strabismus, Vision Therapy

Post 3: Sessions 1 – 16


We made it through our first 16-sessions and finally had a check up with the optometrist last week.  Going to vision therapy twice a week for 8 weeks was definitely a change to our routine. Mac and I both stopped taking piano lessons because it was very challenging for us to keep up with piano practice and piano lessons – on top of all the appointments (and everything else in life, like homework, eating, sleeping and occasional fun!).

To be honest, our optometrist office kind of sucks.  For the first 16 sessions, they didn’t assign any homework which seemed like a waste because everything I’ve read says that progress is faster when homework is assigned.  The therapists also don’t talk to the parents at all. Your kid disappears into a treatment room where the therapist works with them — along with other kids (2-3 kids/therapist). And at the end of the hour your kid magically re-appears in the lobby. Most times, I didn’t even see the therapist he was working with to get to ask any questions about how he did. There’s no time to request a consult because as they send your kid out they call the next group of kids back. They run it like a train station.

And the 16-week check up was disappointing. The optometrist basically reported that Mac made no progress!  He said that Mac’s depth perception at near improved slightly but that there was no improvement in his vision at a distance.  He then said several other things that gave me pause including:

  • Basically he said it might take a “couple of years” to see any significant progress. Which was a complete departure from his previous assessment.
  • He also suggested that we might just want to work on this at home with some equipment instead of coming to his office.  That comment felt a little like he was trying to dismiss us as patients.
  • He did lots of hemming and hawing when I tried to get a straight answer about Mac’s prognosis.  He also never really gave a straight answer on how confident he was that this could be fixed (or significantly improved) with his vision therapy.
  • He then confessed that he never read Fixing My Gaze, which is a book that he highly recommended that I read.  He said he “hadn’t gotten around to it.” (What kind of crap is that? The book is a “game changer” in the field of optometry. It’s like finding out that your minister who told you to read The Bible didn’t have a chance to read The Bible).
  • Then he gave us a Brock String that was not a Brock String.  It was just a string. And he told us to tie knots in it and use a marker to make the knots different colors.  Again…what kind of crap is that?  Brock strings go for less than $10 on Amazon.  Then he gave instructions on how to use it and when I asked for clarification, he gave completely different instructions.  Anyway…the more the visit went on, the more I became 100% sure that he sucks at his job.

During this 16-weeks, I came to the conclusion that this practice is sub-par at best and I began researching other vision therapist who accept our insurance. And low and behold, there is another option!  The 16-week check-up and all of its terrible-ness reaffirmed that visiting another optometrist was in order and we got to see her less than a week later.

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