25% children have a vision problem significant enough to affect their performance in school- “Vision is our Future” workshop organized by the Child Early Intervention Medical Center educates medical professionals on Vision Therapy.
Vision is our Future Conference is organized by the Child Early Intervention Medical Center, in order to raise awareness about the importance of early intervention to incorporate vision screenings, assessment, treatment and therapy. The event will be held at the Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel on Monday, November 3rd, 2014.
The workshop will provide clinicians and teachers in the community, with the information required to determine if a child should have a vision screening and possible treatment options. These specialists work with state of the art equipment enabling them to offer solutions to children who suffer from vision disorders. Speakers will be from the Child Early Intervention Medical Center, myPediaclinic, Magrabi Hospital and the Eye Consultants Center.
It is vital that we ensure that this area of development is not overlooked.
- Research shows that over 80% of what we learn comes from the visual system. Unfortunately, many students have poorly performing visual systems
- 80% of children who are reading disabled, including children with dyslexia, have vision problems which can be solved
- 25% of all children have a vision problem significant enough to affect their performance in school. (American Optometric Assosication)
- 95% of first grade non-readers have significant vision problems. They have nearly 2.5 times more visual problems than first grade high achievers
- School vision screenings, such as a Snellen eye-chart, detect only 20-30% of vision problems in schools
- Only 13 % of mothers with children younger than 2 years of age have taken their baby for a functional well-care eye exam. Yet 1 out 10 children is at risk for having an undiagnosed vision problem
These statistics only scratch the surface of how the visual system impacts academic performance. They’re a good indicator that we need to place more of an emphasis on good visual health in our schools and our lives.
Vision is not simply the ability to read a certain size letter at a distance of 20 feet. Vision is a complex and adaptable information gathering and processing system which collects, groups, analyzes, accumulates, equates, and remembers information. Deficiencies in one or more of these visual subsystems have been shown to result in symptoms, such as blurred or uncomfortable vision or headaches, or behavioral signs such as rubbing of the eyes, eyes turning inward or outward, reduced job efficiency or reading performance, or simply the avoidance of near point tasks. In addition, these signs/symptoms may contribute to reducing a person’s attention and interest in near tasks. The goal of vision treatment is to eliminate visual problems, thereby reducing the frequency and severity of the patient’s signs and symptoms.
Gurkamal Punia Dasani, Senior Occupational Therapist, Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist and Head of the Occupational Therapy and Vision Rehabilitation Department at the Child Early Intervention Medical Center, has run a successful vision therapy program for the past 4 years, under the supervision of Dr Jeffrey Becker, OD, the Director of Vision Services of the Neurosensory Center of Eastern Pennsylvania in Kingston, Pennsylvania, USA . “During the past four years both typical children and children with special needs have been treated for vision disorders with successful outcomes. As a result of treating vision, I have also seen positive developments in children’s confidence, self-esteem, social and motor skills” stated Gurkamal Punia Dasani.
There is a tremendous amount of literature available which documents the effectiveness of vision therapy in treating binocular vision (eye coordination and alignment), oculomotor (tracking and eye movements), and accommodative (focusing) problems. Vision therapy is a sequence of activities individually prescribed and monitored by the doctor to develop efficient visual skills and processing. It is prescribed after a comprehensive eye examination has been performed and has indicated that vision therapy is an appropriate treatment option. If vision therapy is not suitable, other treatment recommendations are made.
The use of lenses, prisms, filters, occluders, specialized instruments, computer and iPad programs is an integral part of vision therapy. The latest techniques integrate the use of prisms with computer and iPad based programs. Effective therapy requires visual skills to be developed until they are integrated with other systems and become automatic, enabling individuals to achieve their full potential.
Activities paralleling in-office techniques are typically taught to the patient and/or carer, to be practiced at home to reinforce the developing visual skills. “Parents practice tracking exercises at home with their child on a regular basis and depending on their child’s capabilities may also be able to use computer and/or iPad based home therapy systems, which allows progress to be monitored online by their clinicians” states Gurkamal Punia Dasani.
The workshop is accredited by the Ministry of Health and Dubai Healthcare City.
For more information contact the Child Early Intervention Medical Center, Dubai Healthcare City on 04- 423 3667. www.childeimc.com
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