To the Mom who recommended developmental vision screening: Thanks!!!!

I'm so sorry--I don't remember who posted a couple of months ago about having a behavioral optometrist screen difficult children for developmental vision problems. Whoever you are--I want to thank you! I took difficult child for the screening this week--it was two separate sessions. The results were very informative. difficult child does have some issues with abnormal eye movements and poorly developed visual-motor control (resulting in poor handwriting).

The most interesting thing to me is that his vision changes radically when he is a little bit stressed.

When he is relaxed and confident, his eyesight is perfect.

When he percieves something as "difficult", he tenses up and he literally can't see. He becomes so tense that his eyeballs change shape and everything gets blurry.

This explains a lot about difficult child--why sometimes he can do academic work very, very well. At other times, he can't do a thing. I used to believe this was willfull on his part and that he just wasn't trying. The more I have learned about his disabilities, the more I have come to believe that he cannot control it.

So, the prescription is to continue with therapies to reduce anxiety, and some Occupational Therapist (OT) to address fine motor control issues.

The optometrist also gave me some great referrals for immune system/allergy testing.

So--I'm sorry I don't remember your name--but I owe you a big thanks!

10 year old boy with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), no medications, treating with therapy and neurofeedback

How exciting to be given the gift of understanding your sons needs better!!

Always, Donna M.

15 M, homegrown (biochild) with schizoaffective disorder with bipolar elements rapid cycling, first symptoms at age four, first psychotic break at age 14. Controlled on 200 mg of Zoloft qAM, 900 mg of Neurontin qAM, and 6 mg of Resperidal qPM-no more voices or visions. Homicidal, suicidal, sexual victim and offender. Gifted with IQ of 150. Recently placed in Residential Treatment Center (RTC).
12 M, chosen child (adopted) Deaf with global developmental delays. Born at 25 1/2 weeks and crack addicted. Ventilator dependent for 5 1/2 years. Resides in a hospital and a nursing home until he was 6 1/2 years old when he came home to us. Was told he was a vegetable. My vegetable now rides a trike and fights well with siblings, and loves pulling the cats tail!
5 F, chosen child, with Down Syndrome, residual cardiac defects, and severe low vision loss with cataracts. A feisty temperment and stomps her feet almost as well as I do-lol
Mom 40, on disability from back injury, hanging on with all her might


New Member
Wow Susan!

I am taking difficult child tomorrow for that same kind of appointment!

I had difficult child tested by the school Occupational Therapist and he found that my son't eyes don't always converge etc. etc. Pretty much the same things as you just posted! The Occupational Therapist (OT) referred us so I guess we will find out for sure tomorrow.

There is a group calling themselves the Excel Institute who is opening a center right in our town. They are boasting some amazing things like reading levels boosted up 3 years etc.(after 6 months of going to them) Their whole idea is that it is not bad vision, but the eyes not working together etc. They instruct using a program called Integrated Visual Learning. I went and heard the founder/owner speak and he spent alot of time talking about brain development and not enough about what they actually do there!! It is costly, too-I think $60-90 a session at least once a week for a minimum of 6 months.

I haven't counted this therapy out, I just want to get difficult child evaluated by an eye specialist that IS NOT the owner of this Excel company!!

I am sure that is way more then you wanted to know, but maybe they will be coming to MN and maybe it is something that would help your son as well.

Take care!

9 yr. male diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, ADD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), ODD
Doing well (finally) on Luvox, Risperdal and Clonodine for sleep

2.5 yr male easy child

husband 11.5 years


New Member neat! I mean neat in that you got him in. I want Nate tested too...did you have to get a referral? I haven't gone this far yet because Nate was all over the regular eye dr's place...he gets soooo hyper in a new situation and literally can't sit I figured I would have to wait until he got older or calmer whichever came first....I would like to know how the dentist gets him to lay still! Probaby he is afraid to move with strange nosiey things stuck in his mouth...har-har!

Julie with son named Nathan which mean a gift from God. Some gifts are hard one. Is allergic to eighteen different airborne things including mold, some grass, trees and dogs.Also food allergies: milk, eggs, soy and yeast. Motto: There is light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to find the right tunnel.
Nathan my difficult child, diagnosis with a senory intergration disorder and disruptive disorder, no medications, now four yrs old. Ketcup makes him know because of the vingear in it (yeast)
Me, mom currently no medications. 39yrs old, an older mom but don't seem to be any wiser.
DEX: totally insane but thinks everyone esle is.
Wish some space alien's would come get him and take him back to their planet.(found out the aliens brought him here to get rid of him)

Wow, Susan - Thanks! I am the one who recommended the Developmental Vision assessment. I have gotten so much help and advice from this board and it feels just great to hear that I have actually helped someone else.

My son is just finishing up 1 year of Vision Therapy - he'll be done in August. Yes, it has been a struggle to do the daily home therapy. And, yes, it has been expensive - $80/week, not covered by insurance. But it has made a huge difference for him. A year ago, although he knew how to read, he couldn't get through more than 1 sentence before throwing the book to the floor declaring, "Reading is stupid! I hate reading and I'm never going to do it!" This June, at the end of 1st grade, he passed the 7th grade reading test, and he reads constantly. In fact, it is the one thing that will always calm him down. If I see a meltdown approaching, I hand him a book and he is immediately calm. It has been an amazing transformation to watch.

If anybody else is thinking about pursuing this avenue for their difficult child's, the crucial thing is to find a Behavioral Optometrist. A regular eye doctor isn't trained in the specialized area of Developmental Vision problems, and that's what you need. (We went through several regular eye doctors before finding the specialist and it was a complete waste of time and money.)

I am so glad that the info is helping you and your son!

7 year old difficult child boy, depression (5mg Paxil), Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SI), ADHD
2 year old easy child girl
pretty darn good husband of 9 years, depression (Prozac), also suspected ADHD

wow .. I must have missed the original post, but this has given me something else to think about!

Nik is usually an excellent reader, but at times, she can be terrible ... muddling words up & missing out words completely at times ... I too have always put it down to her just not bothering.

another possibility in trying to figure this all out!

difficult child (Nik)- female, 6 years, suspect: ODD; Sensory Dysfunction;ADD: no formal diagnosis; no medications

ME - 31, psoriatic arthritis & depression - Prozac, 40mg, and a cocktail of arthritis drugs

husband : supportive & slowly getting better at coping with Nik

We live in Scotland

"Everythings gonna be alright... one day at a time" - Anon, John Taylor, 1997
"I'm heading for a meltdown, with you and you and ESPECIALLY YOU! - Meltdown, John Taylor 1992

Ok, Hard-workin'--NOW I remember it was you

I'm so glad you've had great results with the therapy.

I remember that you posted a website that had a national doctors list for behavioral optometrists--but I didn't save it. That is where I found a local referral.

Nat--thanks for the information on the reading program! I hope things go well at the optometrist- My difficult child actually enjoyed the appointment and testing--he said it was "fun"!

10 year old boy with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), no medications, treating with therapy and neurofeedback


I'm glad to hear of the positive results here. My child has functional vision problems so I took him to a visual therapy optometrist.... and guess what? He went difficult child! Hiding behind doors running out of the office youk know the drill *sigh*. I was hoping to get it sorted out during the summer so that I don't have to spend first grade in tears. The Dr. said that if he wouldn't cooperate to try it later when he is older. I've tried to make it a game, offer rewards.... But, I've quit with it for now because I like to try for harmony in the family. He says it hurts his eyes. I'm having him do some stuff on my own and have cut TV viewing even more.

Good luck to the rest of you!


Kevin also received vision therapy for over a year. He has a vision disorder called nystagmus which is an involuntary "jiggling" of the eyes. The therapy helped with-convergence but that was about all. Probably due to his N. If anyone wants more info. on nystagmus, please feel free to e-mail me. I belonged to a great on-line support group for over 2 yrs. For a long time we thought that Kevin's vision problems (he is left eye dominant and the vision in his right eye is fairly poor, but his functional vision is very good) were the cause of his other problems, but this was not the case. He also had eye muscle surgery when he was 3 to realign his eyes.


Joanne, mom to:
Julie, almost 10, great kid
Kevin,7, difficult child, mildly autistic (Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)) and ADHD. Currently on 1.5 mg. of tenex (guanfacine) per day. Seems to help with-the impulsivity.
Amy, 3 1/2, sweet little girl when she's not imitating Kevin!
Married 13 yrs. to funny guy John.
Shadow, the cat who must dodge Kevin at every turn.

~~ Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day. ~~

Thanks, everyone for the informative post. This info will be helpful to me as a teacher.

10 yr. old boy, ODD, ADD, on Ritalin
8 yr.old boy, has encopresis


Nancy, would you mind archiving this thread, as this is an area that I believe many people know nothing about. I could be wrong, but at least I knew nothing about it.

Thanks for posting this thread & thanks to all of you who keep educating the rest of us!


Straw, you read my mind!! I asked Nancy to move this thread here so I could archive it!
too cool

7 yr old girl Bipolar/ADD/ODD
Currently on a new natural treatment (wish me luck)
off ALL medications!!
Fav. Funny quote- "Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll
probably still be a dog. <Sigh!> There's so little hope for advancement."
- Snoopy

"With out God, my life would fall apart"