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Success Despite Labels: People said, "Dumb", "Stupid", etc.

... his self image was not all that great; he would put himself down a lot, saying things like "I'm dumb, stupid, I can't understand anything." [More]

Reading was a chore that often ended in tears and with the words, "I'm so stupid." [More]

Then came testing time and lo and behold, my son's test scores had jumped over 60 points. But not only that, he scored well above his age level in many areas.[More]

They feel "dumb, stupid" etc., because they ... do not realize that it is the visual processing that is creating the problem.[More]

I was amazed when he brought his report card home. Kids called him "dummy" at school; they have stopped now.[More]

Before Vision Therapy, she would come home crying that she was stupid, dumb and would say she had no friends. ... we were blessed to find an optometrist who cared. Now, Chelsey comes home from school with a smile and is excited to tell me about her day.[More]

Visual therapy has been a major blessing in this house. My son, Peter, has benefited so much ... He no longer says, "I can't,.".. I'm stupid, .".. "I'm a retard." [More]

The school psychologist tested him and found him to be five points above functionally retarded ... she said that they had to base their testing on the child's ability to read and write. ... We knew that we had a very bright child on our hands ... at the beginning of first grade, Dusty was testing out on a fourth grade level in science and social studies, but was on a pre-school level for math and reading.[More]

To quote him, "I don't want people thinking I'm dumb." [More]

It has helped [our child's] self-esteem to know that she isn't "stupid" and ... this is a problem we can fix.[More]

Jeffrey's comment was, "I knew I wasn't stupid." [More]

... he [is] ... rarely feeling discouraged - and always appreciating that he was not "stupid", but simply needed to complete ... tasks. [More]


Read full stories below.

I believe that Jason has shown improvement in his self confidence and the way he thinks about himself. Before Vision Therapy, his self image was not all that great; he would put himself down a lot, saying things like "I'm dumb, stupid, I can't understand anything." This has changed. He seems to be a lot happier with his achievements. Before the therapy, he could not focus for long periods of time, now his concentration has improved.

I would recommend Vision Therapy to other parents so their children can have the self-confidence they need to succeed in their school work and other areas of life.
By Kathy Bernhardt

J.D. has made remarkable progress in many areas of his life since beginning Vision Therapy. He is much calmer and self confident. Last year, his third-grade year, was very difficult and frustrating to him and his parents. Reading was a chore that often ended in tears and with the words, "I'm so stupid." In contrast, after six weeks of Vision Therapy, J.D. said "Mom, you can skip my allowance this week, just take me to Bookworld."

I can't stress enough what a drastic change for the better his life has taken. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity to help him.
Kelly Swingen, J.D's parent, 11/29/93

When my son Josef first came to the Vision Therapy program, he scored very low on the IQ test. This made us very concerned. During Vision Therapy, we worked with him and at first we could not appreciate any change. Then came testing time and lo and behold, my son's test scores had jumped over 60 points. But not only that, he scored well above his age level in many areas. I still can't believe it. Dr. X and his Vision Therapy program is a Godsend. I am confident that my son will do well at Yeshiva this year!
Matanya Aberra, Josef's parent

Before therapy, J.R's handwriting was very difficult to read. Now, his ability to focus on the individual letters, as well as the overall word, has improved both his reading and writing.

I highly recommend Vision Therapy. Over the past year, I have seen many students currently pegged as having "bad behavior," but who are merely reaching out for support and attention. They feel "dumb, stupid" etc., because they are smart enough to realize they are not keeping up the work level, but do not realize that it is the visual processing that is creating the problem.
Ms. Hagans

My son Cody has shown great improvement in school since he started vision therapy. I was amazed when he brought his report card home. He reads much more fluently now. Cody used to fight with me every night because he didn't want to do his homework. It usually took him 2 to 3 hours every night to get his school work done (if I got him to do it). He avoided reading and writing at all costs. But now he comes home from school and does his homework right away with no arguments.

Cody's confidence in himself has grown. Kids called him "dummy" at school; they have stopped now. He is much happier and much more outgoing. Before Vision Therapy, I was so frustrated with him. I felt helpless, and hopeless. His teacher was ready to pull her hair out. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. I knew he was not dumb. But he just didn't care about anything. I am so happy that we found Vision Therapy.
Brenda Zupke, Cody's parent, 6/12/99

As of the 7th session of vision therapy, we have noticed a big change in our daughter, not only mentally but physically and emotionally. She is not down on herself like she was before. Before Vision Therapy, she would come home crying that she was stupid, dumb, and would say she had no friends.

Day after day we prayed for some answer. We had test after test (including blood work) and everything was normal. Finally, we were blessed to find an optometrist who cared and who referred her to a wonderful developmental optometrist. Now, Chelsey comes home from school with a smile and is excited to tell me about her day.

We have told many people about this, and believe it or not, I finally have people listening to me. I had a mother call me and say everything she has read sounds like her son. After talking with her, I asked my daughter if this bothers her and she said no. "Mom, I know what he is going through and I hope he can get help." She said there was a time when she wanted to commit suicide because it seemed easier than going through what she was experiencing. This made me so sad, and to think how many other kids and adults out there are going through this.

For years Chelsey came home with school work and spent hours doing it and I never understood. Since therapy, she gets most of her homework done at school and has some for home, but wow, it doesn't take her long at all.

Her grades have gone up. Her Social Studies teacher told us he has noticed her self-confidence has gone up. Her face doesn't get red when she gets upset because she isn't so frustrated like before. Kids notice a change; the girls seem jealous and the boys are liking her.

Chelsey entered "battle of the books" this week. This was a shock because for years she didn't care to read. On the way to therapy, I asked her what made her join. She said, "Mom, I want to do this; when I read now things make sense." She said before Vision Therapy she would read one chapter and couldn't remember what she'd read but now the chapters make sense and it's fun to read.

Chelsey isn't clumsy like she was. Before, when she poured juice, she dumped it. She ran into things all the time and was very poor at sports. All this has changed for the better, even her posture and walking. I could go on and on but time is up!
Wendy Edeler, Chelsey's parent, 2/9/02

Dear Dr. X,

Visual therapy has been a major blessing in this house. My son, Peter, has benefited so much from it. His life has turned on to a path of ability, achievement and potential. this path and these destinations were not open to him prior to visual therapy. Peter's willingness to try has come alive, because he now knows he can do so much!

Peter's grades and achievements in school have gone up, up, up. His rough days and poor grades are not as severe and come further apart. We are thrilled with this direction. Peter now asks us to read not only to him, but with him, and wants to leave the light on at night to read.

He no longer says, "I can't," "I don't want to," "I'm stupid," "I'll never learn," "It's too hard," "I'm an idiot," or "I'm a retard." Peter now says, when a difficult assignment comes up, "Ahhh, I don't understand!" This allows me to explain again.

My son no longer throws his papers in the trash, or tears them up into little pieces. It takes him about 5-10 minutes to do his homework paper, instead of 30-60 minutes. He can write much more clearly, and his reversals are continually on the decrease.

In the last two months, Peter has discovered he can draw and color, and that it is fun! One of his favorite activities is to make up his own mazes. Enclosed is a copy of one, good luck. (Maze not included in this Web posting.)

Visual therapy has changed our son's attitude on life and himself. Peter Hall now has an optimistic approach to life. What a gift we have received at the end of the road you have sent him on. He is a beautiful, wonderful child, unfolding before our eyes. Thank you for the vital role you have played in his life.
Robyn Hall, Peter's mother

When we came to your office we were basically at our wit's end. We knew that we had a very bright child on our hands and we were completely frustrated with the school system. Here was a child who at the age of four wanted to be a paleontologist -- not an archaeologist -- and who knew the meaning of and difference between the two. By kindergarten we had checked out just about every book in the library for him pertaining to dinosaurs and then had to read and suffer through the pronunciations of their names. The school psychologist (who, in our opinion, is in need of evaluation herself) tested him and found him to be five points above functionally retarded. Mind you, at the beginning of first grade, Dusty was testing out on a fourth grade level in science and social studies, but was on a pre-school level for math and reading. When questioned as to how she came to her findings, she said that they had to base their testing on the child's ability to read and write. So, more or less, if little Johnny can't see and you ask him to point out the letter R, is he retarded? If little Janie, has no arms and you ask her to point to the number nine, is she retarded when she can't perform the task at hand? After having wasted the first two years of his schooling by listening to these mental midgets we had enough when they wanted to put him in a class with three Down's syndrome children, two autistic children and several "attention deficit" children.

When we started the Visual Therapy, we did not know how much or how long it would take before we started to notice an improvement. In a matter of two weeks, Dustin mentioned to his grandparents during a visit that for the first time, while wearing his glasses, "Things weren't moving around all over the page." Within less than a month, we started to notice improvement as far as letter recognition. By the time Dusty went back to school he could recognize eighty-five percent of his letters in both upper and lower case. Mind you, this was coming from a child that just three months earlier could not tell you the letters in his name when taken out of context, but could tell you from pictures the names of every dinosaur, and which ones ate meat and which ones were vegetarians.

Although Dusty is still not quite out of the woods, the differences between where he was and where he is now go beyond a marked improvement. With the help he gets at home, and with the tutoring on the side, it's just a matter of time before his "TEACHERS" start coming to him for advice. We've also seen a noticeable improvement in his self-esteem that the schools worked so hard on destroying. Dusty is now beginning to flourish in all avenues. Before he would shy away from anything that required pen to paper. Artwork was more painful than pulling teeth, because he couldn't make it look like what it was supposed to be. Now he finds art a pleasure to do. He's always shown an interest in books and knowledge, but now he's pointing to words and trying to pronounce them with us. He even critiques the books he can read. Siskel and Ebert look out. Dusty says, "The beginner books are dumb! They have no real story. Who cares about them?" or "Why is this book called Sad Sam when every picture of him has him smiling?" It goes on and on from there, all of which makes us most grateful!
Mrs. Boxer, Dustin's mother

Dustin has always been a very social and caring child, but he did have a tendency to shy away from or withdraw from games that he felt challenged by. Recognizing his weakness, he would try to change the activities being done, so that no one would see his shortcomings. If other children were reading, he would say, "That's a dumb book. We should be out playing on a nice day." Or if another child asked him to read something, he would tell them to figure it for themselves and then walk away rather than admit that he could not do it. To quote him, "I don't want people thinking I'm dumb."
Mrs. Boxer, Dustin's mother

When Jeffrey began therapy, he had just completed a very traumatic 2nd grade year in school. He was "labeled" as a non-reader and low achiever in spite of his curiosity level and advanced vocabulary and word usage. His self-esteem was very low. Upon discovering Jeffrey's vision problem and after conversing with Dr. X, Jeffrey's comment was, "I knew I wasn't stupid."

Therapy lasted all summer - one hour a week with exercises everyday at home. When school started there was a marked improvement. A conference with his teacher and principal alerted them to Jeff's needs. They were very cooperative and helpful.

Jeffrey had a lot of catching up to do academically. Progress was slow, but steady. When Jeff finished 3rd grade, he was reading 2.5. We continued therapy to prepare for 4th grade. During this time, everything seemed to click for Jeff. He soared when testing was done in May. Jeff scored above 4th grade level in all areas. His teacher was as excited as we were. Jeff's confidence increased twofold. He finally felt he could do it.

A time that sticks out in my mind the most was when Jeff read aloud to us from Robin Hood, which we felt was way above his reading level. His father and I cried. I feel that without Dr. X's help and advice, following through on the complete program of Vision Therapy, and Jeff's determination, Jeff would not have been on the honor roll every year nor would he be entering the seventh grade( as I write this) fully confident and ready to conquer the world!!

Now I don't hesitate to discuss vision needs with parents of needy children and I often relate Jeff's history.
Mrs. Snow (mother of Jeffrey Snow)

Today, Alex reads at grade level, reads for pleasure and writes legibly. And while he continues to work at mastering reading and writing, we are confident that the skills he now possesses will permit him to keep up with his studies - and excel in the classroom. With your guidance, he has maintained a positive attitude toward therapy-rarely feeling discouraged-and always appreciating that he was not "stupid", but simply needed to complete some tasks set before him to improve his schoolwork. Alex now has the skills he needs to succeed in school, and we are certain that your therapy has been the most important factor in his improved skills.
Dad of Alex (age 8)


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