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Vision Therapy After Eye Muscle Surgery, Strabismus Surgery, Lazy Eye Surgery

Vision Therapy before and/or after eye muscle surgery produces better results than strabismus surgery alone.

I have been cross-eyed since I was only a few months old. After three childhood surgeries, my eyes looked straight but I still did not see normally. As a result, I had problems learning to read in school, was put in a class of problem children, and had a hard time learning to drive. When I was forty-eight years old...I learned to point my two eyes at the same place at the same time...I've written my own book... [this is Sue Barry, a.k.a. Stereo Sue from Oliver Sack's June 19 New Yorker article] [More]

I have had a total of 11 eye surgeries. [More]

... after all these years, I finally found someone who was confident that they could help my daughter see normally. Everyone who has known my daughter was amazed at all the progress she has made.[More]

According to the literature, this is supposedly impossible to achieve. This is a true and great success story! [More]

Paul is now reading, his eyes work together much of the time, and he has a better sense of where he is in space, which helps him to better maneuver his power chair. Dr. X and Vision Therapy have really made a difference in Paul's life! [More]

My case appears to be severe, but I am thankful that I now have a place to go. This behavioral optometrist has done more for me in 6 months than any other eye doctor. [More]

Justin had surgery on his left eye to correct a pronounced eye turn. The surgery did not work. Four years later, another surgeon said he could not operate again on the left eye, but he wanted to operate on the right. [More]

Dr. X's treatment techniques gave Six an option other than the only one that had been available to Nikki in Belgium: surgery. But a procedure at age 2 corrected Nikki's vision problem for only five years, and surgeons said that they couldn't do anything more. [More]

We thought that because of the two previous eye surgeries, and on-off eye patching for four years, that there might be a connection with her reading problem, but didn't know what to do about it. [More]

See also Without Surgery, Crossed Eyes (Eye Turns), Lazy Eye, Depth Perception, and Double Vision (Diplopia)


Read full stories below.

I have been cross-eyed since I was only a few months old. After three childhood surgeries, my eyes looked straight but I still did not see normally. As a result, I had problems learning to read in school, was put in a class of problem children, and had a hard time learning to drive. When I was forty-eight years old, I went to see a developmental optometrist who customized a program of optometric vision therapy for me. I learned to point my two eyes at the same place at the same time and, for the first time, began to see in 3D. The experience was unbelievable. Tree limbs reached out toward me or grew upward enclosing whole volumes of space. Their leaves formed mosaics in 3D. I was so captivated that I wrote a letter all about it to the neurologist and author, Oliver Sacks, who wrote a story about me called Stereo Sue that was published in the June 19, 2006 issue of the New Yorker. Since then, I've written my own book describing the importance of stereovision, documenting my visual experiences and that of many others, and explaining how the vision therapy works. My book is called Fixing My Gaze: A Scientist's Journey into Seeing in Three Dimensions.
Susan R. Barry, Ph.D.

My name is Kelly and I was born with Strabismus. I have had a total of 11 eye surgeries. My parents have always taken me to the best doctors in the U.S. My eyes look straight, but they're a mess. I never knew I had no depth perception until I was 20 years old. I was always the last picked in school for sports (you know how that is).

I have been going to doctors for years now always saying, "I can't see far away. Everything goes fuzzy," but my tests were always fine. My daughter also has strabismus and has had one eye surgery, and wears glasses, and she's only 6 years old. Now I notice my son has begun squinting; and he's only 3. I'm taking all of us to look into Vision Therapy. Thanks so much for your websites. You are a godsend.
Respectfully yours,
Kelly DeHaan, Oregon

I am so glad I started searching the Internet looking for alternatives to the eye surgery my doctor was recommending. I had actually scheduled the surgery, which would have been my 2nd, when I discovered that there were alternatives.
Renee Tyson, Haughton, LA

My daughter, Victoria, was diagnosed with a weak eye muscle when she was 14 months old. Two prominent ophthalmologists told me that the only way to correct this problem was with surgery. They were adamant that eye exercises would not help. Victoria was scheduled for surgery when she was three years old, and during this time, she could only see clearly with her head tilted to the side. Due to this head tilt, she did not enjoy activities like tumbling and experienced a number of falls when climbing, because her balance was not very good. In spite of this, she was a very happy, bright, outgoing, and inquisitive child.

Victoria had her surgery, and although her surgeon told me how successful this surgery was, my daughter seemed to lose some of her spark after that day. At one follow-up visit, I was informed that she would now have limited downward mobility in her eye and would most likely require additional surgeries as she grew. I was quite disturbed to hear this, because I had been led to believe that after the surgery, Victoria's eyes would be normal and no further adjustments would be required. There was no mention of any post surgery limitation in her vision. I would now begin to wonder: what if my daughter wanted to be an airline pilot? Unfortunately, that would now not be an option. As the follow-up visits continued, I was repeatedly told how well she was seeing, but my mother's intuition told me something wasn't right.

No one was aware that Victoria's academic performance was being adversely affected by her vision, until one day when I had a conversation with her first grade teacher. This concerned teacher told me that Victoria was a very interesting child, and although she seemed motivated to do well, she frequently needed to be reprimanded for not paying attention in class. Victoria was not completing her work on time, she was not paying attention in class, and had lost a number of recesses because of this. The teacher also seemed surprised when I told her that Victoria said she liked school, since she had to frequently correct Victoria in front of the class.

She gave me an example of when they were learning to write their letters. The teacher would display a letter on the board in front of the classroom and the children were asked to copy it on their paper. When she asked the children to look up at the next letter, Victoria would not be looking up, she continued looking down at her paper. Another example the teacher gave me was when she would ask the class to finish what they were doing to get ready for the next activity, Victoria would keep on working as if she had not spoken. Her teacher also mentioned to me that Victoria was still reversing letters, and with her test scores, this was very unusual. Her teacher also pointed out that when she was observing the children in gym class, Victoria's coordination was off, and she appeared very clumsy and awkward. She was surprised by this, since she knew that Victoria had been taking dance lessons since she was three. At the same time, I was noticing that my once happy, joyful outgoing child was describing herself as shy in school, she was losing her self-confidence and her willingness to try new things, especially sports. She was barely able to ride her bike with training wheels, and she could not play simple games like croquet. Victoria loved to draw, and excelled at drawing. Her teacher told me that her abilities exceeded those of her age group. The level of detail in her drawings, her creativity, and fine motor coordination were very advanced for a first grader. What was going on with Victoria?

Later that same week, while Victoria was doing her homework, I observed her starting to reverse her letters. When I pointed this out to her, she informed me that when the white flashes came she could not see, and when they stopped she was often confused about what she was doing. She had been experiencing these white flashes since Kindergarten. I shared with her the conversation I had with her teacher regarding her learning to write new letters. I asked her why she didn't always follow the teachers' direction to look back up at the board to see the next letter. Victoria very freely told me that she couldn't see the board, because everything was blurry, so she waited for her eyes to clear so she could see the board again.

It was now obvious to me that my intuition was right, my daughter was having problems seeing. I did not want to take her back to her surgeon, because I feared that his only recommendation would be more surgery. I had recently learned about behavioral optometry, and so I decided to find a behavioral optometrist. The first behavioral optometrist I took Victoria to informed me that although Victoria's eye looked cosmetically correct, her eyes were not evenly aligned in her head. Even though this difference was very difficult to observe with our eyes, it was causing all the problems she was having in school. Since her eyes were unevenly aligned in her head, two different images were being sent to her brain, and her brain had to put the two images together in order to see clearly. The Doctor verified that all the problems she had been having in school were related to how difficult it was for Victoria to get her eyes working together. The white flashes she was experiencing were actually ocular migraines brought on from the stress of trying to do her schoolwork. This proved that Victoria was not a lazy child who simply wasn't paying attention. She had been working so hard that she was actually bringing on these migraines.

The Doctor also informed me that Victoria's natural focal point was extremely short. This made it very difficult for her to do close work and then switch to distant work. For Victoria, a request to look at the blackboard after completing written work would result in blurred vision. Even what appeared as her not paying attention in class was really a result of the total focus she had to put into completing her schoolwork. Victoria simply could not hear her teacher's request to transition to a new activity.

This behavioral optometrist prescribed glasses with prism lenses that would extend her focal point, so that she would be able to participate more successfully in class. She could now switch her focal point from close work to distant work easily and without stress. He also made some recommendations for her classroom teacher that would minimize distractions in the class for Victoria.

Although I was very happy to hear that there was a medical reason behind my daughter's challenges in school, I was once again disappointed by his prognosis for my daughter. This Doctor felt that since her eye muscle had been damaged by surgery, eye exercises could no longer help her. He felt strongly that if she had had Vision Therapy prior to surgery, she may never have needed surgery in the first place, but he felt that at this point her problems were not correctable. I asked about additional surgery, and he said that it is extremely difficult for any ophthalmologists, no matter how talented, to perfectly align the eyes surgically, and that would only address a portion of my daughter's vision disability. It would not improve how the eyes were working together.

Victoria did better in school, but I still felt she was not performing up to her potential. Physically, she was making only a little improvement. Her gym teacher did give her additional gym classes with the younger children, but she was becoming even more isolated from her peers, who were now on soccer teams and riding their bikes all over the neighborhood. In the third grade, as the difficulty of her school work was increasing, her teacher noticed that Victoria was rubbing her eyes a lot in class and thought that perhaps Victoria was having problems seeing again. Fortunately for us, Dr. X had successfully used Vision Therapy with this teacher's husband, so she recommended that I have Dr. X evaluate Victoria.

I cannot begin to tell you how elated I was when Dr. X evaluated her and informed me that with intensive Vision Therapy, not only would my daughter be able to develop good vision, but possibly excellent vision. I couldn't believe it, after all these years, I had finally found someone who was confident that they could help my daughter see normally, and she would be able to participate in all types of physical activities.

Victoria's Vision Therapy lasted a full year and consisted of two in-office therapy sessions a week, and at home exercises of approximately 15 minutes a day for five days a week. Everyone who had known my daughter was amazed at all the progress she has made. After the first few months of therapy, Victoria retired her glasses, and she began to show interest in physical activities. Her enthusiasm for school increased, she developed more friendships at school, she was less clumsy, and overall was a happier more self-confident child.

There were times during the at home exercises when tears came to my eyes as I watched my daughter struggle to get both eyes to look right at the same time and then left. First the strong eye would look right and then I would watch the weak eye move in an awkward movement to join the right eye. This process would be repeated to the left, and then up and then down. Simple eye movements that most people take for granted took a lot of effort and concentration on her part. The lags between the eye movements were very noticeable if you knew what to look for. Another time while I was observing Victoria's practice, I asked her a question and she asked me not to speak to her. I asked Dr. X about this and he told me that was because she needed to focus her full attention on completing the exercise. He reassured me that as she improved, she would eventually be able to hold a conversation while doing the exercises, but not right now. I wondered how in the world did this child manage to do as well in school as she did when her eyes were working so poorly. I think about how she must have felt in the classroom when she was frequently disciplined for doing her very best. I also think about other children like Victoria with similar types of vision problem, and I wonder how many ways it may be affecting their young lives as well. Why did it take so many years for me to find someone who could truly help my daughter?

There was one point during Victoria's therapy when Dr. X thought she might need additional surgery, because due to the severity of her problems, she was not responding as quickly to the therapy as he would have liked. We stayed with the Vision Therapy for twelve months, seven months longer than was originally planned in order to complete her program. Victoria's eyes are now working together in unison, she has normal focal length, her double vision is gone, and she has good depth perception. She even has full mobility in the eye that her surgeon told me would always have limited downward mobility. This success was an unexpected bonus for all of us.

Now Victoria, the little girl who used to feel different from all the other kids in school, is once again a happy, outgoing, well-rounded enthusiastic child. She enjoys biking, tennis, and downhill skiing, she has even joined a basketball team this year. She is an avid reader, who loves school, and her grades have improved substantially. Best of all, she really loves learning, because it is a lot easier for her now. She also still excels in art.

Thank you Dr. X, and the staff at The Eye Care Center, who made Victoria's Vision Therapy sessions fun and enjoyable, and provided much needed motivation for the at-home exercises. Thanks for your encouragement when we became frustrated and for the miracle you've created in our lives. You have given me back my child, who now has the opportunity to be her personal best!
Pamela M. Helwig, Victoria's parent, 12/03/02

Before Vision Therapy, 16 year old Don had very obvious nystagmus. He was a constant good sized angle exotrope (35 - 40 PD), even after strabismic surgery at the age of 7, and had bilateral amblyopia due to very high astigmatic errors, as well as the nystagmus. Don, who was already active in competitive go-cart racing, wanted to get his drivers license, so he and his mother chose to explore the option of Optometric Vision Therapy to dampen and control his nystagmus with the hope of improving his visual acuity.

At Don's initial evaluation, a detailed family history revealed a strong inheritance pattern of congenital nystagmus accompanied by exotropia and high bilateral astigmatism. His medical history was positive for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), for which he is currently taking Medadate daily.

Don's treatment was based on a multimodal therapeutic approach, which included refractive correction, prismatic correction, optometric Vision Therapy, and experimental testing with soft contact lenses. Based on his initial examination, it was decided that Don's prior lens and prism prescription would be used while conducting all Vision Therapy procedures. He began a program of Vision Therapy to address the nystagmus, exotropia, and overall binocular vision dysfunction. His goal was to achieve sufficient visual acuity to obtain a driver's permit.

Don was provided 2 one-hour Vision Therapy sessions per week for four months. He also had home-training sessions four days a week for approximately 10 minutes a day, which provided reinforcement of the in-office Vision Therapy sessions. The therapy focused on improving ocular motility, fixation and alignment, as well as convergence ability and overall binocularity.

Ongoing evaluations were performed throughout the four months of Vision Therapy. These showed progressive decreases in nystagmus, improved control of the strabismic deviation, improved visual acuity, diminished diplopia, and markedly increased convergence ability. These improvements were also noted by Don and his family. At the end of Don's Vision Therapy sessions, improvement was noted in most areas, and most importantly, his visual acuity of 20/40OU was now sufficient to allow him to attain his goal of obtaining a driver's permit.

He is now 20/30, the exotropia is gone, and unless very nervous, the nystagmus is a thing of the past. According to the literature, this is supposedly impossible to achieve. Don now drives his own car, and has seen a huge increase in his self-esteem and confidence. This is a true success story!

This is a summary of a case study about 16 year old Don that appeared in the Journal of Behavioral Optometry, Vol. 14, 2003, No.6, p. 144-148.

My son Paul is nine years old and has cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects his muscle control. Since birth, Paul has had eye problems. He had eye muscle surgery when he was one year old to correct the severe turning of his right eye [strabismus]. He has worn glasses since his first year and continued to see eye doctors on a regular basis.

When Paul was six years old, he had a wonderful occupational therapist. Paul had been having trouble driving his wheelchair, and the therapist hoped that if Paul could get help from a developmental optometrist, many of his visual problems could be solved. She recommended Dr. X, who fitted Paul with yoke prism eye glasses. We saw immediate gains at home and at school.

Dr. X also gave us many eye exercises to do with Paul. Dr. X made me believe that with training through Vision Therapy, Paul's vision had a chance to improve. Paul is now reading, his eyes work together much of the time, and he has a better sense of where he is in space, which helps him to better maneuver his power chair. Dr. X and Vision Therapy have really made a difference in Paul's life!
S. Stevens, Paul's parent

My name is Kevin Brocker, and I recently stumbled upon Rachel Cooper's story while playing on the computer. I was amazed at how similar her story is to my own. Unfortunately, however, I was unaware of Vision Therapy and had eye surgery. As I now know (but did not understand until my late twenties/early thirties), I have strabismus; more specifically alternating esotropia.

When I was a child, my parents did take me to an eye doctor. He examined me and said that my eye condition was not uncommon and that I would grow out of it. From that time on, I went about my business of being a kid, growing up, playing and going to school. I never thought for a moment that there was anything wrong with me. I played little league, went to school, rode my bike and hung out with my friends after school. Looking back though, I can see how I struggled with just about everything. Reading the blackboard at school, reading books and playing different sports with my friends were things that were always difficult.

At some point, perhaps at the age of 9 or 10 an eye doctor prescribed a pair of glasses for me. I wore them around for a while, but I don't remember them helping much. As a kid it was kinda cool to have glasses (at least I thought so) -- but it wasn't long before I lost them and didn't seem to mind at all.

By then I was in high school -- I struggled, but I made it (no glasses etc. . . . ). Off I went to college . . .

I was becoming more independent and I realized that I was squinting to see the blackboard (larger classrooms, etc. . . . ), so I made my own appointment to see an eye doctor off campus. This is an appointment that sticks in my mind. I tried to explain that I was not only squinting, but having trouble concentrating and that I felt I was using one eye more than the other. At this point though, I still didn't have a feeling that my eyes were not straight (I was not conscious of any cosmetic problem). The doctor ran around his office and gave me a pair of glasses and said, "just wear these." I could tell something was not right, but hey, I got a pair of glasses . . . and he was the doctor. He never even used the words "lazy eye" or anything.

Basically, I went through my twenties going to different optometrists. Never was it mentioned that I had an eye disorder/disability -- I can now say that this was a great injustice.

When I was 29, I went back to school. Being back in school made me confront my eyes again. For the first time, I became aware (consciously), that one of my eyes was not straight. In addition, I now noticed that I could switch from using one eye to the other (that's why it's called alternating). This was weird . . . so, this time I thought, I'll go to a "real" eye doctor . . . an ophthalmologist.

Dr. (xxxxx) seemed like a great doctor. He performed various tests that I had never been exposed to before. He spoke about fusion, and defined my eye problem as alternating esotropia . . . I was amazed someone actually told me what was wrong with my eyes!!!!!! I was also told that I was lucky, because I was a unique case, and that, with surgery, I had the potential for fusion. I was quite excited and filled with a new hope. On May 8, 1992, I had eye surgery at XXX Hospital in New York.

After the surgery, I must have had double vision for a week or more. Things seemed to gradually get worse. The ophthalmologist began fitting me with various prisms, etc. . . . and I became increasingly uncomfortable wearing glasses. My right eye, that he operated on, turned back in, and my glasses were too strong and killed my eyes. Also, though I could switch between my two eyes BEFORE the surgery, the eye turns had not been cosmetically noticeable. Now, however, both eyes switched or turned noticeably and I seemed to lose the dominance of my left eye. To make matters worse, I became increasingly monocular and suffered from severe eye pain. I would put my glasses on and within a short time I would take them off. Driving also became more difficult.

I did not know where to go. Who could help me now???? I went from optometrist to optometrist, to ophthalmologist to ophthalmologist -- no one ever mentioned eye therapy. No one. The doctors would basically just give me a new prescription and write up a bill. I went to the (xxxxx) Medical Center and visited a Dr. (xxxxx). He wrote up a nice report but that was about it. An orthoptist in the same office, however, took pity on me and gave me the address of a specialist at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. I traveled down to the city and she did a fine job asking me questions and examining my eyes -- but, again, I was handed a new prescription.

Somehow my mother heard about an educational Eye Institute. I was always complaining, so, she had been keeping an ear out for someone who could possibly help me. A behavioral optometrist was mentioned in the letter from this association, so I gave him a call. This doctor is the only doctor that didn't mind seeing me again. Eventually, I began Vision Therapy in his office (a 2 hour drive from my home) once a week. I was skeptical about his approach to my eyes (Vision Therapy), however, I have been making weekly visits and am making real progress. My case appears to be severe, but I am thankful that I now have a place to go. This behavioral optometrist has done more for me in 6 months than any other eye doctor.

Well, that's my story... ( a bit long-winded perhaps).

Thank you for all of your time and I hope you found this story a little interesting.
Kevin Brocker

Karina was seeing double after her surgery. After Vision Therapy she is able to fuse the two images together and hold it as one for longer than she ever could. Her eyes look straight. This after other doctors had doubts about Karina being able to do it.
Karina Singh's Parents

At the age of 4, Justin had surgery on his left eye to correct a pronounced eye turn. The surgery did not work. Four years later, another surgeon said he could not operate again on the left eye, but he wanted to operate on the right. He said the operation would misalign that eye, and as it worked to straighten itself out, it would bring the left eye into alignment. That recommendation was frightening to us.

At age nine, Vision Therapy was recommended after testing had found Justin to be writing at age level five. His writing was essentially illegible, and as he progressed in school it was becoming an issue for his grades.

Given the test results - and knowing we couldn't bring ourselves to authorize surgery on an eye with nothing wrong with it-we decided to explore the possibility.

Dr. X explained the concept on our first visit: that Justin's misaligned eyes left him confused as to where he was in relationship to his world. Her testing showed he sometimes saw double. But it showed that mostly his brain was shutting off the misaligned eye to blot out the confusing information. His handwriting was simply a symptom of all this. So was his poor gross motor control. (Justin could fall down just standing next to a counter.)

So we began a year long therapy, driving an hour weekly for the sessions and creating a routine at home to do the exercises. And in the end, Justin is using both eyes. He still hates to write. But his writing is 100 percent better. His eyes appear straight - something a colleague who hasn't seen Justin for months recently remarked upon.

During one of his first visits, Justin told Dr. X that the kids called him "cross-eyed" and he hoped the therapy could make a difference. At his last check up, he told her, "They don't call me cross-eyed anymore."
Mom of Justin (age 9)

Belgian Family Focused on Flint
The Flint Journal, July 6, 2001 - by Jeremy W. Steele, Journal Staff Writer

Two years ago, Belgian doctors told Sam Six they couldn't do anything more for his daughter: The 7-year-old was functionally blind in her right eye.

But the diagnosis wasn't acceptable to the resident of Wervik, Belgium, a town about an hour west of Brussels. Instead, Six spent five days on the Internet searching for a way to correct his daughter Nikki's eye, which was turning out of its normal line of vision.

The search led him to www.visiontherapygroup.com, the web site of Flint optometrist Dr. X.

Dr. X specializes in correcting conditions like Nikki's - known as strabismus-amblyopia, or more commonly "lazy eye" - by using eye exercises and focusing techniques.

"The first thing we got there was hope. We turned from hopeless into hopeful like that," Six said with a snap of his fingers.

Dr. X's treatment techniques gave Six an option other than the only one that had been available to Nikki in Belgium: surgery. But a procedure at age 2 corrected Nikki's vision problem for only five years, and surgeons said that they couldn't do anything more.

Nikki, now 9, faced forever being without any depth perception and was nearly legally blind in her right eye. What people with normal vision could see 100 feet away, Nikki could see at only 20 feet with that eye, slightly better than seeing only the big E on the eye chart.

So Six e-mailed Dr. X for help, and after finding a Belgian man who received three weeks of training in visual therapy in the United States, the Flint optometrist developed a plan to treat Nikki.

Through e-mail and a Web site, Dr. X received photographs and written updates on Nikki's condition, and he sent suggestions and therapy techniques overseas.

His goal was to train Nikki to realize when her eye wanders, fix it and experience the three-dimensional images she couldn't see.

Because the condition causes one eye to move out of the normal line of site, the eyes cannot work together to create depth. Instead, a sort of double vision is created and the brain shuts down the image from the bad eye, creating a flat image.

Dr. X estimates that about 15 percent to 20 percent of people suffer from a similar condition that impairs sight. But even in the United States, he said the medical field has been slow to move away from surgeries, which have low success rates, and toward physical therapy to solve the problem.

Dr. X found his own son had problems focusing his sight in some situations. "We went to his first parent-teacher conference and about 15 minutes into it his teacher said he probably wasn't going to pass the first grade because he couldn't read well," Dr. X said.

"So I did what any good eye doctor does and examined his eyes for the first time."

Dr. X found his son was over-focusing on words, causing his vision to give out early and impairing his reading ability. When he looked into available therapies, Dr. X discovered there were no local visual therapists.

So he began studying and became one. His son can now read without problems and Dr. X's office has five full-time therapists who work with 61 children.

Six hopes he, too, can help children affected with similar sight conditions in his homeland. He's promised to do everything in his power to make Vision Therapy an established treatment in Belgium.

"Down in Belgium, it's considered voodoo," he said. "They've got acupuncturists and chiropractors, but not vision therapists."

Only doctors licensed by the government - usually tied to traditional surgery techniques - are allowed to treat cases like Nikki's legally, Six said. He hopes he can raise awareness to get some of those doctors to change their treatments, and help get legal visual therapists established.

In the meantime, Nikki continues to progress in her therapy to gain full use of her sight.

After a year and a half of training, she had a break through - Nikki was able to bring her eye in line to see a 3-D picture of a fly. For the first time, she experienced depth-perception and the fly seemed to jump off the page.

Months later, her eyes work together nearly 90 percent of the time, Dr. X said.

"When I got the news she had experienced fusion for the first time I was shouting with excitement," Dr. X said. "That's when things really started cooking."

And that news couldn't be better for Six, who turned his garage into a makeshift therapy room to help his daughter. Six brought Nikki and the rest of his family to the United States to meet Dr. X this week and say thank you in person.

"We had a goal and are reaching that goal," Six said. "I'm really excited about this. I'm helping my little girl, and I've beaten the system."

By the end of first grade, we knew Kelly had a reading problem. She did well in all her other subjects, but had a difficulty reading the simplest book. She could not sound out words, or spell very well when writing. Yet, Kelly was too "bright" for the school to provide any reading services. By the beginning of second grade, it was evident that her frustration level was increasing as other children in her class were moving ahead.

We thought that because of the two previous eye surgeries, and on-off eye patching for four years, that there might be a connection with her reading problem, but didn't know what to do about it.

Then in December 1997, we heard of Dr. X through his speaking to the Orchard Park Special Education Committee. When Kelly complained of seeing double, we made the phone call in January 1998. After initial evaluation, we were shocked to find out that Kelly's eyes were not working together or tracking properly. Our surprise was based on the fact that she had been seen by ophthalmologists regularly since the age of 6 months. But we were relieved that Dr. X felt that he had a treatment plan that would help Kelly.

After Vision Therapy the difference with Kelly has literally been night and day. Kelly went from a child who would not pick up a book to one who won't turn out the lights at night, as she's reading. Her confidence level has soared, as well as her ability to read smaller print and more difficult chapter books.

I think our experience with Dr. X can best be summed up by the following: When Kelly was asked in school to write, "One thing that makes you happy," her response was "reading." I would like to thank Dr. X and his staff for being so accommodating to Kelly's needs. Therapy was enjoyable, and she looked forward to coming every week. Vision Therapy can be an alternative solution if your child is having difficulty in school. It was for our family!
Sincerely,
Ann F., 9.30.1998


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