Added Benefit: V.T. Improves Behavior
Kari Mullins of Lexington received an added bonus after she took her son to Dr. Rick Graebe for Vision Therapy.
Not only has Cooper’s visual skills improved, so has his behavior.
“Twice, moms of his friends have told me after Cooper visited their house that they saw a huge difference in him,” Mullins said.
“He was so calm, confident and agreeable. He was like a different child. That is music to my ears.”
He also no longer touches everything and everybody nearly as often as before. That behavior repeatedly put Cooper, 6, in trouble at school.
“Now I know why he did that all the time and why he isn’t doing it as much,” Mullins said.
When a child’s visual system is inadequate, Dr. Graebe explained, he will use his hands to glean information about where things are in space.
A well integrated visual system normally provides that data.
Cooper’s behavior is only one area that has improved – and he’s only halfway through the 30-week program.
He has developed better balance and coordination, and has worked diligently to boost the skills necessary for reading.
Dr. Graebe prescribed glasses to address Cooper’s double vision and designed a program of exercises to help him track words across a page.
And the best part – these exercises are not academic, they’re actually fun.
Cooper will slap one hand to the opposing knee as fast as he can and play catch while wearing an eye patch.
Dr. Graebe’s treatment room looks more like a physical therapy center than an eye doctor’s office.
That’s because Vision Therapy is a kind of physical therapy for the eyes, brain and body to help a patient integrate his senses.
That leads to improved academic performance, and Mullins already sees progress.
When his reading was tested by Dr. Graebe, Cooper showed deficits in five of the six areas examined. Reading horizontally was particularly difficult.
“His reading has improved considerably, particularly with sight words,” Mullins said.
“He can read letters on signs while we’re driving in the car. It’s like his world has come alive.”
Photo: Cooper, 6, is proud of his improved reading skills