Vision Therapy Patient Success with Vision Therapy

We see hundreds of patients every year, and are so happy to help all the children that we see.  It is so rewarding to help children resolve underlying vision problems that were interfering with their ability to read and learn; and to see the improvement in their self-esteem.

Before eye therapy Emma struggled with reading and writing. Her fluency was very slow, and she would skip lines or words. Emma’s handwriting was awful, it would take her hours to write a paragraph, and you couldn’t read what she wrote. Now after eye therapy Emma’s fluency has significantly improved. She no longer skips lines or words. Her reading confidence has improved. Her handwriting has also improved. She stays within the lines, and now I can read what she writes!
- Mrs. G

After eye therapy everything I see is crystal clear! I am also writing and reading much better. Before eye therapy I got tired when doing my homework and now I don’t.

- Emma (9 Years Old)

My 12 year old daughter Claire, was diagnosed with convergence insufficiency as a result of an annual eye exam with an optometrist who was familiar with the condition. We were referred to Dr. Bessler and her partners at Long island Vision Development. After some initial diagnostic tests, we were told the condition was severe. Claire had previously struggled in school, particularly in reading comprehension.

We started the recommended treatment of weekly office visits and home exercises. We found the staff to be warm, caring and efficient. After approximately 6 months, I saw a real improvement in Claire’s grades and attitude toward school. Claire’s convergence insufficiency is now virtually gone and she is functioning at her grade level.
I am extremely grateful to Dr. Bessler and her staff for their perseverance and caring attitude. We can never thank them enough for giving Claire back the opportunity to succeed.

- Claire (12 Years Old)

“When Alex started vision therapy we had high hopes for success and it proved us correct! Here is our family’s story…..

Alex started having problems that we noticed at age 2 ½. No one could pinpoint what the problem was. He struggled with puzzles, coloring, books…; and as the years went on, so did the difficulties. He received early intervention services and occupational therapy. He was seen to have fine motor delays. Cognitively and verbally he tested high genius level.

Every time I would talk to someone from age 3 until we started vision therapy, I kept saying over and over again, “we are missing something.” For such a bright boy, how could he be receiving OT since 3 and not be going anywhere?   It had been three years, and I felt like I was in the same boat as I had been 3 years prior.

At the age of 5 (kindergarten), the CSE (Committee on Special Education) denied Alex of all services because on paper he looked perfect. His cognitive and verbal skills outweighed his fine motor and visual perceptual skills, so he looked “average”.

In kindergarten, his frustration intensified. He was unable to read, write and color like all others in his class. He would get in trouble frequently. At one point, my mother, Alex’s grandmother, started to pick him up after school because I couldn’t take all the negativity about him. He went on and off his chair and was unable to copy off the easel. I had him tested over and over again with neurology, neuropsychology, ophthalmology, and was not found ADD or any other diagnoses.

He got into trouble for doing spitballs in the bathroom! (What 5 year old does spitballs? I remember this happening in high school for most kids!) He was frustrated, sad and discouraged.

This is when a friend told me I need help to fight for what my son needs. I hired an advocate. She met Alex, came to a CSE meeting and listened to everything. She said to me, “have you ever heard of vision therapy? I think this is what your son’s problem is!”

The next week I had a developmental vision evaluation performed. When the testing was going on, I couldn’t believe my eyes! They were finding things I never saw before. One example was they drew a straight line down the paper and asked Alex to write “A” on one side and “B” on the other and so forth. Everything on the right side of the line was straight and correct and everything on the left side of the page was backward and all over the page! His eyes were not working together. Another example is they asked him to visually follow a line from top to bottom. He followed the line with his whole body and ended up falling off the chair! His eye muscles were not developed enough to track; so instead he used his whole body!

We started vision therapy right away and we saw changes pretty quickly. Where he originally tested as a 2 ½ year old (at age 6), he now tested at an 8 year old level! From a boy that would come home and tell me, “Mom, I’m so stupid I can’t even copy off of someone else”, he is now reading, writing, playing video games (which he wouldn’t even do that before) with amazing confidence. A special thank you to the doctors and staff at Optometric Vision Development for all of your love and support!”

Throughout my life I have always had an interest in medicine. In fact, this interest was sparked at the young age of five when I first began my quest for vision health. From kindergarten until my sophomore year in high school I had complained about not being able to read properly. Every doctor I met with said I had 20/20 vision and dismissed my concerns. For years I compensated for my impairment until the spring of my tenth grade year when I struggled through a standardized test and realized I needed to resolve my vision disability.

Enter Dr. Bessler: having been referred by another ophthalmologist, my mother and I went to Dr. Bessler’s office for a consultation. In our first meeting she totally disproved what every other doctor had been telling me for the last eleven years. She explained that while in fact I had 20/20 vision (which is a standard of acuity), she further elaborated that there are five other aspects of vision that the standard Snellen chart does not test for, and which largely go untested through childhood. Dr. Bessler thoroughly educated us and explained that throughout my schooling I was suffering from both binocular and oculomotor deficiencies. My ability to track, fuse, converge and integrate, as well as my stereopsis (depth perception) was impaired.

After undergoing six months of treatment that Dr. Bessler and her team prescribed, I was finally able to see properly for the first time in my life. It was not the actual treatment, while impressive, that struck me. However it was Dr. Bessler’s bedside manner, ability to listen, and deduct, all while being truly devoted to caring for others that solidified my own desire to become a doctor. In an age when people, especially doctors, are so pressed for time, the norm in many cases is to be clinical, as opposed to nurturing. Dr. Bessler’s genuine caring was inspiring and unique. She made me realize that doctors can have not only the ability to cure patient’s ailments but restore hope, happiness and wholeness into the lives of their patients.

~O.M. - 17 years

Prior to vision therapy, Richie had a very difficult time learning to read and remembering sight words. His handwriting was poor and his copying skills were very weak. He had a difficult time attending to visual tasks. After completing vision therapy, we have seen tremendous improvements in all of these areas. He is able and willing to read now! He has more confidence and is able to work independently on many tasks now. All of his teachers have commented on the positive changes that they see in Richie! We are very grateful to the patient and caring staff at LI Optometric!
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