By Dr. Rick Graebe
Most of you know by now that my professional passion stems from my desire to transform lives through Vision Therapy.
Vision Therapy is like physical therapy for the eyes and brain and treats many common problems such as lazy eye, crossed eyes, double vision, eye-hand coordination issues, and reading and learning disabilities.
If you’re unfamiliar with Vision Therapy and skeptical of its claims, I understand. I felt that way too.
In optometry school at Indiana University, we would laugh at VT, calling it voodoo.
But in my first six years of practice, I frequently saw patients who I knew had the “right” corrective lenses but still had problems functioning and reaching their potential.
I didn’t know why they were having these performance problems, and this bothered me because I’ve always wanted to know why.
And I’ve been committed to continuing education to discover ways to help our patients.
While searching for answers in 1990, I discovered Ken Gibson, who delivered an address in Louisville about Vision Therapy.
He explained how we learn and the role that vision plays in that process. He brought the brain into the discussion in a way that made sense to me.
He got me thinking less about eyeballs and more about the brain, cognitive issues, and the development of visual and cognitive skills needed for school and life.
I was curious enough to attend a weeklong individualized training session with Dr. Gibson at his office in Wisconsin.
Afterward, I remained skeptical, but I told the families of three children I was treating about Vision Therapy.
Despite my reservations, all three wanted to try.
And all three had phenomenal results. One student had been held back in school but went on to get straight A’s.
To confirm my results, I treated two more sets of three patients. All nine patients wrote glowing letters about their success.
All my doubts were dismissed.
Since then, patients in our practice are no longer just a set of eyeballs. We look at how the eyes, brain and body all work together.
When asked who can benefit from Vision Therapy, I always say, “Anybody not reaching their potential.”
Maybe you know someone like that.