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The Connection Between Autism and Vision Therapy

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Many families across the nation are struggling with children and grandchildren with autism. The one thing all organizations agree on is the fact that there is no one cause of autism and as a disorder with a very wide spectrum, there are are also many different approaches to treatment.

As developmental optometrists with years of unique experience in vision therapy we certainly know a lot about how the brain processes what we see. It is one thing to SEE a thing (which refers to our acuity or sharpness of sight), but it is an entirely more complicated thing to have your brain UNDERSTAND what you are seeing. On the autism spectrum, kids can struggle with brain function that is scrambling messages which makes is difficult for them to interpret what they are seeing and make any sense of it quickly, if at all. That kind of confused stimulus leads to a very overwhelming experience.

We have worked with children over the years all across the autism spectrum. We have found that parents who have integrated vision therapy into a routine for a child on the autism spectrum have noticed some or all of the following advances:
– Improved writing and copying abilities
– Improved reading comprehension
– Increased ability to express complete thoughts verbally and better grammar use when writing
– Use of more inflection when reading
– Growing interest in reading for pleasure
– Improved posture
– Improved ability to work independently on homework
– A better understanding of personal space and how to respect others’ personal space
– Increased flexibility and cooperation when faced with new things
– Lower frustration levels
– Better organization skills
– Better use of space in relation to writing and drawing
– Improved eye-hand coordination and over-all better motor skills
– Better directionality
– Consistently improving grades
– Less impulsivity and reactionary outbursts

Even the nationally recognized Autism Speaks organization makes direct correlation to vision therapies to improved autism outcomes. An amazing article discussing Mental Imagery Therapy and the use of visual puzzles for autism can be found here.

We would love to talk to you about the specific needs of your child and how vision therapy may be a part of a winning strategy. Click here to book a private appointment.


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