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  • Eye Exercises to Prevent Eye Strain

    eye_exercises

    Whether for work, educational or personal purposes, there is no doubt that for many of us, computers and consistently staring at screens have become an integral part of our every day lives.

    There are many adverse effects to looking at a screen for long durations such as eye strain, headaches, affected vision and more which with continued use could become permanent.

    Here are some eye excercises which can help to reduce eye strain and help care for your vision during extended computer usage.

    Take Your Eyes Away and Scan

    It is recommended that every 15-30 minutes of using the computer or staring at a screen, you should take your eyes away from the screen and look at other objects.  Scan the area and focus on items at different distances.  The idea is to keep your eyes moving elsewhere in a fluid movement.  Do this for 2-5 minutes.

    Head Rolls

    To relax your head, shoulder and face muscles, this excercise will prevent that end of day tension you receive from sitting and typing for long durations.   Take in a deep breath and as you slowly and fluidly roll your head exhale.

    Focus Techniques

    Sit upright and place your thumb six inches from your nose.  Focusing on your thumb for a short period, look ahead and then focus on another object 10 feet ahead.  Continue alternating focus between your thumb and the object ahead for ten minutes.

    Remember that the best care for your vision is preventative care.  Practice good sitting and reading habits and take breaks from staring at a screen for too long.  At the end of the day, placing a warm washcloth over your closed eyes will also help relax the muscles.

  • Benefits of a Reading Slant Board

    slant_board_45side_board

    Over the past few articles, we've discussed the various ways in which you can improve your reading, care for your vision and even enhance the learning experience all by how you practice proper reading or working ergonomics.  There is a distinct relationship between how you view your work space and how it affects you physically and mentally.  In continuing with providing you with valuable information on how to care for your vision and practice positive study, reading or work habits, here are the many benefits that our reading slant board provides.

    Ergonomic Attributes

    sitting-graphic1

    Ergonomics is defined in the dictionary as "(used with a sing. verb) The applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort." The design of our reading slant board took all the aspects of ergonomics into the equation in order to produce a work surface that could:

    • -Improve Posture
    • -Reduce the Heart Rate
    • -Lower Blood Pressure
    • -Allow for Better Tracking
    • -Enhance Comprehension
    • -Reduce Eye Fatigue
    • -Increase Quality of Penmanship
    • -Reduce Wrist Cramping

    in addition to proper ergonomics, the Visual Edge Slant Board also provides a Versatile Work Station. The science behind the 22 degree angle makes it ideal to hold almost any size book.  Architects and Calligraphers continue to work upon slanted surfaces, so we found that this angle not only optimizes your writing, but also your reading.  Fundamental features added to the slant board include:

    • -A paperclip to hold documents securely.
    • -A removable Velcro book catch, which can be stored at the top of the board to allow for an obstruction free writing surface.
    • -A dry erase surface to save paper and allow for notes, solving math problems or practicing spelling.
    • -The magnetic surface allows for the ability to use magnets as learning games, puzzles or holding notes to the board.
    • -The slant of the surface not only works for books or paper but laptops as well.

    slant_board_writing

    The health, learning and vision benefits in which the Visual Edge Slant Board provides are immense and our prime purpose for creating this website and this product is to spread valuable information that will help others become aware of these things.

    All to often children with learning disabilities struggle with self esteem and keeping up with their course material and proper studying habits along with an ergonomically structured work space can help increase the comprehension and learning ability.

    Please take the time to browse our resource library and other articles to learn more about how our reading slant board has helped others through vision therapy, learning comprehension and more.

  • Foods to Improve Your Vision

    foods

    Since childhood, many of us have heard that eating carrots will help improve our vision.  Though it may seem like a ploy in order to increase the incentive to eating veggies, there is truth in that there are actual foods that provide certain nutrients to aid in the care of your vision, among other things.  In addition to carrots, there are many everyday foods and even treats that provide a nutritional boost for your eyes, body and brain.  

    Carrots
    The mighty Carrot!  What is it about this orange vegetable that helps our  eye site?  The orange color is the first indication.  Orange fruits and vegetables like the Carrot and Orange, contain what is called "Carotene", our bodies process Carotene into Vitamin A, which provides nutrition for growth, eyes, skin and even resisting infection.

    Dark Chocolate
    darkchocolate2

    Just like green tea, dark chocolate is known to provide anti-oxidants.   Flavonoids within dark chocolate, aid in protecting your blood vessels, which can prolong the deterioration of yor cornea and lenses as you age.  Remember that darker chocolates contain the most health benefits, so pick for content of 60-70% and up.

    Garlic
    Not only is garlic a wonderful addition to any dish, but it has an abundance of health benefits as well.  Garlic is known to increase circulation in your body and help build up immunity.  The active ingredient in garlic that helps protect your eyes is Sulfur.

    Green Leaf Vegetables
    Leafy green veggies such as spinach, arugula, or even broccoli and green beans not only are a good source of fiber and nutrition, but also antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin, that also help protect the physical wear on your eyes.

    Egg Yolks

    There's constant stipulation among dieters that egg yolks are bad for you, but in moderation the yolk contains proteins, nutrients, essential fatty acids, zinc and B vitamins that contribute to your health and vision.

    Salmon
    Packed with Omega 3s, Vitamin A and D, this fish provides a packing punch of nutrients to boost your brain, body and vision.

    Though there is no way to target nutrition specifically for your eyes, foods that are generally good for your body, will also be good for your eyes.  To prolong the quality of your eyesight, eat well, practice habits that help protect your eyes and consult your optometrist if you ever notice anything that may change or be of concern.

  • How to Reduce Stress Through Visual Hygiene To Better Reading

    stress

    Because there is an intimate relationship between posture, working distance, desk surface the pioneering experiments by Dr. Darrel Boyd Harmon and subsequent research by Drs. John Pierce and Steven Greenspan clearly prove a reduction of stress and improved performance when conditions are arranged properly for near-point visual activities such as reading and writing. The following changes were observed: reduced heart rate, more regular and deeper breathing, and reduced neck muscle and overall body tension.

    TO ACHIEVE THESE BENEFITS THE FOLLOWING MUST BE ARRANGED

    Working Surface: A sloping working surface must be used that is tilted between 20 and 23 degrees from the horizontal.  The Visual Edge Slant Board is at 22 degrees, which has been found to be the optimum angle.

    writing_slant_board

    Posture: Seated comfortably, relatively erect, feet flat on floor or box.

    Working Distance: The "Harmon Distance" is the optimal distance from the eyes to the working surface. It is the distance from the elbow to the first knuckle. This can only be assured with a proper chair height to desk relationship.

    Near point Lenses: ONLY IF PRESCRIBED BY A DEVEOPMENTAL OPTEMOGIST. A specific, low power prescription not used to correct a defect in the eyes but to put the eyes into better balance for near tasks. This enhances and integrates the posture, working distance, and surface relationship.

    INSTRUCTIONS FOR VISUAL HYGIENE

    1. Ensure your reading material is at an angle of between 20 and 23 degrees.  The Visual Edge Slant Board is at an angle of 22 degree which research has shown to be the optimum angle at which to read.

    2. Do all near point activity at HARMON distance or slightly further. This is the distance from the center of the middle knuckle to the center of the elbow measured on the outside of the arm. Working at the Harmon distance reduces near point visual stress.

    3. Be AWARE of space between self and the page when reading. Also, be aware of things around and beyond the book.

    4. When reading, occasionally look off at a specific distant object and LET its details come into focus. Maintain awareness of other objects and details surrounding it. Do this at least at the end of each page.

    5. When studying, place a bookmark 3 or 4 pages ahead. Get up and move around for at least one minute each time you reach the bookmark.

    6. Sit UPRIGHT. Practice holding your back arched while you read and write. Avoid reading while lying on your stomach on the floor. Avoid reading in bed while lying on your stomach on the floor. Avoid reading in bed, unless sitting reasonably upright.

    dont

    7. Provide for adequate general illumination, as well as good central illumination, at the near task. The illumination on the task should be about three times that of the surrounding background.  Avoid the use of florescent lighting.

    tv

    8. Do not sit any closer to TV than 6 to 8 feet, and be sure to sit upright. Maintain good posture.

    9. When riding in a vehicle, avoid reading and other near activity. Encourage looking at sights in the distance for interest and identification.

    sports

    10. Encourage outdoor play or sports activities that require seeing beyond arm's length.

    11. When outdoors, sight a distant object at about eye level. At the same time, be aware of where things are on all sides.

    12. Walk with head up, eyes wide open and look TOWARD, not at, objects.

    13. Become very conscious of the background of the objects you look TOWARD, be it a person, print on a page, an electric sign, the TV, or any other object.

    TELL A FRIEND TODAY!

  • Benefits of a Slanted Desk

    slanted desk

    Remember back in the day when all the school desks were slanted? Ever wonder why they were designed this way? Unfortunately, in classrooms today, the slanted desks are no longer being used...

    Educators figured out a long time ago it is a lot easier to read and write on a slanted surface. It has everything to do with ergonomics. Ergonomics as it relates to reading and writing. When reading you naturally tilt the reading material toward you. It is a more comfortable reading position. This actually puts more of the page in focus at one time reducing the strain the on your eyes. It also allows you to more easily track lines and presents the printed characters at a consistence perspective as you read down the page. The result is the brain having to works less on interpreting what it is seeing and allows more analytical resources to understand what has just been read, which leads to less fatigue and better comprehension.

    Pioneering experiments conducted by Dr. Darrel Boyd Harmon; American Journal of Optometry Archive, American Academy of Optometry 1960 Mar; 37:121-137 and subsequent research by Dr. John Pierce Rev Optometry 1977; 114:48-63 and Dr. Steven Greenspan; Optometry Weekly 1971; 62(33): 754-757, Optometry Weekly 1971; 62(34): 776-780 have shown that there is an integral working relationship between posture, work distance and work surface. Their research has proven that there is improved learning performance when the proper conditions are established for near-point visual activities such as reading and writing. Their studies show that by having your work presented on a sloped work surface, with an angle at between 20 and 23 degrees, sitting no closer than fist to elbow length distance from the work surface, will reduce your heart rate, induce a more regular and deeper breathing pattern, reduce neck muscle and overall body tension. A slanted surface compels your body to sit in a more upright posture. This simple arrangement allows your body to naturally move into what is know as the Harmon Distance. This is the optimal distance from the eyes to the working surface.

    sitting-graphic1

    Concurrently, by writing on a sloped work surface you will reduce the fatigue experienced during writing and increase control. When you write on a flat surface you are only utilizing the muscles in your wrist. I am sure you can all relate to the cramping experienced in your wrist when writing for any length of time. As you raise your arm into a slanted position your body now starts utilizing the muscles in the forearm as well. This posture gives a person more control for better penmanship and allows for longer endurance. Architects and Calligraphers utilize a slanted work surface for this very reason.

    slant_board_writing

     Classroom designers and teachers a century ago understood the importance of proper ergonomics in the classroom and the use of slanted desks in a learning environment. It is amazing how something so simple in concept, yet so effective in application can have such huge benefits. It begs to question why slanted desks were taken out of the classroom in the first place. Other than the simple answers being most likely correct, it was more cost effective. Since flat desks were introduced to the classroom, reading scores have dropped considerably. European schools are now reintroducing slanted desks in their school classrooms and we too should rethink the ergonomics of learning.

  • Reading on Screen vs Reading on Paper

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    We live in a digital age where technology is constantly on a cusp of new found developments and measures to make our lives more convenient, efficient and eventful.  Like with any inventive additions to a practice, there is a constant debacle on whether the old way or the new way is the right way.  The age old practice of reading has fallen into questioning on whether reading off of a screen or reading of paper is better.  Though each contain their own advantages, one aspect is true, there are physical practices that apply to both when it comes to reading and caring for your eyesight.

    When it comes to the care of your eyes, digital screens have been heavily scrutinized for ruining eyesight much more than paper books have, but no matter what you're reading, what "mom" said was true, "reading under the covers" will ruin your eyes.  This means that though though both digital and paper surfaces may individually propose various problems, the disciplines of practicing proper ergonomics and reading in proper lighting are just the same.

    Similar Practices

    Gone are the days where reading digitally requires one to be tied to a desk.  With netbooks, digital readers and phone apps, the next page of a story can be read from any location just like a book.  Another similarity is depending on the direction we were taught to read from in books, that is the same direction we read screens as well.  (eg: Western: Left to Right, some Asian cultures: Right to Left) Although mobility enhances the convenience and comfort of where we can read, proper reading habits are still important to practice to pro-long healthy eyesight and posture.  It is suggested that the reading/working surface should be seen at an angle (our 22 degree slant board supports this), and instead of reading laying down in bed or hunched over on a couch, the same ergonomics that are applied to typing should be implemented for reading.

    Differences

    Paper
    There is an irreplaceable quality in reading text from paper that is very different from reading on screen.  Despite newer clear type technology that is supposed to make type easier to read on screen, it has been reported by various studies that reading on paper is approximately 25% faster and also allows for quicker comprehension. This could be due to that when reading a book, there aren't many diversions on your page such as a blinking ad, buttons to a device or the need to scroll.

    Screen
    The ways our eyes react to text on screen is completely different from paper.  On screen our eyes tend to glaze over long paragraphs, and only see highlighted points.  Some of the benefits of reading on screen though is controlling the lighting, font size and font clarity of the text we choose to read.

    Though many still prefer a good book to a palm reader or computer screen, the choice is ultimately up to the individual.  Though the digital age provides additional conveniences, this does not mean that old practices will ever go out of style.

  • Reading With Children At Home

    Learn How to do it Right.

    reading with children at home

    In the first few years of school, most children bring books home to read with their parents as part of the school reading program. Parents are often given a briefing on how to listen to these readers through a parent/teacher information session or through advice given via a note sent home.

    Despite this, many parents remain unsure how to best listen and assist their children, particularly when they make mistakes or they can’t figure out a word/text.

    This is unfortunate as reading at home can be such an enjoyable and extremely valuable addition to a child’s learning, not to mention a wonderful positive time for nurturing both the relationship and a love of reading.

    Giving and seeking advice on listening to home readers can be difficult because there are differing opinions on how to best teach literacy. I don’t know of anyone who has all the answers, though there are some who claim to have the only ‘right’ way and everything else is the ‘wrong’.

    Every child is unique and there is no one generic model/technique that will suit every child in every instance. There is no “one size fits all” prescription.

    To help give parents more specific and practical advice on how to listen to their children at home, the following is to provide general guidelines and specific techniques that have been found effective over the years, and to outline some of the basic principles that underlie reading. However please keep in mind that we are constantly learning and improving our knowledge and skills. This is just some of what can be done. Try all of it or part of it, modify it, use it as a framework, and add to it from other sources… I hope that it will give you a foundation with which to begin listening with confidence to your children and help make the process more enjoyable and worthwhile for you and your children.

    A. Reading at home should be enjoyable for you and your child

    If the experience is fun, satisfying and positive then your child will be far more likely to want to read next time. And, the more children practice then the faster their skills & confidence improve. Keep in mind that it usually takes two to three years for children to learn to read at an independent level. Of course, some children will take a little longer and some a little less. Either way, children only learn to read once. Be patient, realistic, and enjoy the process, as well as the time you have together.

    B. Choose a desirable time and place

    reading with children

    Set your child up for success. Find a spot that is comfy and free from distractions (turn the TV off, send the other kids outside). If you or your child is busy, tired, cranky (or all of the above!) tolerance and concentration levels will be decreased. Remember reading should be enjoyable! Sit at a table with the book on a sloped work surface is the best environment to read. However you can sit on a couch, or even lay on the carpeted with cushions. Do what will make your child enjoy reading time. You can even read when going to bed, but be warned! If your child is tired, they are more likely to make mistakes and become frustrated, leading to more mistakes etc. It is best to have your child sit on your left so their right ear is closest. The right ear has the fastest route to the left hemisphere of the brain, which almost always processes language. Plus, sitting this way introduces a routine and a sense of predictability. Speaking of routines, many children thrive with consistency, and it may be worthwhile reserving a consistent time each day to read.

    C. Keep the reading time short

    When reading to you child at home keep it short and sweet. Children are far more likely to make mistakes and become frustrated if they become tired or lose concentration. Adults take reading for granted and often forget that learning and practicing to read can be exhausting. So, keep your reading time brief - 5 to 10 minutes in one sitting is plenty for most young children.

    D. Be positive and encouraging

    This is especially true when they are learning and practicing new skills. Notice things that they have mastered, or improved upon since prior reading times. Notice things they are doing well. Say things like: “I like the way you figured that out”; “wow, that was great reading”; “gee, I really enjoyed listening to you”; “gosh, you are reading so well, you could read that to Grandma when she comes over” (or, they could read to grandparents over the phone); “I noticed that you remembered that new word…” “very good, you had trouble with that word last time, and this time you got it first go..”; “you are making it look so easy”. Sometimes show a previous book to demonstrate how far their reading has come.

    E. Encourage independence

    choosing books for children

    This can be a little difficult for many parents when there is so much at stake. We love our children so much and we want them to become good readers – there is a lot riding on it. In our eagerness for our children to learn to read, it can be very tempting frankly to ‘butt in’ all the time instead of allowing our children to figure as much of the reading out for themselves. Sometimes we can become so overzealous or overprotective (if they are struggling) that we even take over the reading! In so doing we actually disempower our children and deprive them of opportunities to learn. What we really need to be doing is encouraging our children to do as much of the thinking for themselves as possible. You can do this by:
    • Allow your child enough time to figure things out before jumping in. Children process their thoughts more slowly than adults.
    • Allowing time to realize they have made a mistake, and time to fix it as well.
    This takes patience, self-control and practice!

    F. Help your child when they need it

    I realize this may sound like it contradicts the last point. The thing is, if your child can do the reading or figuring out – then let them! However, if there is no way on this earth that your child is going to be able to figure a particular part of text out for whatever reason (perhaps they simply do not have the required skills yet or perhaps they have never heard of that particular word) - then don’t let them struggle and flounder unnecessarily. The bad news is that it can be tricky to know when to help. The good news is that the more in tune you are with where your child is at with their reading development, and the more you know about the learning to read process, then the easier it becomes.
    • If your child is struggling with a word or section of text and you know that your child CAN or may well be able to figure it out – then let them do so, or at least let them give it a try and praise their attempts.
    • If you know that your child has come across a similar problem before but is having trouble recalling the solution, you might supply ‘reminders’ rather than directly providing the answer.
    • If you know that your child does not have the skills or knowledge to figure a piece of text out with or without hints/reminders, provide the solution quickly without drama and move on. In this case, I might say something like “that’s a tricky word, it says”. Another occasion when you might quickly “jump in” is when the child is starting to lose track of the meaning/story-line.

    Lastly, but most importantly, ensure the child is reading at the right level for their current ability. Your child should be able to read the book they have brought home with a high rate of success. They should be able to read much of the book on their own (say, approximately 90% or more) with perhaps a little help from you. Continual struggle leads to negative thoughts/beliefs, low self esteem, a disliking of reading, reading avoidance and lost learning opportunities. Alternatively, continual success leads to high self-esteem, reading enjoyment, willingness to practice and more learning. Therefore, don’t be in a hurry to rush your child through reader levels. Your child will make the most efficient progress if they have books that match their current reading ability. Another thing to keep in mind is that children often hit learning plateaus, where they don’t seem to be making much progress. However these times are valuable days, weeks, months where children consolidate and master skills before taking off on another learning curve.

    As far as ‘easy’ books go, while they don’t tend to offer many ‘new’ learning opportunities, they can be useful practice tools where children work on fluency (reading pace), expression and master/consolidate skills such as sight words.

    If your child struggles continually with the books they bring home, then I strongly recommend that you speak to their teacher and discuss what is going on at home.

    In summary, many parents find listening to their children problematic because they are unsure of what to do when they listen. Do they help? If so, how do they help? When do they help? This article has outlined some general pointers for parents to consider when reading with children at home.

    Contributions by Kirstie Wilson

    Kirstie Wilson M. Ed has written a series of three articles in answer to one of the most common dilemmas that parents face when it comes to their children learning to read

  • Sysnopsis of Acquired Brain Injury Or ABI

    ama_brain_stroke_lev20_thebraineffectsstroke_01

    Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) can develop based on a variety of incidents, such as Stroke, a Tumor or Head Trauma. An ABI is a form of damage to the brain that ranges in severity from subtle to catastrophic which can include death. Severe ABI is the most conspicuously apparent and may be helped through treatment. The effectiveness of treatments will vary due to the uniqueness of the injury itself. A minor brain injury is by far the most difficult to detect. There may be no outward physical injury and no obvious debilitation on first notice.

    An ABI is broken down into two categories: External and Internal. The external injury is further broken down to a closed or open head trauma. The external trauma is usually obvious and diagnosis and treatment can be prescribed more readily. The internal brain injury can be associated some type of trauma, with a surgery, AVM or CVA. The internal brain injury will normally be detected through some sign of debilitation with the individual of concerned.

    AVM or Arteriovenous malformation is an abnormal connection between veins and arteries, unusually congenital. The most general symptoms include headache and epilepsy; with more specific symptoms occurring that normally depend on the location of the malformation and the individual. Such possible symptoms occurring include:

    • Vertigo (dizziness)
    • Difficulties of speech (dysarthria) and communication such as alogia
    • Difficulties with everyday activities, such as apraxia
    • Abnormal sensations (numbness, tingling or spontaneous pain)
    • Memory and thought-related problems, such a confusion, dementia or
    hallucinations

    CVA or Cerebrovacular accident is more commonly referred to as a “stroke”. A stroke is the rapidly developing loss of brain function(s) due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia (lack of blood supply) caused by thrombosis or embolism or due to a hemorrhage. As a result, the affected area of the brain is unable to function, leading to the following symptoms to occurring:

    • Inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the boy
    • Inability to understand or formulate speech
    • Inability to see one side of the visual field.

    TBI or Traumatic Brian Injury occurs when an outside force traumatically injures the brain. TBI can be classified based on severity, mechanism (closed or penetrating head injury), or other features (e.g. occurring in a specific location or over a wide spread area). A “head injury” usually refers to TBI, but is a broader category because it can involve damage to structures other than the brain, such as the scalp and skull.

    TBI is a major cause of death and disability worldwide, especially in children and young adults. Causes include falls, vehicle accidents and violence. Many of our soldiers are developing TBI’s from the effects of shock waves from explosions. In the past many soldiers suffered fatal injuries, but due to better protective gear they are now better surviving bodily injury, but still being left with effects such as TBI.

    Prevention measures include use of technology to protect those who are in accidents with equipment such as seat belts and sports or motorcycle helmets. There are also efforts to reduce the number of accidents by encouraging safety educations programs and applying stricter enforcement on traffic laws.

    Brain trauma can be caused by a direct impact, typically classified as an accelerating injury. From the effects of a shock wave from an explosion, or a sudden stop, typically classified as a decelerating injury. The damaging effects to the brain are very similar between a decelerating injury and the exposure to an explosion. In addition to the damage caused at the moment of impact, brain trauma causes secondary injuries which could be a variety of events that take place in the following minutes, days and even weeks after the initial injury. These processes contribute substantially to the damage from the initial injury. The outcome from a TBI can range from complete recovery to permanent disability or death. TBI can cause a host of symptoms including:

    • Physical effects
    • Cognitive effects
    • Emotional effects
    • Behavioral effects

    Many times TBI’s go undiagnosed, particularly after an accident or incident where there is no significant physical injury. On the surface the individual appears physically fine and may complain of a minor headache or feeling dizzy, which is common to accidents so may be overlooked as a temporary physical symptom. It is important to remember that the brain is 85% water. If you remember from science classes, water does not compress. Therefore the 15% of brain tissue gets squished like a sponge. This brain squishing can easily go unnoticed during a decelerating type injury such as a car accident or a concussion from an explosion. This is particularly true if no physical bodily injury has occurred. Nevertheless brain damage may have occurred. The dynamic behind this apparent inconsistency of injury between body and brain it due to the physiology of the head. The brain is free floating in fluid encased in the skull. As the head is thrown forward or backward, the brain is slammed into the sides of the skull. The effect is very similar when a shock wave from and explosion impacts the body. Any number of issues will follow depending on the severity of the event and the individual. What is so deceiving about this type of TBI is the effect of the secondary injury(s).

    The secondary injuries can occur hours to weeks after the original injury. These secondary injuries include a disruption of auto-regulatory physiological mechanisms and a release of neurotoxins, causing a cascade of biochemical reactions which lead to further brain damage.

    Following the initial accident, first appearances of symptoms can seem minor then major issues may seem to come out of nowhere weeks later due to the secondary injuries. The debilitation from a secondary injury(s) can range from unnoticeable to complete dysfunction. The two events may even appear to be totally unrelated, particularly if the events are separated by several weeks. This is what makes these types of injuries so insidious. The effects of a TBI will vary with the severity and well as the individual.

    One thing to keep in mind if you suspect you may have a TBI or you know someone that has had an accident, especially if typical behavior has changed since the incident, it is advised to get an expert evaluation. Children are particularly difficult to detect since some of their brain functions may not even be developed at the time of the injury and it is only until they are not keeping up with their peers, or not acting appropriately for their age, that you notice something is not right. Some of the issues you may notice are social integration/behavioral problems, both auditory and visual processing difficulties and coordination problems.

    All types of brain injuries will have a very high chance of affecting the visual system. Two thirds of all the nerves that enter the brain originate from the eyes. When there is injury there is often disruption of visual processing.

    Visual rehabilitation can help people overcome these devastating visual problems. One can often recover the ability to do things that they have always done in the past for themselves such as driving and reading through treatment.

    Close coordination between Vision Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, Neuro-Psychology and your Physician allow for the best team approach toward recovery.

    FOR RESORCES IN YOUR AREA:

    Vision Therapy

    Optometric Extension Program Foundation, Inc. (OEP Foundation)
    1921 E. Carnegie Ave., Ste. 3-L
    Santa Ana, CA 92705-5510
    (949) 250-8070

    College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD)
    215 West Garfield Road Suite 200
    Aurora, OH 44202
    (330) 995-0718, (888) 995-0719, FAX (330) 995-0719

    SAN DIEGO CENTER FOR VISION CARE
    7898 Broadway
    Lemon Grove, CA 91945
    (619) 464-7713

    Occupational Therapy

    Sensory Integration International
    1602 Cabrillo Avenue
    Torrance, CA 90501
    (310) 320-9986

    American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
    4720 Montgomery Lane
    P.O. Box 31220
    Bethesda, MD 20824-1220
    (301) 652-2682

    Developmental Delay Registry
    6701 Fairfax Road
    Chevy Chase, MD 20815
    (301) 652-2263

    International Health Foundation, Inc.
    P.O. Box 3494
    Jackson, TN 38303
    (901) 427-8100

  • Recommended Vision/Learning Reading & Video List

    Optometric Extension Program Foundation, Inc.
    1921 E. Carnegie Ave., Ste. 3-L
    Santa Ana, CA 92705-5510
    (949) 250-8070
    FAX: (949) 250-8157

    READING
    eye

    * Eye Q and The Efficient Learner Author: James Kimple, Ph.D. Kimple is an educator and father of four children with learning difficulties. Discusses the nature of visual development and the importance of the visual system to school success. Includes the role of the school, "red flags" list of symptoms, common sense parenting tips and school activities--games and exercises to enhance functioning in specific areas. 160 pages.

    cva

    * Classroom Visual Activities (CVA) Authors: Regina Richards, M.A., and Kristy Remick, O.D. Classroom activities for all ages to help develop visual skills. Objectives, success criteria and detailed instructions are included for each activity. 80 pages.

    2020

    * 20/20 Is Not Enough: The New World of Vision Authors: Arthur S. Seiderman, O.D., and Steven E. Marcus, O.D. Reveals the nature of vision, exposes the critical need for comprehensive vision testing and introduces new, effective treatment for learning related vision problems. 243 pages.

    * The Suddenly Successful Student: A Parents’ and Teachers’ Guide To Learning and Behavior Problems - How Behavioral Optometry Helps Authors: Hazel Dawkins, Ellis Edelman, O.D., Forkiotis, O.D. Concise paperback explains the critical relationship between vision and academic success. 48 pages.

    suds

    * Suddenly Successful - How Behavioral Optometry Helps You Overcome Learning, Health and Behavior Problems Authors: Same as The Suddenly Successful Student Expanded version of The Suddenly Successful Student. Topics include juvenile delinquency, vision and behavior, sports vision, vision imbalances and vision therapy in relation to all aspects of vision. 306 pages.

    thinking

    * Thinking Goes To School Authors: Hans G. Furth and Harry Wachs, O.D. Discusses Piaget’s theory and then illustrates activities and strategies to help a child with experiences best designed to develop his/her full potential as a “thinking” human being. 170 activities are included. 279 pages.

    * Vision and School Success Authors: George Spache, Ph.D., Lillian R. Hinds, Ph.D., and Lois B. Bing, O.D. Written for those involved with children's learning. A broad concept of vision, including its sensory, motor and central processing dimensions. Helps educators recognize the visual demands of the classroom, the behavior of students who are experiencing stress because of their vision problems and ways and means of alleviating this stress. 57 pages.

    * Developing Your Child For Success Author: Kenneth A. Lane, O.D. Designed to help children avoid early school failure. Over 100 activities to help. 323 pages.

    * Your Child's Vision Author: Richard S. Kavner, O.D. A guide to inform parents how to protect and foster their child's visual development. Dr. Kavner details the stages of visual development from birth to age five. It discusses causes, prevention and treatment of common visual problems. 251 pages.

    * How To Develop Your Child's Intelligence Author: G.N. Getman, O.D. Vision is a learned skill that is a dominant factor in human development. “Parents and teachers can set the stage but only the child can act thereon.” 128 pages.

    myth

    * When Your Child Struggles - The Myth Of 20/20 Vision Author: David Cook, O.D. Written for parents about their children's vision, how to detect if their child is struggling unnecessarily and where to turn for help. The author uses case studies to illustrate the various vision disorders described in the book. 173 pages.

    VIDEO CASSETTES

    * Vision In The Classroom A two part information video based on the popular pamphlet, Educators Guide To Classroom Vision Problems.

    * Part One: Development of Vision---outlines vision development and learning problems associated with classroom tasks.

    * Part Two: Using the Educators Guide to Classroom Vision Problems---instructs viewers in the use of The Educators Guide for identification of signs and symptoms of visual problems in the classroom. Each part is 17 minutes long. Purchase price includes 100 copies of the pamphlet Educators’ Guide to Classroom Vision Problems.

    * The Hidden Disability - This pamphlet alerts parents, educators and other professionals that there is more to vision than 20/20 eyesight. It highlights the importance of prevention, early detection and correction of vision problems. It supports behavioral/developmental approach to vision and promotes comprehensive learning related vision screenings and exams. A checklist of symptoms is included. 100 for $15./1000 for $120. plus 15% shipping/handling with a $3.50 minimum charge on all pamphlet orders.

    NOW AVAILABLE IN SPANISH!!

    * “Vision Alert: 20/20 Is Not Enough” is narrated by Allison Ross. The purpose is to raise national awareness of the crucial relationship between vision and achievement and to alert parents, educators, and others about learning related vision problems. It includes interviews with parents, teachers, children and behavioral optometrists. Each tape includes a long version 27 minutes 54 seconds and an edited speakers’ version 15 minutes 42 seconds.

    * “Vision Alert: 20/20 Is Not Enough” edited speakers version only of 15 minutes 42 seconds.

    * “Some Heroes Are Small” is a 26 page read-together book for children and adults about learning related vision problems and vision therapy. Size 8.5” x 11”; professionally illustrated, saddle stitched with bright red cover.

    NOW AVAILABLE IN SPANISH!!

    Other Sources

    * "How Difficult Can This Be?" Rick Lavoie's *F.A.T. City Workshop videotape/discussion guide. * - Frustration, Anxiety and Tension are emotions all too familiar to the student with a learning disability. Informative video allows viewer to look at the world through the eyes of a learning disabled child. Purchase from: The Connecticut Association for Children with Learning Disabilities 25 Van Zant Street, Suite 15-5 Norwalk, CT 06855-1729 Phone: 203-838-5010 Fax: 203-866-6108

    * "A Nurse's Guide to Children's Vision and Learning" by American Foundation for Vision Awareness. Written by a Registered Nurse, includes teaching outline and illustrations of how vision is skewed by learning related vision problems. Call: 800-927-AFVA. Write: 243 N. Lindbergh Blvd; St. Louis, MO 63141.

  • Have You Heard This Before?

    "WE WERE TOLD OUR CHILD HAD 20/20 EYESIGHT. THE TEACHER THOUGHT THEY JUST WERN’T TRYING HARD ENOUGH."

    An eight year old child passed the 20/20 eye chart test with flying colors, yet she saw letters move around on the page, words and letters disappear, and print go in and out of focus. When asked if she had ever told her parents or teacher that this was happening, her replied was, "No, I thought books did that to everyone."

    Children with learning related vision problems rarely report symptoms. They think everyone sees the same as they do. The fact is 1 in 4 people, adults and children, have a vision processing problem.

    blurry text reading symptoms

    Up to four children in every classroom see print this way! They can’t control their eye movements at close distances, making reading and attention almost impossible. As the print moves and blurs, they stumble over words, lose their place and can't comprehend the text they are trying to read.  Out of desperation, giving up and quitting is a frequent outcome. With reading and vision problems, school can be a struggle to children, and for parents who may not recognize these symptoms.

    It is estimated 10 million children 10 and younger have a vision problem. 80% of what a child learns during the first 12 years is obtained through vision. Children with a vision problem are typically associated with developmental delays and the need for special educational, vocational and social services.

    Vision is more than 20/20 eyesight. It is a complex process involving over 20 visual abilities and more than 65% of all of the pathways to the brain. Nearly 80% of what a child perceives, comprehends and remembers depends on the efficiency of the visual system.

    A child can't learn to read when the words get jumbled up on the page and he/she can't remember or make sense of what was just read.

    Every person adult and children should receive a comprehensive eye exam that are struggling or have struggled with reading. Please refer to College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) or Optometric Extension Program Foundation, Inc. (OEP Foundation) for a referral to a trained Developmental Vision specialist.

    College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD)
    215 West Garfield Road, Suite 200
    Aurora, OH 44202
    (330) 995-0718, (888) 995-0719, FAX (330) 995-0719

    Optometric Extension Program Foundation, Inc. (OEP)
    1921 E. Carnegie Ave., Ste. 3-L
    Santa Ana, CA 92705-5510
    (949) 250-8070

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