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Does anyone know anything about behavioural Optometry?

My DS who is 6 years old hasn't been progressing in his reading this year. Last year he was one of the better readers in his class but this year he hasn't really progressed. At first I wasn't sure if it was his speech issues catching up with him (he has been seeing a speech therapist for 4 years but he is almost finished with speech therapy). Then I thought it was his teacher or his class as there are a few disruptive kids in the class ( 2 of the kids share a teachers aid as they have issues).

Anyway, I just had this feeling to get DS's eyes tested to rule out any sight issues. We did that and his eye sight is fine but they suggested that he see a behavioural optometrist. I took DS to see one and the behavioural optometrist said that when DS's eyes get tired they turn outwards so he needs glasses to correct this. The optometrist also did a preliminary test for perception issues and DS indicates that he needs more testing. I don't really get what he said but something about when the images the eyes sees are sent to the brain sometimes the brain doesn't interpret them correctly and sometimes the images get flipped. He needs to have more tests done and has an appointment in 3 weeks time. I guess I will find out more them.

I was just wondering if anyone had any experience with this that they could share.
When I took my DS 8 to get his eyes tested we went to a behavioural optometrist as well. His eyes were getting sore after reading for long periods of time. Our initial visit was about 45min long, and they did all kinds of different eyes tests
eg - reading numbers written across a page(without being allowed to use his finger to follow) in 60 secs to see how many he got right then comparing it with 'normal' results for his age group
- Putting these weird glasses with detachable lens on to see a an image projected on the wall to see if one was bigger or smaller, red or green, left or right
-the regular eye chart of letters and numbers

It was explained to me that they were trying to test the way his eyes were viewing images and relaying them to his brain. Turns out he has an astigmatism (a flaw on the surface of his eyes) on both his eyes one worse then the other, and a lot of the time things would be very blurry to him. So he has glasses and we go back once a year and get retested, and use the information from his first vist to see how he compares now.

We only ever had the one visit, ordered glasses for him that afternoon and then went back in 5 days when they were ready.

I know this isn't the same issue as you are having, but I did find the behavioural optometrist to be very thorough, and having glasses improved my DS reading greatly smile

mummy of two

Yeah. That sounds right. I'm a optical dispenser who works for an optometrist. Not a behavioural optom though as not as many have the training. So from what I understand and I'll use myself as an example cos apparently I have the same problem seen in kids, lol, is it to do with focusing. I have a reading prescription but my main issue is my eyes struggle to look inwards. When you look into the distance your pupils are further apart, mine are 59cms, but when you are focusing on something near like reading and computer your pupils turn inwards normally by 3mms. So I have trouble reading because my eyes won't turn in easily or quickly therefore I have focusing issues. This is the behaviour of your eyes. So if I was a kid training exercises may of been an option to assist to prevent wearing specs later on or prevent having a higher prescription later on. Your doing the right thing. I struggled through school thinking I was a poor reader not telling anyone I couldn't focus. I was unable to read a lot of text as I couldnt focus enough to follow the sentence and was skipping lines and loosing my place constantly, etc. Wearing my glasses makes it so much earlier.

Hope this helps you make a little more sense.

Thanks for your replies. I guess I will find out more when he goes to his extended perception test.

jaidensmummy: it is great to hear that the glasses helped your DS

stacebebe: thanks for your reply. It is great to hear what it looks like from someone who has perception issues. I ask DS to describe what he can see and he just says he can see fine but he is only 6 and to him it is completely normal.
I can see fine too. But when I try to read some days are worse than others. When I'm tired or my eyes tire from being overworked they can't do it on their own that's when I know I should be wearing my glasses. I wear them a lot more now in the last year or so and also have a pair for distance & reading combined as its started to affect focusing while driving (so when im consistantly staring outwards). The glasses magnify, but its not like they make everything significantly bigger for me. I do get more 'blurred affect' these days from my eyes not willing to converge inwards to focus and I think its because it wasn't picked up as a kid. As a youngster I could see the words clearly, I just couldn't follow a sentance etc. Good luck. It's not a really bad fault to have with your eyes a lot of people have really poor eyesight, we however have good eyesight poor focus, sounds your son is similar to me and he'll be fine. I would suspect he will have improvements at school too.

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