Thursday, October 07, 2010

One of my discoveries over the summer as I read more about the brain and began to understand  how Noah's adoption and the early trauma he experienced effected his brain, was that Noah most likely had a visual processing disorder.

We had him evaluated when he was four, but I didn't really understand it, and he was so out of control at the time I didn't see how we could do actual therapy with him. We were also gearing up for our third IVF procedure, the one that actually worked, and my energy became focused on my pregnancy.

This summer however everything I was learning about the brain and adoption made me realize we needed to look into it again.

So, we went in one day for the vision test. Unfortunately, Noah forgot to take his eyeballs with him to that test because he wasn't able to see much of anything. His spine stopped holding him up during part of it too as he couldn't figure out how to sit up straight in the chair. He was essentially in full PITA mode.

The eye doctor did get enough out of him to know it was worth coming back and doing the visual processing exam, so we returned the next week for that. He was more cooperative during those exams fortunately. At least he remembered to bring his eyeballs with him.

It turns out he has intermittent exotropia, which means he has difficulty with eye teaming and tracking. And that makes complete sense considering the difficulties he has with reading and doing worksheets.

So, a couple weeks ago we started vision therapy. We work with the therapists once a week and do daily exercises at home. So far Noah has been very cooperative with it all.

I like the approach they use because not only are they strengthening the eye - brain connection, but they are strengthening other parts of his body as well, like his core muscles and balance.

Today at the end of the session they brought me in to show me a new exercise they want me to do with Noah. It involves wearing 3D glasses and having a flashlight shined at your face.

The therapist did it to me and told me to tell her what color light I saw.

So I said "green."

And she looked a little confused, and said "ummm, OK, let me take a step back, now what do you see"


"OK, I'll move forward, tell me when it stops being green or becomes two lights."

So she was almost at my nose before it became two lights, and it was still green. Only briefly did I see some red spikes through it.

So she had me tap on the bone next to my outer right eye, to try and wake the eye up.

What color do you see now she asks.


"huh, do you know if you have any undiagnosed eye disorders?" she asked?

"Well, if they are undiagnosed, I guess I wouldn't know would I."

She didn't really have an answer for that.

Despite my failure to see doing the exercises with Noah is going well. We will have a reevaluation in two months I believe and see what improvement he has made.

It feels good to be working on a therapy that I feel confident about and believe is going to help him.

Even if I can't see the light.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing about your journey with vision therapy. We can relate a little, as we're currently undergoing Neuro-Developmental movement therapy with some integrated vision therapy due to problems with eye muscle tracking in one of our daughter's eyes. The therapist also recommended a website with free games and exercises:

    Best of luck and thanks for sharing!