Jennifer Lord’s 10-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, understands this struggle all too well. The problem began when Elizabeth was in first grade.
She was irritable when she came home from school and was a “bear to live with,” Jennifer said.
Near the end of first grade, Elizabeth’s teacher stunned Jennifer with the following news – Elizabeth couldn’t read.
Jennifer decided to home-school Elizabeth for the next two years, but the struggle continued.
“When we asked her to read, she became a different person,” Jennifer said.
Jennifer knew something was wrong with her daughter’s vision, so she sought help from Dr. Rick Graebe, a Vision Therapist in Versailles.
Dr. Graebe found that Elizabeth had convergence insufficiency (the inability for both eyes to turn inward and focus on a point), oculomotor dysfunction pursuit (the inability for the eyes to track along a line) and binocular vision dysfunction (the inability for both eyes to work together).
Jennifer’s husband, Brian, had the same issues as a child. He was treated by Dr. Robert Sanet, a Vision Therapist in California. Coincidentally, Dr. Sanet was Dr. Graebe’s mentor.
“Because Brian had it, we were so clear we had to do it,” Jennifer said. “It’s worth the money.”
Last summer, Elizabeth started her 30-week Vision Therapy program, which is a kind of physical therapy for the eyes, brain and body.
Elizabeth is no longer home-schooled and attends Athens-Chilesburg Elementary in Lexington.
“It was hard at first,” Jennifer said. “Homework was a fight all the way to bed. I had no time for the other children.”
When Elizabeth started fourth grade, she was below grade level in literacy. By Christmas, she was right on track – thanks to Vision Therapy and her fourth-grade teacher, Tessa Back.
Currently, Elizabeth is reading “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” – a sixth-grade book.
If you listen closely, you can even hear Elizabeth laughing while she reads.
“She’s a striver, works hard, believes in herself,” Jennifer said. Because of Vision Therapy, Jennifer feels “so happy we went to Dr. Graebe.”
“I wish anyone who needs this has the opportunity to do it.”