Children with autism can have developmental issues with any of their senses, including vision. An ASD child may have 20/20 vision, but may also have hand/eye coordination difficulties which result in developmental vision delays. Various signs of vision issues may include: poor reading comprehension, inability to read, behavioral problems, inability to look at objects, speech and language delays, short attention span, letter reversal, and poor memory. Behavioral Optometrists are specially trained optometrists who offer vision therapy for older children and prism eye glasses for younger children who are unable to do vision therapy.
VT is an important therapy that may improve attention and comprehension. This is especially true for those with limited language skills and severe auditory processing issues. Higher functioning children on the spectrum may find that VT can make the difference between being in a special needs classroom or a regular classroom.Vision therapy typically takes place once or twice a week in a doctor’s office, supplemented with 15-30 minutes per day of home therapy to reinforce skills. While improvement is often seen in a month or so, therapy frequently continues for an average of three to nine months, and sometimes for as long as a couple of years, depending on the child and the severity of the visual dysfunction, to stabilize and solidify learned skills. At the heart of vision therapy are activities individually designed to teach a person’s eyes to move, align, fixate and focus as a team. The brain learns to coordinate new messages from the eyes for improved perception and cognition. Vision therapy tools include lenses and prisms (sometimes colored or tinted), balance boards, walking rails, chalkboards, balls, beanbags, computers, metronomes, and paper and pencil, all used in the context of movement. During vision therapy, learning to use the eyes together first requires a conscious effort. The ability to perform complex visual-motor activities – like skiing or writing – develops gradually. The ultimate goal for children is to learn to use their two eyes together so their right and left hemispheres in the brain process language and comprehension simultaneously. This needs to occur in order to integrate vision with movement and other senses effortlessly and automatically.
Description: This is the web site of Dr. Leonard Press. Dr. Press has been recognized internationally for his work in the field of learning-related vision problems. He has many patients on the autism spectrum and his web site discusses vision related symptoms and treatments for children with autism.
Minnesota Vision Therapy Center
Description: Minnesota Vision Therapy Center is a nationally recognized leader in both diagnosis and treatment with functional vision problems.
Some forums require you to sign in to Yahoo or Facebook to locate forum names.
Forum/Blog Name: Vision Therapy Changed My Life
Description: This Facebook group was created for the purpose of individuals to share their own personal experience with vision therapy.
Forum/Blog Name: Vision Therapy — A Place To Talk About Vision Therapy
Description: This club is for all those interested in or doing vision therapy.
Forum/Blog Name: Vision_Therapy
Description: This Yahoo group for parents, teachers, doctors, and others interested in vision therapy. Vision therapy is performed by behavioral optometrists to treat binocular vision problems such as amblyopia, strabismus, lazy eye, wall eyes, etc.
Forum/Blog Name: Vision Therapy Parents Unite
Description: This Facebook group was created to raise awareness of the benefits of vision therapy.
Forum/Blog Name: DIY Vision Therapy
Description: This Facebook group is for individuals looking to share their own experience and methods in vision therapy.
Forum/Blog Name: An Autism Journey and Vision Therapy
Description: A mom with a child with autism tells her success story about vision therapy.