia Turned Out to be a Vision Problem


How vision therapy changed Alli’s Life
We often feature success stories that have taken place here at The Vision Therapy Center.  However, these types of stories are happening every day, all over the world.  We are fortunate enough to have a guest post from Jenny Johnston, a mom who lives in Chico, California with her daughter Alli (that’s her in the photo on the right, with her sister Jill.)  Jenny is so passionate about vision therapy that she took the time to write this amazing post.  Please read, and share with your friends and family.

My name is Jenny Johnston and my daughter, Alli, has struggled to learn to read from the time we started homeschooling in kindergarten.  For such a BRIGHT kid, I did not understand why she was unable to read even the most simple sentences.  She could tell me words on flash cards (about 50 of them), but with the same words in a book, she would stare at the page as if it was written in a foreign language.

There were other problems, too (LOTS OF THEM).   She was ALWAYS exhausted doing schoolwork.  She was not capable of working for more than 10 - 15 minutes at a time.  When she had to copy a 5-word sentence for her daily lesson, she would be fine for about 5 minutes and then get incredibly tired, her eyes would be bloodshot and she would yawn endlessly.  It was heartbreaking, but I had no idea WHY this was happening.  I could see why kids were labeled ADD and LAZY, although I never said this to her, thank goodness.

I am proud to say that now, six months later, she no longer has any of these problems.   Actually, our whole world has been changed all because of vision therapy.  We have completed over 130 hours of vision therapy and I think the results speak for themselves.  

The most astounding results come from her being screened for Dyslexia using the Dyslexia Determination Test (DDT) test.  Six months ago (at the end of 1st grade) the results of the DDT showed:

  • Lower than Pre-Primer reading level (could not even give her a level she was so low)
  • Could identify only 40% of the words on a PRE-KINDERGARTEN sight list
  • Only one word could be used to test her spelling ability
  • She could spell phonetically only 30% of the time
  • Unable to spell any 2-syllable words phonetically
  • She was INCREDIBLY frustrated taking the test - stomping her foot and hitting her hand on the table
  • These results suggested that Alli had signs for all 3 types of dyslexia

Six Months ago, Alli could not read this without struggling and becoming tired....

How vision therapy changed Alli’s Life

 Last Friday - 5.5  months later, she was screened using this same test again (DDT). The outcome is much different. (Remember she will be STARTING 2nd grade.)

  • One word away from a 3rd grade reading level
  • ABLE to identify 70% of the words up to 3rd grade
  • 60% of words up to the 3rd grade were spelled phonetically correct
  • Several 2-syllable words spelled phonetically correct
  • No frustration, whatsoever.  She simply worked hard and sounded out the words
  • These results suggest that Alli is "normal" - no signs of dyslexia

This is a story she can read to me now.

How vision therapy changed Alli’s Life

If you would like to know more about this journey, I have documented all of it, starting with information and a video from exactly 9 months ago and ending with the new life we have post- vision therapy.  I encourage you, PLEASE, to share this link with as many people as you can.  I find it discouraging that MOST people have never heard of vision therapy and I would like that to change.

I tried EVERYTHING with Alli, to try and get her reading: I made games and puzzles, I bought every phonics book in the world, I read to her for HOURS every day, but none of that was going to fix the fact that she could not use her eyes correctly to SEE the things I was showing her.  Vision therapy did exactly that.  I will end with her words:


Here’s a link to Jenny’s blog, where she provides more info on Alli’s story.  Thank you Jenny!

Alli’s developmental optometrist is Dr. Anna Griffith at Family Eye Care

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