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ADHD and Visual Development – Vision Therapy and Confidence

All through Brandon’s young years he was a very active, yet fearful child.  He would freeze up the moment something new or different would be presented, to name a few symptoms.  So much so we had him involved in the Early Intervention Program at Queen Alexandria.  He was assessed and placed in Occupational Therapy.  He thrived physically in this program, but the language component was still not at a reasonable developmental level.  We paid for our own psychoeducational report for Brandon and had him assessed.  The assessment was not concrete due to age (6 years).  The diagnosis, was generalized anxiety and possible ADHD.  The assessment made sense, but still did not allow for the fact that his ability to comprehend, process and extrapolate information was behind and more appropriately frozen. When asked questions he simply could not get his responses out.

Brandon had passed every single eye exam he ever had, except for him having a very slight, occasional “lazy eye.”  That was until Kindergarten.  He had started minor squinting, could not sit still, had trouble focusing for extended periods of time on simple work, would not be able to complete simple home reading books as it would fatigue him tremendously.  This also persisted into Grade One.  When taking him to our eye doctor in the spring of the Kindergarten year, Dr. McCrodan recommended glasses for reading.  It helped a lot but still he was not processing information.  Brandon would struggle through the motions of reading, but ask him about what he read, he would not have a clue as he was working so hard to see and focus on every word he could not pay attention to and recall the content.

The normal optometric test he had again in the spring of Grade One.  This time, we told Dr. McCrodan more about his behaviours; hard time sitting still, tired when reading, plus the constant motion (he would rock back and forth) when trying to read, or not able to sit still at the dinner table, constantly looking around at nothing in particular.  Dr. McCrodan then suggested we have a further assessment.  Glasses could not fully correct the issues Brandon was having with his eyes; they could not track (move appropriately from left to right, or stay on one row, his eyes would bounce up and down), he could not focus (the rocking back and forth of his entire body was to bring his reading into focus), depth perception was off (all his reasons behind not wanting to play sports), the list went on.  So, Brandon was enrolled in vision therapy to not only correct how his eyes functioned in his head, but also how he processed the information in his brain then in return respond to the information.

Ten months later we have a very different child.  I am not saying it was an easy process.  There were many times he did not want to do his vision therapy practice activities.  But the child I have now was not the child from 10 months ago.  At our last parent-teacher interview the teachers are not seeing ANYTHING regarding his anxiety.  He is a focused member in his class. He was producing very messy work.  Last week his teacher sent home a note about how proud she was of Brandon for all the high-quality work he has been producing at school lately and how impressed she was with his efforts.  That sums it up for Brandon.  I do not have a fearful child any longer.  He is a well-adapted boy who eloquently speaks his thoughts, whereas before he simply could not.  Without Vision Therapy, Brandon would be in a very different place than he was before.  All I can do is thank Dr. McCrodan for introducing us to such an amazing process, one I had never even heard of before.

We are officially graduated from this amazing program.  It was a great accomplishment for Brandon and he was playing soccer like a champion on the school grounds even though he’s only taken up playing in the school grounds this past year.  So much so he might have a blast doing it in team sports this year, for the first time ever.