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Thursday, 2 May 2013

Vision Resources for OTs

April 24, 2013

Re: Vision’s Role in Learning, Behaviour, and Therapy

Hello OT’s!

I hope you’re all enjoying a sunny day, wherever you are in this great Province!

It was a real treat to share thoughts on the role of vision in child behaviour with the Edmonton regional pediatric OT interest group this past Saturday (April 20). OT’s, it seems, are much more attuned to the simple logic that vision plays a key role in child development than many other child development workers. I mean it when I say that the most valuable piece of diagnostic information I need, as a doctor focusing on child visual development, is the thorough and thoughtful assessment of an occupational therapist.

Here are a few things for your professional interest:

1    See attached document : Association betweenreading speed, cycloplegic refractive error, and oculomotor function in readingdisabled children versus controls (Patrick Quaid & Trefford Simpson, Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol (2013) 251:169–187)
a.       This is an excellent review of visual dysfunction in a comparison of children with IEPs (Individualized Education Plan) vs. those who did not require them.
b.      Note this paper was published via ophthalmology, not optometry where most of this research has been done traditionally. This is a reflection of a growing recognition that a) vision is important, and b) you can manipulate it to benefit child development.
c.       Among other observations, the fact is most children with visual impediments go on to be diagnosed with other endogenous, so-called ‘neurobiological’ concerns, undergo oftentimes arduous testing and treatment, and cost taxpayers countless millions in wasted funds.
d.      This document is homologous and complementary to my soon to be published paper ‘Visual Impediments to Learning’, co-authored with University of Lethbridge psychologist Dr. Noëlla Piquette. If you do not have a copy of this paper, please write to me at info@dvvc.ca (my clinic address in Black Diamond.)

3    See attached pdf ‘Saccadic Testing For VisualImpediments to Learning’. Another clinical treat for you, sort of a teaser. This document is one of the elements we will review during Day 2 of the VT for OD’s training sessions.
a.       Observations of saccadic behaviour is quick and provides excellent clinical insight into a child’s current neurodevelopmental status, health, reading prospects, and clues into other behaviours such as ADHD concerns.
b.      Saccadic measurements are also a great way to track progress of therapy, such as with vestibular treatments.
      See attached ‘VIL Symptom Checklist and Notes.pdf’. It’s pretty well self-explanatory. Feel free to pass this around to colleagues, teachers and parents, and to use in your own clinics.

5.      Finally, always remember to recommend vision exams to your clients’ parents. ALL children need to have vision assessed, whether they appear to have difficulty with vision or not. Remember: A full vision exam requires more than simply checking health and visual acuity. (There was a referral template circulated on this list recently, let me know if you need a copy: info@dvvc.ca). 
I hope you find this information helpful. Feel free to write or call the clinic if you need help or have questions.
Dr. Charles Boulet

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