Of the nearly 2,000 submissions for this year’s American Occupational Therapy Association Conference, our very own Beverly Menninger was one of the presenters chosen and will be co-hosting the topic: “Collaborating with Eye Care Professionals:  An Occupational Therapist’s Guide to Vision Screening and Referral.”

Vision plays a huge role in our sensory system and while a child may pass their yearly eye exam (which looks at eye health and visual acuity), they may still have difficulties that interfere with their ability to read and learn – making his topic incredibly important.

Vision Therapy examines the brain/eye connection searching for neurological challenges with depth perception, ocular-motor function (like tracking words when reading), and convergence sufficiency (the degree to which both eyes work together).  Asking a child to attend to information close-up in a textbook or on paper, and also at a distance on a blackboard may be difficult if their eyes don’t work together.

Reasons for vision therapy may include poor reading comprehension, for example: skipping lines, rereading lines, or reversing letters like ‘b” and “d” when reading.  Also being able to respond verbally but not in written form:  writing is sloppy, it’s difficult copying information, or there’s an inability to stay on the line.  Attention span when reading/doing homework may be short, or there may be physical complaints such as eye strain, blurred vision or headaches.

Occupational Therapists are sometimes the first to notice that vision therapy may be beneficial to clients. We’re excited for Bev to bring this important topic to more therapists’ attention.  Way to go!

For more information on Vision Therapy visit:
College of Optometrists in Vison Development (http://www.covd.org/?page=Vision_Therapy)