As I have stated on here before (and in the video I made) Sara has been diagnosed with a Visual Processing Disorder – visual processing disorder refers to a hindered ability to make sense of information taken in through the eyes. This is different from problems involving sight or sharpness of vision. Difficulties with visual processing affect how visual information is interpreted, or processed by the brain.
Initially, I had no idea such a thing even existed, but I knew that something was not right with her vision. The first thing we uncovered was that she had ZERO tracking skills. That meant that she was unable to accurately track objects as they moved. Instead of smooth, fluid movements her eyes jumped back and forth and essentially caused her to “lose sight” of objects. Hence why she could not catch a ball. We did some therapy at home to correct this and within no time she was able to snatch anything out of the air that you tossed to her.
However, I soon started to notice that she was also having issues with depth perception and a few other odd things that I correlated to her vision. Once, she was outside in the backyard in a little kiddie pool that we filled and used as a water gun refill station. She stood in the shallow water shooting at the tree branches and every time she looked down to refill she lost her balance a little. When I asked about it she said that the motion of the water messed with her sense of balance.
So we took her for the full Visual Processing testing and other deficiencies were revealed. She struggled with convergence, depth perception, ocular motor dyspraxia and a few other things. They suggested Vision Therapy but at $6000, and no guarantees, we decided against it at that time. Instead we opted for a pair of “anti-fatigue” glasses that would take the strain off her eyes and help her make the shift from far to near (white board to desk) much easier. They are essentially a low prescription bi-focal with an upgraded name of “transition lenses” marketed to kids in school.
As Sara has improved with the Protocol, I have to be honest, seeing improvements with her vision has been the hardest because they were deficiencies that were not obvious on a day to day basis to begin with. I was never really sure if they were getting better or not and since we opted out of therapy we had no progress reports to identify improvements. It was obvious she could hear better. It was evident that she was becoming more coordinated. It was clear that she no longer had sensory issues or fatigue – but I really struggled to know if the vision issues improved for her?
When school started it became more obvious that in fact her eyes were bothering her. She began wearing her glasses again and she also started to complain about not being able to see the board, headaches etc. I really did begin to wonder if maybe the protocol was not the solution to her vision issues and that maybe I needed to reconsider that vision therapy.
So we scheduled a new eye appointment to see what was going on. Much to my relief it appears that Sara’s visual processing difficulties HAVE improved! The optometrist said that he sees no need for Vision Therapy based on what he saw during her eye exam**. Apparently she does however need an updated prescription! She has one lens that needs to increase the current prescription strength and one eye that needs a decrease. Neither eye was getting its needs met and hence the headaches and vision issues.
She has only had the new glasses a few days but there are no further complaints about headaches and eye strain and her feedback is my barometer for success! So, it appears that the Nemechek Protocol did resolve her eye issues.
Worth noting that Dr. Nemechek does advise people that they should not discontinue with therapies and medications without first discussing with your physician/therapist. Most therapies are complementary to the protocol and will only enhance your child’s success and skills!
**Full disclosure this was NOT the same in-depth eye exam that she had originally – though the optometrist does provide a similar service and was skilled enough to determine that she required no further testing or therapy.