Highline Vision Center
Highline Center For Vision Performance

Vision Skills & Vision Therapy


Why can we help so many seemingly various conditions with Vision Therapy? It’s all about the eye-brain connection.

Vision is a Learned Skill

Vision is a learned skill that develops along with other skills as a baby grows. Movement and vision are significantly interrelated and the development of vision has to do with the types and varieties of experiences a child has.

It is important to remember that the eyes are part of the brain system. The eyes “see” but the brain “interprets.” A person can have 20/20 eyesight, which measures visual acuity at a distance, and still have a visual skills problem making near work — like reading, writing, or using a computer — extremely difficult. In fact, seeing 20/20 is just one of 20 visual skills necessary to succeed in reading, learning, sports, and in life.

20 Visual Skills



Most visual skill deficiencies reveal themselves when a child enters school because the learning environment is increasingly more demanding of young learners. One out of four children have undiagnosed vision problems. If you’ve ever heard a parent say, “My child is so smart but still, he struggles in school and every day, homework is a battle!” you are hearing a common pain felt by parents of kids who have undiagnosed vision problems. The truth is, once the visual barrier is removed, these kids love school and love to learn.


Adults who have managed to graduate high school in spite of a vision skills problem may not pursue college or may drop out early because the demanding workload for reading is just too much. These incredibly smart adults become very skilled at avoiding reading in their personal life as well as at work — and it’s no wonder when reading can be physically painful and exhausting for them! When you consider how few jobs there are that do not include working on a computer, it is easy to see why an adult who suffers from a vision skills problem may have limited career choices and growth opportunities. Learn more about how we help adults with visual skill deficiencies.


Because good vision is a learned skill it is also a skill that can be enhanced. High school graduates who want to optimize their reading and comprehension efficiency can benefit from Vision Therapy. Our customized programs prepare college students in a way that no other type of college-prep can: By enhancing the eye/brain connection. When visual efficiency, comfort, and stamina is at it’s peak, students can learn faster, easier, and work longer more comfortably than ever before. These skills support learning while in school and professional success for a lifetime.


Sports Vision Training is a secret weapon of professional athletes that they never talk about. As you know, the skills difference is very small between successful athletes and those who don’t make the cut so fine-tuning all areas of play is critical.

Further developing vision skills improves:

  • reaction time
  • focusing speed
  • eye tracking
  • peripheral awareness
  • visual processing speed
  • eye/hand coordination
  • and clutch concentration

We have helped high-school students improve their sports performance to levels that allow them to receive scholarships for college and then move on to pro teams. We have helped aspiring young athletes early in their sports career gain an edge in their performance. We even help weekend warriors improve their game just for bragging rights. Whatever level you play, Sports Vision Training will give you an edge.

BONUS: Athletes that complete our Sports Vision Training also report improved learning and performance in the classroom as a result of improved visual skills.


When you understand the vital connection between the eyes and brain for seeing, comprehension, and coordination it is easy to realize how a traumatic brain injury, such as a stroke or concussion, can disrupt or distort the flow of information from the eyes to the brain. When vision problems due to a brain injury go untreated, the rehabilitation process can be adversely affected. It is absolutely imperative that any rehabilitation program includes a thorough evaluation of the performance of the visual system.

Ready to Schedule An Appointment?

The Highline Vision Center team is looking forward to seeing you soon. Our practice utilizes state-of-the-art technology to deliver personal and comprehensive eye care for your entire family.

Twice Exceptional: Gifted & Talented Kids Who Struggle

Children whose academic performance is significantly advanced compared to others their age are categorized as gifted. Yet, educators who work with children and teens identified as Gifted and Talented understand that though these students may be exceptional in some academic work, they may struggle to learn in other areas of study. It can be extremely hard to identify these kids as their giftedness can allow them to compensate in the areas in which they struggle. They are also most likely to work extra hard to compensate for a learning dysfunction they are intuitively aware of but struggle to express to parents or teachers. These kids are often referred to as Twice Exceptional.


Mitch was identified as Gifted and Talented as early as First Grade. This isn’t surprising considering he was reading by the age of two. But by middle school, he began acting out at school and at home. His pediatrician diagnosed him with ADD/ADHD and prescribed medication.

Mitch’s mom, Denise, says, “As parents, we resisted medicating Mitch. But by 6th grade, we felt out of options. We just needed something to help us get through social situations, school, and the acting out.”

However, Denise, still didn’t feel right about the ADD diagnosis. When he advanced to his Freshman year, his struggles seemed to grow.


“He could verbally answer homework questions with me just fine,” Denise says, “but he would break into tears when I asked him to write it down. It seemed like a temper tantrum.”

She says his eye doctor gave Mitch proper prescription lenses but never picked up on any vision issues. School testing continued to give no answers.

“I always felt like something just wasn’t right but couldn’t put my finger on it,” says Denise. Mitch, a self-professed math and science geek, went to one 3D movie and never wanted to go see another. He got motion sickness all the time. He expressed no interest in wanting to learn to drive. They had to find as many of his schoolbooks as possible as audio downloads because he could learn by listening.

But these cues are difficult to connect if you don’t know that visual performance skills are different than 20/20 sight. Kids who suffer don’t realize that they are seeing things differently than everyone else. They don’t know how to express the problem with how their eyes are functioning.


Finally, after a friend heard Denise’s concerns, she referred her to Highline Center for Vision Performance (HCVP). They quickly made an appointment to take advantage of the complimentary Vision + Learning Screening.

“Mitch lit up when they began asking him questions,” says Denise of the initial consultation with HCVP. “I could see his relief that someone finally understood. His self-esteem improved almost immediately just knowing that he could be helped.”

Tests went on to reveal that Mitch’s reading efficiency were at a 3rd grade level. His tracking speed (one of 20 measurable visual skills) was higher – at an 8th grade speed – but at only 50% comprehension. In order to achieve “quality” comprehension, he dropped down to a 5th grade speed. It’s no wonder he struggled with his high school studies!

Denise was thrilled with her visit to Highline and with Mitch’s response. However, the family pediatrician thought Vision Therapy was fake and discouraged them from participating. Regardless, Denise was certain they were on the right track and moved forward with Vision Therapy anyway.


Mitch was highly motivated to do his Vision Therapy homework and graduated within five months at which point his reading efficiency was at grade level 13.6 (a freshman in college) and his reading comprehension went up to 90%.

Denise says, “About ¾ of the way through Vision Therapy, he was able to complete schoolwork in the classroom so he was bringing home less work. It was amazing! His eye muscles were keeping up with his intelligence. Everything in school is easier now. There are no more meltdowns.”

Now, Mitch is a typical teenager eager to drive and loves seeing movies in 3D. His writing has improved dramatically and he continues successfully in his school’s Gifted and Talented program.


Currently, Mitch’s pediatrician still believes Vision Therapy is a hoax and that Mitch just outgrew his ADD.

Denise believes that Mitch’s behavioral issues were related to his undiagnosed vision disorders. They are currently considering taking him off his medication.

“His medication is a non-stimulant and is short lived in his system,” says Denise. “Before Vision Therapy, we could always tell at the end of the day that it was wearing off because that’s when his behavior would change. However now, we don’t have the meltdowns anymore and Mitch has confessed that he often doesn’t take it over the weekends anymore and we don’t even notice.”

Highline, often sees students who have vision disorders and are misdiagnosed with ADD/ADHD. In Mitch’s case, Dr. Jeri Schneebeck is convinced that Mitch’s acting out was from his frustration.

“You have this incredibly intelligent person who is trying so hard to keep up with his peers and failing – it’s no surprise that he had outbursts,” says Dr. Jeri. “Once we begin improving vision skills by teaching the eyes and brain to coordinate, it’s like a weight is removed and he can finally move forward. It’s a joy to see.”

“The frustration and inability to communicate that there is a problem is simply overwhelming to these kids,” adds Nancy Stevens, Vision Therapist at HCVP. “But we find, time and time again, that once they successfully complete Vision Therapy, they are happier in every facet of their lives. The ability to successfully learn opens up their future in incredible ways.”

Mitch’s mom, Denise, continues to be a vocal advocate for Vision Therapy and shares her story frequently with other parents who have smart kids that struggle in school.

Ready to Schedule An Appointment?

The Highline Vision Center team is looking forward to seeing you soon. Our practice utilizes state-of-the-art technology to deliver personal and comprehensive eye care for your entire family.

Education is an investment: Is your student ready?

College demands are high and failure is expensive

  • One in every four students will drop out of college before completing their second year.
  • Those who participate in student loan programs must repay loans in full regardless of whether or not they complete college.
  • Students who fail out of college or their vocational technical studies face a future with fewer choices and career opportunities.

The change in scholastic demands from high school to college is a dramatic one. Your student may have earned great grades in high school with only moderate effort. In college or tech school, he/she will need to plan on greater amounts of reading and spending longer hours studying than ever before.

Many students have mild visual performance problems that cause them significant effort meeting this increased demand. It can make the student appear to be academically underprepared when in reality it is a physical problem causing the difficulty.

College level reading demands are exponentially greater than the demands in high school.

Note that not one of the visual problems listed below as a factor in slow reading is blurry vision!

  1. Word-by-word reading – not seeing groups of words together.
  2. Poor eye movement control – inaccuracy in tracking across a page, losing place, etc.
  3. Repetition – unnecessary or unconscious re-reading of material.
  4. Comprehension or test anxiety – causing a student to intentionally read more slowly.
  5. Slow reading habits – in which a student can’t read faster because they always read slowly.
  6. Poor determination of what is important and what is not.
  7. Excessive memorization rather than remembering selectively.

Highline Center for Vision Performance Can Help!

Preparing for college by studying for and taking the four-hour college entrance examinations (ACT or SAT) is a visually demanding task. We can help your student be more successful in this endeavor and offer free Vision & Learning Screenings for college bound students.

Often, slow reading is related to performance based visual problems. These difficulties are not typically diagnosed in routine eye examinations where eye health problems and refractive errors (need for glasses) are checked. Note that not one of the things listed above as a factor in slow reading is blurry vision!

“I have been able to take tests faster and get better scores than I had before vision therapy. Before, I was reading at a first grade level with 60% comprehension, after VT I was reading at a college level with 80% comprehension. I trust that VT is one of the best things I have done because it moves me forward in school and gets me closer to my academic goals to go to college.” 

—  Jay, High School Sophomore

Save expense and heartache

Even high achieving students can have visual skills deficiencies. These students have devoted extra time and effort on homework while in high school in order to succeed. Struggling students may be working even harder to maintain average grades however, college and vo-tech training will demand more work in less time. Our visual training programs can make learning more efficient and give more stamina to the task of learning to ensure academic success with less effort!

Highline Center for Vision Performance offers a complimentary performance based screening which includes a specific test for faulty eye movements.

When problems are discovered, we offer a customized training program that addresses specific visual skills deficiencies. We have time to make this happen before your student begins testing or heads off for college.

Call us now to schedule your complimentary Vision & Learning Screening: 303-325-2014

Ready to Schedule An Appointment?

The Highline Vision Center team is looking forward to seeing you soon. Our practice utilizes state-of-the-art technology to deliver personal and comprehensive eye care for your entire family.

Virtual reality takes Vision Therapy into the future

Highline Center for Vision Performance is proud to now include Vivid Vision, a virtual reality (VR) based therapy, to our digital toolbox. We are currently one of only five vision clinics in the state of Colorado to offer this new technology to our vision therapy patients. Not only is this new tool fun, it’s yielding faster results in many patients.

What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality is a system connecting computers, trackers, and goggles together to create an immersive visual (and sometimes auditory) experience. Small screens are positioned in front of each eye that project images that make it seem like you are moving through a different reality – one in which you can interact. Users hold controllers that allow them to steer through virtual environments and affect specific elements programmed for interaction. You can play games, visit far away places, and learn new skills.

Because binocular vision problems almost always include a reduced or inability to see in 3-D, VR and vision therapy are a perfect match to enhance visual skills.

Vivid Vision changes the game

Vivid Vision is a new software that utilizes VR technology to create customized vision therapy exercises for children and adults with binocular vision problems. Vivid Vision helps train the eyes, brain, and body to all work together. The screens within the goggles project separate images to each eye that the brain fuses into a single image, just like in the real world. That is what provides a sense of depth and motion.

In particular, Vivid Vision supports other vision therapy approaches to treat:

Why is virtual reality important for Vision Therapy?

Vivid Vision is precise and allows our vision therapists to adjust the images projected to each eye independently in order to train specific visual skills. The images can be controlled in terms of brightness and clarity according to specific needs.

Take the Pepper Picker game, for example. When the VR goggles are on, patients see the hand-held controllers as a pair of hands they can move. Pulling the trigger on the controller allows the user to grab items they see in the VR environment. Once in the game, users are standing between several tall plants with big leaves and in front of them is a list of vegetables that they must find by searching through the leaves. The goal is to find the specific vegetables on the list in order and in proper quantities.

Sounds easy, right? Here’s where the game gets high-tech: one eye is being shown the vegetables and the other eye sees only the hands. This forces the eyes to work together to see the whole picture and pick the veggies. Therapists can make small adjustments to various details of the scene in order to challenge each patient uniquely.

Other exercises challenge depth perception. The Bubbles game challenges users to pop bubbles that appear in front of them by reaching out to touch them with an index finger. The goal is to pop the bubble that is closest to you first. As the game progresses, therapists will gradually move the bubbles closer and closer together so the eyes and brain learn to recognize smaller and smaller deviations in visual depth.

Another game challenges depth perception at distance by asking users to use a squirt gun to hit various carnival targets. The rules require the player to hit targets closest first. As with every exercise, therapists can change details on-the-fly to keep them challenging and advance visual skills development.

Vivid Vision at home

Another exciting opportunity Vivid Vision allows is for *home vision therapy. Most vision therapy appointments take place in our office with a patient working one-on-one with their vision therapist. However, sometimes it is necessary for a vision therapy session to happen remotely and Vivid Vision is a natural fit for distance sessions.

*Highline Center for Vision performance recommends only using the Vivid Vision software under the guidance of a certified vision therapist. Vivid Vision is only one component to our robust vision therapy program that is customized for every patient.

Ready to Schedule An Appointment?

The Highline Vision Center team is looking forward to seeing you soon. Our practice utilizes state-of-the-art technology to deliver personal and comprehensive eye care for your entire family.

Amblyopia: Causes & Treatments

Amblyopia, often called “lazy eye,” is a treatable disorder of vision development that begins during infancy and early childhood. With amblyopia, an otherwise healthy eye is unable to achieve normal visual acuity (20/20) even with glasses or contact lenses. In addition to poor visual acuity, people with amblyopia are more likely to have difficulties with eye-hand coordination, clumsiness, reading, depth perception and understanding what is seen.

In most cases, only one eye is affected but it may occur in both eyes. According to the National Institute of Health, amblyopia is the most common cause of visual impairment among children in the United States and is estimated to affect 3.5% of the US Population, despite being preventable with early diagnosis.

Clues that your child may have amblyopia include crying or fussing when an eye is covered or if the child constantly turns their head to the right or left.


There are three types of amblyopia, based on the underlying cause:

  • Strabismic amblyopia:  This is the most common cause of amblyopia. Strabismus is also known as an eye turn. To avoid double vision caused by poorly aligned eyes, the brain ignores the visual input from the misaligned eye and vision fails to develop properly. If you notice your baby or young child has crossed eyes or some other apparent eye misalignment, schedule a comprehensive eye exam immediately.
  • Refractive amblyopia: Amblyopia may be caused by unequal refractive errors in the two eyes, despite perfect eye alignment. For example, one eye may have a significant prescription while the other does not. The brain relies on the eye that has better vision and “tunes out” the blurred vision from the other eye. It can also occur in both eyes when they each have a high uncorrected prescription.
  • Deprivation amblyopia: This is caused by something that obstructs light from entering a baby’s eye, such as a congenital cataract or droopy eyelid (ptosis). Prompt treatment of the obstruction is necessary to allow normal visual development to occur.

Young children with amblyopia rarely have any symptoms. Comprehensive eye examinations are the best way to identify patients with amblyopia or those who are at risk for developing amblyopia. According to the American Optometric Association, children should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age.


In some cases of refractive amblyopia, normal vision may be achieved simply by wearing prescribed glasses or contact lenses. Usually additional treatment is required to stimulate the brain to use the amblyopic eye and enable proper visual development.

Vision therapy is a structured program of activities prescribed to improve visual abilities and acuity. It trains the eyes and brain to work together more effectively and reinforces the connection to the amblyopic eye. During certain activities, the better seeing eye will need to be blurred in order to encourage the brain to pay more attention to the amblyopic eye. This may be done with special fogging patches.

The latest research demonstrates that binocular vision therapy is the most effective long-term solution for amblyopia. Full time patching is rarely the best option for treatment of mild to moderate amblyopia. If patching is indicated, most cases of amblyopia will show improvement with just 2 hours of fogged patching per day in combination with specific visually stimulating activities. For additional resources, please visit www.amblyopiaproject.com.


Amblyopia will not go away if left untreated and can lead to permanent visual problems. An injury or disease in the better seeing eye in the future will leave the person depending on the poor vision in their amblyopic eye, so it is best to treat amblyopia as early as possible.

Modern amblyopia treatments may improve vision in older children and adults, but early detection and treatment is the best chance for normal visual development and optimal visual outcomes.

In addition, best corrected visual acuity of worse than 20/40 in the better eye may require a person to have a restricted driver’s license in Colorado. This could mean a number of restrictions, including no driving at night or during rush hour, no freeway driving, a restricted geographical area the person must stay within and requiring the addition of extra mirrors to the vehicle.

Protect your vision for life! Call Highline Vision Center to schedule a comprehensive eye exam today.

Ready to Schedule An Appointment?

The Highline Vision Center team is looking forward to seeing you soon. Our practice utilizes state-of-the-art technology to deliver personal and comprehensive eye care for your entire family.

Vision Therapy: Weeks Four through Six

We’ve been busy practicing vision therapy at home amongst other things and I’m very excited to share with you that Nolan is making great progress in vision therapy.  Not only are we starting to see changes in how he is progressing through the various exercises, but we are seeing a positive impact in his everyday life.

“Good thing I’m doing vision therapy Daddy, or I would’ve probably knocked that over.”


I mentioned previously that one of the reasons we started vision therapy was because we felt that Nolan was somewhat clumsy, often knocking into things. Nolan’s job after dinner is usually to clear the plates from the table… something that used to make me cringe as I waited for him to drop or knock something over. Well, just the other night, he successfully lifted his plate up and over his sister’s ill-placed glass, and then proudly stated, “Good thing I’m doing vision therapy Daddy, or I would’ve probably knocked that over.”  Yes!  I was so excited not only to see this change but to know that he was seeing it as well.

In addition, Nolan surprised me at a recent vision therapy session.  There’s a game that we have called Squap.  It’s basically a catch and throw type game that uses paddles and a ping pong ball.  It’s actually fairly challenging. I was surprised not only that Nolan chose to try it with Ariana, but that he actually was able to catch the ball consistently. Catching is one of the things that Nolan really wanted to improve on, and it’s exciting to see him making progress at things that are important to him.

Progress is important to see. And it’s especially important to us as both parents and optometrists that we help our children not only excel at activities in vision therapy, but that we help them to translate those things into everyday life. Seeing these improvements helps us and our patients gain the motivation to continue working hard to get the best results possible!

Nolan plays Squap with Ariana.

Ready to Schedule An Appointment?

The Highline Vision Center team is looking forward to seeing you soon. Our practice utilizes state-of-the-art technology to deliver personal and comprehensive eye care for your entire family.

Vision Therapy Triumph: Elliot

Elliot, like many students, thought that his classroom struggles could be overcome by hard work alone. As a senior in high school he received a Vision and Learning Screening as recommended by Dr. Doyle, his Highline optometrist. He was then able to understand just how adversely his visual skills affected his learning. The screening revealed his reading comprehension was just 30 percent.

Reading is one of the most challenging aspects of education for school-aged children. It’s also one of the most important considering some amount of reading is required in nearly all subjects. Add a vision deficiency and reading can become an extremely anxiety-inducing part of the school equation.

For Elliot, reading was a struggle for most of his school life. When he read, Elliot would find himself going back over the same lines of text multiple times.

“I would read the first three words or so and then go back,” he recalls. “I was having to read words over and over in order for them to make sense.” Elliot

In 2012, when Elliot was in the 8th grade, his Highline eye doctor prescribed Vision Therapy but, at the time, he and his parents were not convinced his problems learning were related to his vision. Most tasks would take him considerably longer than they should. He was also performing poorly on tests.

“It was frustrating because I would study for tests and my mom would quiz me and I would do great,” he says. “I understood the material but when it came time to take the test, the questions I was reading wouldn’t make sense.”

It wasn’t until the beginning of his senior year, in 2018, that Elliot and his mom decided it was time to do something about his vision to address the problems he was having with reading and comprehension. At that time he had developed headaches when reading.

Taking Action

Nancy Stevens worked with Elliot as his vision therapist.

Elliot’s optometrist, Dr. Nick Doyle, prescribed glasses and a course of Vision Therapy. Vision Therapy works to enhance the eye/brain connection. When visual efficiency and comfort are optimal, students can comprehend information faster and work on tasks longer and more comfortably.

In Elliot’s case, a Vision and Learning Screening from Highline Center for Vision Performance revealed that his eyes were not converging properly. Because of poor convergence, also referred to as eye teaming or binocular vision, his reading comprehension was adversely impacted. Convergence is just one of the 20 vision skills that can impact overall vision performance.

When Elliot first began Vision Therapy, his reading speed was 216 words per minute. But after just eight weeks of his prescribed therapy, that jumped to 400 words per minute.

Upon completion of 14 weeks of vision therapy, Elliot had made major improvements in his reading speed and comprehension and his headaches resolved.

Eliot’s reading comprehension jumped to upwards of 80 percent within his first eight weeks of therapy. In addition to weekly sessions, where he would work with a Highline Center for Vision Performance therapist, Elliot would also have at-home assignments to reinforce the therapeutic benefits and make skills automatic.

Nancy Stevens, Elliot’s vision therapist says, “I was so impressed by how committed Elliot was to his home Vision Therapy practice. At only eight weeks, his visagraph tests revealed his reading speed had jumped from severely reduced to 12th grade level! These dramatic changes can only come when the patient, parent and vision therapist work as a team.”

Building Confidence

Ultimately, Elliot says Vision Therapy has had a major positive impact on his level of confidence, thanks to a higher level of classroom success and improved grades in all of his courses. Whereas homework and test taking were once a source of anxiety, he says he’s now back to enjoying learning and setting his sights on college.

“Before I felt stressed out about how fast I finished the test, but now it doesn’t take me more than one try to read the questions,” he says. “I feel more calm during tests because I can read a question and understand and comprehend it.”

What’s more is that Elliot says Vision Therapy also helped him excel at the sports he loves. He’s been involved in both football and basketball since he was in grade school.

“Overall, I feel more confident in basketball and football — my eye/hand coordination has definitely improved,” he says. “This is real, and it helped change my life.”

“We are so proud of Elliot and his success,” Nancy says. “He has already reaped the rewards of his hard work by recently being accepted to CSU. He even wrote a college essay about how Vision Therapy had helped him. His story brings me so much joy and I know his future is brighter now that he can learn more easily!”

If your child is struggling in academics or sports contact Highline Center for Vision Performance today for a complimentary Vision and Learning Screening.

Ready to Schedule An Appointment?

The Highline Vision Center team is looking forward to seeing you soon. Our practice utilizes state-of-the-art technology to deliver personal and comprehensive eye care for your entire family.

Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants First Baseman, Speaks About Vision Therapy

Video courtesy of Carole L. Hong, OD, FCOVD: In this video, San Francisco Giants first baseman, Brandon Belt, discusses how vision therapy helped him recover from concussions even though he had “perfect vision.” Even now, he continues to go to vision therapy and he thinks vision therapy is “the next level of the game.”

Voice of Carole L. Hong, OD, FCOVD: Brandon, I know you’ve been quoted as saying like “If I can see it, I can hit it,” and I know that vision therapy was a part of your journey. Can you tell us a little bit about that and any vision symptoms that you had prior…

Brandon Belt: Yes, so, I basically have perfect vision. I mean, I can see really well. Like, I don’t know. Like, superhuman vision. <laughter> So, I mean. And, I say that for a reason too. Because, and I think a lot of athletes are like that. So, when the smallest thing is off, we notice it.

And, you know, it’s not, I mean this is a couple of different ways that it affects you. I mean sometimes it’s double vision. Sometimes something’s blurry. Sometimes everything just slowed down and your eyes aren’t moving as quickly as you want them to. So, I think that’s what I meant by saying what I said.

But, that also brings the most stress too, because in baseball, your eyes are everything. You’ve got to have them working perfectly, and when it doesn’t come back quickly, man, that brings on a lot of anxiety, and that’s one of the biggest problems I have, and after the last two concussions I went to vision therapy and I did that for a couple months.

I did it [vision therapy] during the off season because that’s just when my concussions fell – I was able to do it in the off season. So I did in the 4 months of the off season, and I came back and had both years, pretty much, had all star seasons.

So, one was in 2016 and one was before last season, and I was having one of my best years to date last year before I had the surgery. So, the thing I learned from that was vision therapy is pretty important whether you have a concussion or not.

So, I didn’t have a concussion this year, but I’ve been going back. And, I think that’s probably, I might be getting off on a tangent here, but that is probably the next phase of the game. That, to me, people are really going to acknowledge and say, “Hey, we gotta get better at this if we want to be better baseball players, if we want to be better athletes.”

So, I’ve been going back and doing that, and it’s just so important to our craft and to our sport. That it means everything, and that why I said that and why it’s so important to me at the time.

Ready to Schedule An Appointment?

The Highline Vision Center team is looking forward to seeing you soon. Our practice utilizes state-of-the-art technology to deliver personal and comprehensive eye care for your entire family.

Vision Therapy: Week Three

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I see kids on a regular basis who have binocular vision or eye tracking efficiency deficits. Usually, the process of explaining this is fairly straightforward. We sometimes show parents examples of activities that their children are struggling with, we go through certain test results with them and compare them against normal values, etc. But when my six-year-old son, Nolan, asked me the other night why he had to do his vision therapy homework I felt somewhat ill-prepared….

“I had to make it important to him, getting him to buy in to doing months of practice at home with me.”

Dr. Nick Doyle, Optometrist

Nolan practicing saccade – a very fast eye movement exercise.

At that moment, I realized that I’d never really had to fully explain this to someone as young as he was.  Sure, we explain things like this to patients all the time, but usually we talk more directly to some of our older kids and teenaged patients. Nolan proceeded to tell me that he could “see everything clearly” and that his “eyes were fine” …all while he was protesting starting his vision therapy home practice of course.

And he wasn’t wrong.  He CAN see things clearly.  He doesn’t need glasses, and in fact, glasses won’t help with what we’re trying to accomplish anyway.  Unfortunately, he’s too smart for me to give him the tired old generic parent response of “because I said so.”  I knew that I needed to craft my response in a manner that would help him to see the benefit.  I had to make it important to him, getting him to buy in to doing months of practice at home with me.  I thought about some of the things that he’d mentioned in the past… how he didn’t want to play baseball because he thought he wasn’t good at catching, how he loves riding his bike, and how the thing he was most excited about when he started school was learning to read.

I began to tell him how practicing vision therapy would help him to learn to catch and throw the baseball better, how he’d be able to ride his bike more confidently on the path and know where to turn (he sometimes has trouble with staying on the right side too), and how it would help him to become an even better reader.  I explained to him that his eyes not only have to see things clearly, but they have to move like a team, just like all of the other parts of his body. Thankfully, Ariana reinforced this at his vision therapy session by telling him that his eyes have to tell his brain to tell his body where to move.

And so seemingly, for now at least, I had his attention.  Since that conversation, I’ve had good cooperation getting his home practice started, even after a long day of school.  We always tell patients that we don’t want vision therapy to become a burden to them, especially during the school year, and believe me, I know how hard it is to try and grab the attention of a child after a full day of school when his brain is just done paying attention for the day.  As parents (and optometrists) we have to come up with better ways to get our children and patients to see value in what we’re providing, whether that means talking about things they’d like to improve on, inventing incentive systems, etc.  In the age of instant gratification, this can be less than easy. But the lessons learned by continuing to work toward a goal can be invaluable… both for a visual system, and a developing young mind.

Ready to Schedule An Appointment?

The Highline Vision Center team is looking forward to seeing you soon. Our practice utilizes state-of-the-art technology to deliver personal and comprehensive eye care for your entire family.

Vision Therapy: Week One

It was a snowy and cold Saturday morning when Nolan and I headed to the office for his first session of vision therapy.  I knew what to expect as we walked into the office, but my inquisitive six-year-old was curious about what lay ahead of him for the next forty-five minutes.  I began to tell him a little bit about what he would learn in vision therapy and that a lot of the things he would do would be fun like games.  This seemed to pique his interest even more.

Meeting Our Vision Therapist

Nolan was excited to meet his vision therapist, Ariana, and you could tell immediately that they were going to work well together.  Ariana was quick to remind me that usually they like to have parents in for the last ten to fifteen minutes of the session so that they can go over home practice activities.  So, I did the thing I’m most uncomfortable doing… I waited.  (My whole staff will tell you that I’m likely the most impatient person they’ve ever met.)

Nolan at his first week in Vision Therapy with Ariana, his Vision Therapist.

When it was time for me to come back to see how Nolan had been doing, he had a big smile on his face. He was proud to show me all of the activities that he had worked on, especially the ones that we’d be working on at home.

Ariana explained that we’d be working a lot on eye tracking activities for the first week since this really is a foundation of how our eyes work together.  She did a fantastic job of explaining what activities we would be working on for the week, giving us a sheet with all of them clearly listed.  I’d seen this before obviously, but I have to tell you that from a parent’s perspective, I really like how it has a spot to indicate how hard (or easy) a particular activity is each time you practice it.  This really helps our vision therapists know when it’s time to provide additional help or when they need to bump up the difficulty on certain things.

And that’s that.  We were off with our bag of home practice supplies and armed with a binder full of activities for the week.  I was both excited and nervous.  I’m anxious to get started with helping Nolan out, and also nervous about how I’m actually going to keep him engaged at home.  More on that and on how our home practice is progressing soon!

Ready to Schedule An Appointment?

The Highline Vision Center team is looking forward to seeing you soon. Our practice utilizes state-of-the-art technology to deliver personal and comprehensive eye care for your entire family.