I am a Junior in High School who has just finished vision therapy with Dr. Bernstein. When I was younger I had a problem with what my parents used to call my "clutziness" -- bumping into things, knocking things over, especially at the dinner table, and particularly when we had a table cloth on it.
I was a fast reader, did my homework very quickly, and was a good student. It wasn't until Middle School, when my mother inquired about a standardized test that I took where I did poorly in one entire section, that we learned that my eyes could have a "focusing" problem.
I was tested and discovered I did indeed have a focusing issue, but I didn't feel it was serious enough to have vision therapy.
Fast forward five years and it is my Junior Year in High School. While I still did my homework very quickly, and read all my books very quickly, I was having lots of headaches, especially in the afternoon.
The headaches would not go away. It became harder to concentrate because my head jusr hurt every day. I was also taking three languages and began to have real problems memorizing the vocabulary and the verb conjugations. Using flash cards helped, but I was still scoring poorly on my tests, even though I had always done well in school. No matter how many hours I spent trying to memorize, when I sat down the next morning to take the test, my mind was blank.
This is when I went back to be re-tested and this time agreed to a course of vision therapy.
It wasn't an easy commitment: any high school student is very busy and traveing twice a week for three months to do my exercises after school during your Junior Year is probably the last thing you want to do. But my parents wanted to see if this was the root cause of my problems, and Advil can only help so much.
I was skeptical that vision therapy would help, though. It seemed like a lot of hocus pocus. But I went.
Now I have finished my therapy. Haver there been changes? Yes. I know that there have.
First of all, my headaches for the most part have disappeared (my eyes are not fighting anymore and causing muscle stress). I am actually able now to memorize my vocabulary and verbs, and retain data and facts that I was struggling for hours to do before. The amount of work that I have as a Junior is huge, yet I no longer feel overwhelmed by having to retain infomation.
It's not that all of a sudden, one day, everything changes. It's been a gradual process, and I hope that I might even continue to improve. But I now know that vision therapy has made a difference to me, and to my learning, and I am grateful for that.