Developmental Optometrics

laura mz

New Member
a friend of mine has a daughter who has struggled with-reading for years. she is now attending a private school for kids with-Learning Disability (LD)'s. my friend recently attended a seminar given by a devlopmental optometric physician. she passed along some info to me that i thought might be worth sharing with-y'all.

What is a Developmental Optometrist?
While all optometrists & ophthalmologists are concerned with-the health & physical abilities of the eye, the devolopmental optometrist is also concerned with-the functionality of the eye ~~ how the eyes are helping or hindering a person as they use their vision in their daily activities. The look at the whole person & how their vision has "developed", along with-any corresponding learning or reading difficulties. The developmental optometrist will look extensively at binocularity ~~~ how the eyes interact with-each other & with-the brain.

How a developmental optemetric exam differs from other eye exams.

the developmental exam will measure:
~~the ability of the eyes, separately & together, to change their focus rapidly & smoothly.
~~the amount of flexibility the eyes have to make "turn in" or "turn out" adjustments at distance & at near so the eyes are pointed at what the person actually wants to look at.
~~can the eyes actually stay comfortably where the person wants to look at distance and at near with-out sliding in & out of alignment.
~~does the person have adequate depth perception & ability to see binocularly.
~~can the person follow something smoothly with-their eyes or are tiny correctional movements always needed.
~~the ability of the eyes to smoothly & accurately move from one point to another 1) at a distance 2) at near, and 3) from near to distance & back again.
~~do they have good orientation, coordination & laterality.

there are three websites that explain all of this in greater depth.

hope this may be helpful to some of you.

/importthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif kris

Both my MR kids go to one of these. The younger one will actually be starting "vision therapy" because of her deficits. They do all sorts of tests that differ from regular eye doctors. I am glad to have found one since I knew nothing about this and the old eye doctor that my son was seeing could not get his vision to 20/20 with glasses. After going for almost a year to this new guy his vision is now 20/20! He does not have the tracking problems, fluidity etc that the younger one does so he did not actually have to do "therapy". It's all very interesting to me. They check on things like the child not being able to follow a light with their eyes, etc. My daughter has to turn her whole head to follow things she can not track with her eyes. I guess this is what the vision therapy will help with. Anyway just thought I would put in my thoughts about this subject. Thanks for mentioning it, I am sure most people don't even know about these guys/gals.

That is very interesting! Thanks! I am going to check into it today.

The bad thing about vision therapy is most insurances do not cover it as they consider it experimental....

Some of the best research in the world about Autism is coming out of Australia...I had a student with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) who used the Erlen glasses which were developed there and they really seemed to help.

Visual perceptual issues play a huge, often ignored part of academic performance..

A few of the developmental optometrists I know don't like to advertise it, but they will work out something with you payment wise and do actively help you pursue funding.

Good luck,

A new one on me. Thanks for the info -- will check out the links.