H.W. asks from Portland, OR on July 18, 2012
Questions for Moms Who Do Therapeutic "Home Work" with Their Children--vision
On Monday my son had a sensorio-motor evaluation with a vision therapist. He has problems with convergence (using his eyes effectively for near vision) and the visit was a good one. The therapist demonstrated/taught me some games/lessons to play with him and was great in handing off hard copies of each exercise.
Now that I have this, I've plugged it into a lesson plan of sorts, doing at least one game/exercise from each of three categories per day. Here is where I would love some insight or suggestions:
When a game (for example, rolling a marble across the floor for him to catch in a cup) has no set time limit, I had tried setting a goal: "Let's catch ten marbles" -- this goal turned out taking a very long time. Would it be preferable to just set a timer and do it as many times as we can (no specific goal) instead of a set goal?
Also, does it help to keep track of how many rolls it took vs. how many catches he made?
One other question, for those of you who might have helped your child with vision issues: is there a place to buy a better eyepatch, perhaps one that fits more securely? I've already tied a knot in the elastic to tighten it, but it's been a little tricky. (We also just got him a buzz cut, so the strap has nothing to 'hang on' to. )
Any insights are appreciated.
So What Happened?™
Thanks so much for the suggestions, everyone. Someone told me that they had done vision therapy with their kids for 25 minutes each day, so I suppose I had internalized some of that.
Jane, I appreciate your very specific comment regarding making sure he's keeping his eyes where they need to be, too. We are only going once a month to the therapist (due to distance and the fact that our insurance doesn't cover it). I'll see what feedback she gives me at the next visit.
S.H. answers from Honolulu on July 18, 2012
1) don't put a goal on it. To me, the "time" or "quantity" goal of it is not the point.
It is him practicing this exercise. It should be fun. Not a matter of "success" or "failure" due to the "time" or quantity of how many he got.
Just do it as many times as he can... per tiredness or just tiring of it. Then needing a break. Or so that he can realize, that there is an improvement, no matter how gradual or miniscule to doing it. Thus, he gets encouraged.
2) how does the therapist think about it? Does she/he want a quantified number of times, that he has to do it? Or per a timed session?
3) Does it really... matter per his condition, "how many times" or "how many rolls" or "how many catches" he made??? If not, then don't put those notions, on his learning "game."
4) Per the eye patch, you can buy, an elastic band (from a sewing store or craft store), a better one, and hand sew it onto your son's eye patch. Those default elastics they have on it, is, usually flimsy.
Or, hand sew onto it, 2... elastic bands. Thereby, it will be more able to stay on his head. Many face/mouth masks, has 2 elastics on it... which is then able to be placed on the head at 2 places.
My kids didn't have "eye" therapy. But my son had speech therapy. I used to practice with him, the many techniques/exercises that the Therapist taught us. But I didn't put quantity or timed restraints on my son's practicing.... we practiced, until he just needed a break or a change to another exercise. And he still, was able to notice, his own improvement. That in itself, "encourages" the child... instead of getting hung-up on "how many" or "how long" they did it for.
I don't know, just my idea.
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L.M. answers from Cleveland on July 18, 2012
walmart i think sells eyepatches that are like bandaids they stick on. and are disposable we decorated them with stickers.
I say now you know for next time that 10 is too many, try for 4. I"m not organized enough to keep track but you could make a little spreadsheet and do that.
definatley keep it fun, your voice and smile should show him every attempt is a good try.
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J.K. answers from Kansas City on July 18, 2012
My youngest son had vision therapy a few years back, and I hate to say it but I thought it was pure hell doing all the homework, so my suggestion is to time it, because doing 10 things in a row may take a different amount of time each time you do it. It is most important for him to keep his eye on the target and follow it, so as long as he is doing it correctly, I wouldn't write anything down unless the dr wants you to. You will be able to address any obstacles or concerns, or victories, with your doctor, I'm sure you will remember them because it is such a big deal when it happens!!! Our dr gave us a couple of extra eye patches also, so you may ask, or look online, or another suggestion is to look at a party store for a pirate patch, maybe even Walmart.
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