Your child is the center of your world. You want to give him the best you can. You’ve been to the pediatrician and he passed his vision screening. She had a school screening and read 20/20 no problem, but something is still wrong. Reading is a struggle. Spelling words continue to be jumbled. You’ve tried glasses, but they don’t seem to help. What are you missing? You’re frustrated, you’re trying but you don’t know where to turn. Someone mentions the possibility of vision therapy. Vision therapy? What is that? You’ve never heard of that before? How does it work? Where are the doctors that prescribe a vision therapy program? How do I choose the right doctor for my child?
Not all doctors look beyond the need, or lack thereof, for glasses. To go beyond 20/20 the doctor needs to look at the entire visual system. Do the eyes line up together properly? Do they focus properly? Do they track properly? Is visual information being processed properly? To answer these questions, you need an optometrist trained in evaluating, diagnosing and treating these disorders.
Choosing a vision therapy practice for your child and your family is one of the most personal decisions you make. You want and should be comfortable with the doctor. You want a doctor that will listen to and answer all your questions. You also, and most importantly, want full confidence in your doctor’s expertise, experience, and treatment plans. So how do you decide?
Make a list.
- The Doctor:
List out the doctor’s qualifications. Has the doctor furthered her education with training in vision therapy past what the minimum requirements of optometry school? Has she completed a fellowship program? Does she have experience working with all ages and all developmental skill levels? What is her commitment to continually furthering her knowledge in the area of vision therapy? Does she attend continuing education lectures specifically for vision therapy? Does she keep up with current literature on binocular vision, eye movement, and visual perception disorders and their treatments?
- The office and equipment:
Is the office inviting? Is the office clean and organized? How much space is dedicated to vision therapy? Is there a sufficient variety of equipment to treat multiple conditions and different learning styles?
Is the staff professional and caring? Vision therapy is doctor prescribed and supervised. Does the vision therapist implement the doctor’s vision therapy treatment plans? How often do the vision therapist and doctor consult on your child’s treatment as they progress?
A vision therapy program is an investment in your child’s future, much like braces. How much more important is your child’s eyesight to his or her learning and development? Just like quality orthodontic care, a quality vision therapy program does come at a cost. How does the practice help manage the costs of vision therapy? While not all insurances cover vision therapy, does the practice participate with any insurance plans for vision therapy? If the practice does not take your insurance, will they help you fill out the necessary paperwork to apply for possible re-imbursement? What other payment options does the practice provide?
By answering these questions, you should be able to acquire valuable information to help make your decision. We understand how important this decision is to your child’s life-long learning. We hope this article has helped provide some insight to help you make this important and valuable decision. If you have any further questions, we’re here to help. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.