When our son, Lucas, was a baby, we missed some telling signs that he had a lazy eye. When he watched tv, he would tilt his head at a 45-degree angle. When he learned to crawl, he would close his eyes as he neared a wall and would hit his head into it due to his lack of depth perception. He was also very “clumsy” and would fall off of curbs, couches, chairs, etc. We never connected this to an eye issue until much later.
At his Pre-k, his teacher said the kids were copying off the wall and Lucas got up and had to read what it said. I immediately made him an eye appt. When we arrived at my eye doctor, I was shocked to find my son could only see out of one eye. They gave him a very strong eye prescription and told me to patch his eye for 2hrs daily. He adjusted to the glasses & told me he never saw the points in the leaves of a tree and thought all trees had apples. He absolutely hated the patching and would find ways to hide it or wear it incorrectly. It was a constant battle and then more battles developed.
He started K with 2 worksheets a night. It would take close to 2hrs of prodding and prying to get it done. He couldn’t use the number chart because it was too confusing; math & reading frustrated him the most. He is very talented in art, but his ability to sit for long periods of time was not there. His teacher suggested he had ADHD. I disagreed. I teach HS students and have seen their writing. Lucas was a perfectionist, something else was wrong. Not only did we struggle with homework, but with how things felt to Lucas. He hated all his socks and could never get them straight. I would literally be asking him to get dressed for an hour before school because something didn’t feel right to him. We would go through several shirts, pants, socks, etc. He also hated sitting still. Some said this was what a boy did, but it became to the point that it was throwing his focus off in school. I knew something had to be done, but wasn’t sure what.
I got wind of Vision Therapy and started thinking that this sounded good. I found a place in Frederick and took Lucas. It turned out they just wanted to patch & go no further. Lucas struggled through 1st grade; I kept advocating for him; the teacher & I came up with some techniques to get him through most days. I was called often because his underwear didn’t feel right; any time they did math, he suddenly had the urge to go to the bathroom. In both K/1st grade Lucas got marks on his report card stating that he could not focus, needed to not talk out, and needed to work on self-control. We knew he was smart, but Lucas would say he was stupid. He also would say he could not stop from doing what he did; he didn’t see what was happening. During the summer after 1st grade, I was determined to find a Vision Therapy doctor nearby. We live in west Virginia, so when I saw Dr. Davis in Winchester, I made a call which was our family’s God-send. We were so blessed to find Dr. Davis and it has truly changed Lucas’ world for what we hope he will always have — confidence.
As soon as Dr. Davis examined Lucas, he realized the prescription was too strong and also said “Lucas was not comfortable in his skin”. He did several things that day to illustrate that Lucas’ eyes and brain were not in sync with each other, how Lucas held his hands and feet a certain way, how he spun his head around to follow a light. When my husband and I met with Dr. Davis, we went in saying that whatever we could do for Lucas we would do. Dr. Davis explained what could be done with Vision Therapy and then we were shown the cost. Our insurance did not cover this and we wondered if we could make it happen. On the ride home we decided we would make some sacrifices to make this happen for Lucas; it has truly been worth every penny. We also made sure Lucas had a 504 in place showing these tests and Dr. Davis’ recommendations for his accommodations. Dr. Davis and his entire staff were so helpful during this part of the process.
Lucas went through therapy for a 1 ½ years. His 2nd gr teacher saw the biggest leaps since he started the therapy a month before 2nd gr. He changed so much at home as well. He could wear any sock, shirt, jean, etc. without it feeling weird. Homework was done within 15-20 min. and normally without my help. His grades improved especially in math/reading. Lucas started to feel good about himself. Every morning before school, we would do 4 activities suggested by his therapist and then he would go off to school.
During the summer, we kept up the strategies and also did Dynamic Reader. He liked the program and progressed well with it. When Lucas started 3rd grade, I decided to just let him try some things on his own before talking with his teacher. One day I got a call from his teacher and she said she wanted to know why Lucas had a 504. I explained his vision and she said, if you didn’t tell me this, I never would have known. He is a great student. Lucas just got his report card and received 3 B’s and 7 A’s. The B’s were two percentage points away from an A. His teacher believes he can get all A’s and now Lucas is believing it as well.
Vision Therapy has saved my son from a life of frustration, acting-out, and struggle. I cannot thank Dr. Davis and his practice and staff enough. If you worry about the money, it is worth it. If you worry about the time, it is worth it. If you don’t think the results are there yet, be patient and then be amazed at the results. We are thanking God each day for leading us to Dr. Davis and his office. Our son’s brain and eyes will now communicate for a lifetime and he will forever be comfortable in his own skin. Vision therapy was the only way he could ever achieve this and we support this practice for a lifetime.