As a homeschooling parent, Christy Hart of Frankfort is always searching for resources for her two children.
But recently when Ashby, 13, and Sawyer, 8, struggled with reading and math, Christy amped up her research. She asked other homeschooling moms with similar issues. The answer? Vision Therapy with Dr. Rick Graebe, a behavioral optometrist in Versailles.
“One woman told me her child couldn’t read until using Vision Therapy,” Christy said.
Both of Christy’s children had undergone regular eye tests. Ashby had 20-20 vision.
How could her reading woes be vision related, Christy wondered. The answer arrived when her children were examined at Dr. Graebe’s office.
“It was more extensive than any eye exam we ever had,” she said. “By the time it ended, I could see the difference in Sawyer.
“His eyes fatigued and one started to stray.”
That convinced Christy to commit both children to a 30-week V.T. program that included daily exercise work at home. The Hart children followed that protocol religiously.
“We would always take Sundays off, but every day we did the exercises for about 20 minutes,” Christy said, pointing out that the activities were fun instead of academic.
Her children played with Legos, painted, drew and read books, sometimes with one eye patched.
The work paid off. Ashby progressed so well, she stopped the program after 23 weeks. Sawyer followed two weeks later.
And the results exceeded expectations. Sawyer was still sounding out words in second grade and he struggled to retain information. Now in third grade, he is reading at a fifth grade level, taking on chapter books on his own.
“It’s like things have clicked,” Christy said. “He will go through two years of math this school year.”
Ashby has a similar story, becoming a voracious reader. Mom bought her a backpack that resembles a purse so Ashby could carry her books with her.
“It’s been a big turnaround,” Christy said. “This is what we had been praying for. This will help our children for the rest of their lives so we had to give them this opportunity.”