Vision Therapy

Vision therapy as an attempt to develop or improve visual skills and abilities; improve visual comfort, ease, and efficiency; and change visual processing or interpretation of visual information.

A vision therapy consists of exercises performed over weeks to months.


There are two main categories of vision therapy:


1. “Oculomotor vision therapy” are a series of exercises usually weekly over several weeks/ months performed in the office. Orthoptic eye exercises are exercises to improve binocular function.


2. Behavioral/perceptual vision therapy – eye exercises to improve visual processing and visual perception

By correcting the visual dysfunction by vision therapy, the visual system is no longer overworked during near work tasks, such as reading, computer work... Without the added stress of the task itself, reading and computer work can be done with ease and without headaches.


Visual skill that can be developed and improved through vision therapy :


1. Oculomotor skills are those processes that move our eyes in order to take in information. These motor skills are crucial to retrieval and processing o visual information.


Tracking :  Tracking is vitally important when reading. You must be able to move your eyes accurately to get the full meaning when reading across a line of print.


Fixation : When we read, we use fixation – the ability to find and words on a page. Children in school use this skill constantly. Every time they look from the board to their paper and back, they are changing focus. While driving, it is important to be able to change your focus from the road to the instrument panel on your dashboard quickly and precisely.


Visual Saccades/Visual Scanning- Saccades are the ability to visually scan information. Saccades require the ability to fixate on information in the visual fields. Saccades, is the ability of the eyes to move in synchrony from point A to point B rapidly WITHOUT deviating from the path.


Visual convergence/Binocularity : Our eyes were designed to work together by pointing at the same place and moving together accurately and smoothly as one.

Convergence and divergence is an eye teaming skill. Convergence insufficiency hinders the child’s ability to move their eyes in synchronized, coordinated, and smooth movements from a far point to a near point or near point to far point.


2. Visual Perceptual Skills- Visual perception is the ability of our brains to interpret that information. Visual perceptual skills include several skills that describe how our world around works.


Visual Figure-Ground- Figure ground refers to the visual perception ability to distinguish details of the foreground from the background. 


Visual Closure- Visual closure is the ability of the eyes to visualize a complete image or object when on only a portion is seen. We can recognize just part of a letter or number and know how to visually complete that character without thinking through each line. We can read a sentence without taking the time and effort to focus on each letter and how it is made.


Visual Spatial Relations- This area of visual perception is the awareness or inattention that impacts the awareness of the body and environment in relation to other objects, forms, or areas. This can present in handwriting with the placement of the letters. 


Visual Attention- This visual skill is part of the eye’s ability to collect visual information, and is essential for obtaining visual input through the eyes for object recognition and identification. Visual attention is a voluntary motor skill set of eye movements including visual fixation, gaze shift, ocular pursuit, and localization. Visual attention and its components are needed for active learning, selective attention, or filtering of information, detection of information happening in the peripheral and immediate fields of vision, as well as shared visual attention. Many of kids who struggle with learning and visual fixation are demonstrating challenges with visual attention.


Visual Memory- This visual perception skill involved the storing of visual information according to aspects of the object or item that is seen. This receptive component of visual processing involves the intake of aspects of objects including characteristics such as size, shape, color, and other details. Visual memory is necessary for copying, spelling words, sight words...

Visual Sequential Memory- This visual perception skill is the ability to sequence visual information, such as in patterning and in remembering information in an order.


Visual Discrimination- This is a receptive visual perceptual skill that involves discernment of features of an object, including parts, or whole aspects and specific details. The ability to detect small differences needs to be fast and accurate. When you reading “though” not “through.” This requires focusing skills, tracking, and fixation.


Form Constancy- This visual perceptual skill is the ability to recognize similarities between two forms that are alike or the same, no matter their position, font, direction, size, or other feature. Form constancy allows us to recognize upper- and lower-case letters as the same letter, sight words when positioned in text, and differences between similar letters or words.


3. Visual Motor Integration-  This skill area is often times called eye-hand coordination. Visual motor skills are needed to copy use the visual information as it is processed and use it complete motor tasks. Skills such as handwriting, copying block forms, cutting on lines, coloring in lines etc. are beneficial to working on visual motor skills.