Lubbock Optometrist | Lubbock Developmental Vision | TX | Family Vision Center |

                  Dr. Michael J. Dunn, Optometrist

The Family Vision Center, 2704 82nd St., Lubbock, TX 79423

806-745-2222

Developmental Vision
 

 

Developmental Vision

Rescuing the Troubled Learner

How Vision Impacts Learning.

A guide for parents, teachers, and children’s advocates

copyright mjd od 2-16-99


High I.Q. Does Not Equal School Success

    My son is sweet and well behaved, but when he gets to school he’s a different person.  His teacher

sayshe can’t stay in his seat and he talks during tests.  We’ve talked with him but he doesn’t know why he act

that way.  I just don’t understand! 

    My daughter is so smart.  You can tell her something one time and she understands.  She can watch me do

something one time and she can do it.  But she has such a hard time reading.  We can work on a word and

she knows it but when she comes to the same word in the next paragraph, it’s like she never saw it before. 

She skips words or reads them out of order, and when she finishes reading she can’t remember any of it. 

I just don’t understand.

    My son gets good grades but he hates to read.  The school says he’s passing, but I’m worried!  What’s going

to happen when he gets to college?   All of the children whom we work with have symptoms like the children in

the three previous examples.  They are “smart” at home and appear “slow” or “out of touch” at school.  How can

a child be so totally different just by being under two different roofs?  The child isn’t different, the form of the

incoming information is different.  A picture of a horse running through a meadow with flowing mane and tail is

much different than seeing the letters which represent that picture, turning the letters into words, making a

picture in your mind from the words, and then enjoying the picture.

    The fact is that if symbolic information can not flow in, be processed, and flow out,  your child is not going

to do as well in school as he/she should.  Vision is the key to success in a sighted world and without

competent vision skills, the doors to many of our society’s opportunities are closed and padlocked.

    
So what’s to do?  Unlock your child’s vision system and empower
him/her to succeed!         



Sight Does Not Equal Vision.

       One or more moderately reduced vision skills may cause your child to have to work too hard to complete school work.  Assignments may not always be turned in on time and self esteem may be reduced.

       Severely reduced vision skills will cause your child to dislike school, receive grades that do not match his true intelligence, and need special classes or tutoring.

       If reduced vision skills are not corrected in childhood, they can hurt job performance and limit opportunities for advancement in adult life.

Applied Vision Skills Equal School Success

    Information in the form of light energy is taken in through the eyes, converted to chemical information and transmitted through the optic nerves back toward the vision center of the brain.  
    
    Along the way to the vision center, some of this chemical information is sent to other areas of the brain that help with  many functions besides vision such as balance.     The rest of the chemical information continues on to the vision center located in the back of the brain.  There the  chemical information is recognized as an image--but the process doesn’t end there.  The chemical information then spreads out through  the entire brain like rain gently trickles from leaf to leaf  as it travels from the top of a tree to the earth below.  This is the most wondrous part of the journey as it is here that perception takes place. This could be called the vision system “hardware”.

    The perceptual system also has “software”.  Computer software is designed to “do something” with incoming information. When information is not coming into our system we are at rest.  When information does come into our perceptual system, it comes in through our senses.  These include taste, somatic (awareness of body and surroundings), touch, sight, sound, and smell.  This incoming information is either accepted or rejected.    If the information is rejected it is lost.  If the information is accepted it must be processed.  Unfamiliar information must be compared to familiar information so a response can be made.  If the “familiar information” is incorrectly used, than erroneous perception occurs and an incorrect response is made.  
    
    Familiar incoming information can be processed, a correct perception of the world is made, and a correct response is can be made.

    My brain, for example, can transform the triangular shape that my eyes are aimed at into a slice of apple pie and I will remember how apple pie smells, tastes, and maybe the Thanksgiving dinner that Mom fixed when I  was 9 years old.
    
    When vision skills are at level, or preferably above level,  light information flows in through the eye, is turned into chemical information that flows throughout  the brain and body and then is  transformed into mechanical energy such as writing down the answer to a test question, catching a ball, or reciting a poem in front of the class.

    When vision skills are below level, light information still can flow in but the chemical information is processed incorrectly, and/or the mechanical response energy is incorrect.

Examples:

     My child can read the eye chart but not words written on the chalk board.  

    My child can read the words on the test but he doesn’t understand them.

    My child fails tests at school but if the teacher has her say the answers rather then write them down,  she can pass the test.

 Visual Gathering Skills

Distance eyesight:  The quality of distance eyesight.  When this skill is not adequate, copying from the chalk board or viewing over head projectors may be difficult.  Reduced or inadequate findings indicate the need for a complete eye exam.

Alignment:  Aiming both eyes comfortably and efficiently at the desired target.  When this skill is not adequate, concentrated vision tasks such as reading may be avoided and comprehension may be poor.

Fusion:  The skill needed to lock together the image from each eye to form a single picture.  When this skill is reduced, blurring and /or double vision may occur and concentrated vision tasks are more difficult than they should be and these tasks are often avoided.

Depth:  The skill needed to detect how far away a target is.  When this skill is not adequate, the person may appear to be awkward and may avoid tasks requiring this skill like catching a baseball.

Convergence:  The ability to turn the eyes in to look at an object closer then the horizon.  When this skill is not adequate, then fatigue often occurs too quickly when reading causing reduced reading time and comprehension.

Near eyesight: The ability to see clearly when doing near tasks.  When this skill is not adequate, near tasks may be avoided and/or reading material may be held very close to the eyes to be seen, resulting in fatigue and reduced comprehension.

Focusing:  The ability to create a clear image quickly when looking from one distance to another.  When this skill is not adequate, it may be difficult to copy from the chalkboard. Reading and writing can be very tiring.

Visual Processing Skills

Fixation:  The skill needed to "lock" eye sight onto a target, take that target into the mind and get meaning from it, and then move sight onto the next target.  When this skill is reduced, writing may be slow and there may be reduced comprehension and loss of place when reading.

Tracking:   The skill needed to move the eyes smoothly and accurately.  When this skill is reduced, reading may be difficult due to loss of place and reduced comprehension.

Reversals:  The inability to determine if two objects are the same or different.  When this skill is reduced, it may result in reversals (b’s and d's), and size errors (n's and h's) causing reduced writing and reading speed and reduced comprehension.

Visual memory:  The ability to store, retain, and retrieve visual information.  When this skill is reduced, it may result in difficulty copying information from the chalkboard, poor comprehension, and poor math skills.

Visualization:  The skill needed to manipulate and organize visual information.  When this skill is reduced, it may result in not remembering or understanding what has been read, or an inability to picture descriptions, directions, or instructions in the mind.

Visual Motor Response Skills

Visual Motor Speed:  The skill needed to direct movement with vision.  When this skill is reduced, handwriting will usually be better when done slowly and poor when done at the person's "normal" pace.

Visual Style:  The overall observation by screening personnel of the visual systems functions in terms of the accuracy, speed, and energy required to perform concentrated vision tasks.  When other visual skills are not adequate, then accuracy and speed can be poor and there may be hyper or
hypo-activity.  Therefore, Visual Style usually indicates how much the person's reduced skills are outwardly affecting their performance.

Parent Observation

    Parent observation is a very important part of school success.  Without vision skills training, your child will favor one of  his/her senses for learning.

    If your child learns best through his/her sight, then your child will learn best with his eyes.

    If your child learns best through touch, then your child will learn best through movement and touch.  (Many children are incorrectly judged to be hyperactive because they learn this way.)

    If your child learns best through his/her hearing, then your child will learn best through listening.   (Many children are incorrectly judged to be dyslexic because they learn this way.)

    Whichever sense your child learns best with will dictate the type of school and the type of teacher that  he/she will do best with.

    Sounds, sight, touch--which sense does your child learn the fastest with?  

    Now, how  does his/her school teach?  An open concept classroom may be stimulating to a sight learner, but distracting to a touch or sound learner.  A structured classroom may be just what a touch learner needs for success, while a sight learner may be bored.  

    Go to school and ask what systems they use.  Talk with your child’s teachers to see how they teach.  If the school or teacher doesn’t match your child’s learning process then your child will not be as successful as he/she should be.
    One of the major goals of vision skills therapy and vision skills enhancement is to prioritize the senses to match the requirements of our society.   Vision must be the primary sense for a sighted person in our society.  75% to 90% of learning in our schools is done through sight.  A sound or touch learner is at an extreme disadvantage and must learn ways to turn sight information into touch or sound information if they are to be successful in school.
Advanced Reading
    
    The average person receives little or no additional training in  reading after he/she has achieved the vision skills required to stand in front of their class and read aloud without errors.

    Unfortunately, that only provides a reading  speed of from 80 to 240 words per minute for the average person and  why settle for that when our vision system is capable of taking in 450 to 750 words per minute with excellent comprehension.   That means that with a small amount of training, your child could take in information in less than half the time that it used to take him/her.  How valuable could this be to your child?

    Please see the last page of this brochure for further information on Advanced Reading training.

Who is Dr. Dunn?

    Dr. Michael J. Dunn is an Optometrist who has taken advanced courses in vision skills testing and training.  He has been an instructor in vision therapy for the University of Houston, College of Optometry.  He has written articles for Lubbock Parent Magazine, and he has lectured to Optometrists, Physician’s Assistants, parents, teachers, school diagnosticians, students, and Civic groups.  He has been a consultant for Johnson and Johnson’s Contact Lens Division and Lubbock Christian University’s sports program.  He has practiced Optometry in Lubbock, Texas since1977.





Michael J. Dunn, O.D.
The Family Vision Center
2704 82nd Street
Lubbock, Texas 79423

Voice: 806-745-2222
Fax: 806-745-5486
Email: familyvisioncenter@nts-online.net


copyright mjd od 2-16-99




High I.Q. Does Not Equal School Success

    My son is sweet and well behaved, but when he gets to school he’s a different person.  His teacher says he can’t stay in his seat and he talks during tests.  We’ve talked with him but he doesn’t know why he acts that way.  I just don’t understand!

    My daughter is so smart.  You can tell her something one time and she understands.  She can watch me do something one time and she can do it.
But she has such a hard time reading.  We can work on a word and she knows it but when she comes to the same word in the next paragraph, it’s like she never saw it before.  She skips words or reads them out of order, and when she finishes reading she can’t remember any of it.  I just don’t understand.

    My son gets good grades but he hates to read.  The school says he’s passing, but I’m worried!  What’s going to happen when he gets to college?

    All of the children whom we work with have symptoms like the children in the three previous examples.  They are “smart” at home and appear “slow” or “out of touch” at school.  How can a child be so totally different just by being under two different roofs?  The child isn’t different, the form of the incoming information is different.  A picture of a horse running through a meadow with flowing mane and tail is much different than seeing the letters which represent that picture, turning the letters into words, making a picture in your mind from the words, and then enjoying the picture.

    The fact is that if symbolic information can not flow in, be processed, and flow out,  your child is not going to do as well in school as he/she should.  Vision is the key to success in a sighted world and without competent vision skills, the doors to many of our society’s opportunities are closed and padlocked.

    
So what’s to do?  Unlock your child’s vision system and empower
him/her to succeed!         



Sight Does Not Equal Vision.

       One or more moderately reduced vision skills may cause your child to have to work too hard to complete school work.  Assignments may not always be turned in on time and self esteem may be reduced.

       Severely reduced vision skills will cause your child to dislike school, receive grades that do not match his true intelligence, and need special classes or tutoring.

       If reduced vision skills are not corrected in childhood, they can hurt job performance and limit opportunities for advancement in adult life.

Applied Vision Skills Equal School Success

    Information in the form of light energy is taken in through the eyes, converted to chemical information and transmitted through the optic nerves back toward the vision center of the brain.  
    
    Along the way to the vision center, some of this chemical information is sent to other areas of the brain that help with  many functions besides vision such as balance.     The rest of the chemical information continues on to the vision center located in the back of the brain.  There the  chemical information is recognized as an image--but the process doesn’t end there.  The chemical information then spreads out through  the entire brain like rain gently trickles from leaf to leaf  as it travels from the top of a tree to the earth below.  This is the most wondrous part of the journey as it is here that perception takes place. This could be called the vision system “hardware”.

    The perceptual system also has “software”.  Computer software is designed to “do something” with incoming information. When information is not coming into our system we are at rest.  When information does come into our perceptual system, it comes in through our senses.  These include taste, somatic (awareness of body and surroundings), touch, sight, sound, and smell.  This incoming information is either accepted or rejected.    If the information is rejected it is lost.  If the information is accepted it must be processed.  Unfamiliar information must be compared to familiar information so a response can be made.  If the “familiar information” is incorrectly used, than erroneous perception occurs and an incorrect response is made.  
    
    Familiar incoming information can be processed, a correct perception of the world is made, and a correct response is can be made.

    My brain, for example, can transform the triangular shape that my eyes are aimed at into a slice of apple pie and I will remember how apple pie smells, tastes, and maybe the Thanksgiving dinner that Mom fixed when I  was 9 years old.
    
    When vision skills are at level, or preferably above level,  light information flows in through the eye, is turned into chemical information that flows throughout  the brain and body and then is  transformed into mechanical energy such as writing down the answer to a test question, catching a ball, or reciting a poem in front of the class.

    When vision skills are below level, light information still can flow in but the chemical information is processed incorrectly, and/or the mechanical response energy is incorrect.

Examples:

     My child can read the eye chart but not words written on the chalk board.  

    My child can read the words on the test but he doesn’t understand them.

    My child fails tests at school but if the teacher has her say the answers rather then write them down,  she can pass the test.

 Visual Gathering Skills

Distance eyesight:  The quality of distance eyesight.  When this skill is not adequate, copying from the chalk board or viewing over head projectors may be difficult.  Reduced or inadequate findings indicate the need for a complete eye exam.

Alignment:  Aiming both eyes comfortably and efficiently at the desired target.  When this skill is not adequate, concentrated vision tasks such as reading may be avoided and comprehension may be poor.

Fusion:  The skill needed to lock together the image from each eye to form a single picture.  When this skill is reduced, blurring and /or double vision may occur and concentrated vision tasks are more difficult than they should be and these tasks are often avoided.

Depth:  The skill needed to detect how far away a target is.  When this skill is not adequate, the person may appear to be awkward and may avoid tasks requiring this skill like catching a baseball.

Convergence:  The ability to turn the eyes in to look at an object closer then the horizon.  When this skill is not adequate, then fatigue often occurs too quickly when reading causing reduced reading time and comprehension.

Near eyesight: The ability to see clearly when doing near tasks.  When this skill is not adequate, near tasks may be avoided and/or reading material may be held very close to the eyes to be seen, resulting in fatigue and reduced comprehension.

Focusing:  The ability to create a clear image quickly when looking from one distance to another.  When this skill is not adequate, it may be difficult to copy from the chalkboard. Reading and writing can be very tiring.

Visual Processing Skills

Fixation:  The skill needed to "lock" eye sight onto a target, take that target into the mind and get meaning from it, and then move sight onto the next target.  When this skill is reduced, writing may be slow and there may be reduced comprehension and loss of place when reading.

Tracking:   The skill needed to move the eyes smoothly and accurately.  When this skill is reduced, reading may be difficult due to loss of place and reduced comprehension.

Reversals:  The inability to determine if two objects are the same or different.  When this skill is reduced, it may result in reversals (b’s and d's), and size errors (n's and h's) causing reduced writing and reading speed and reduced comprehension.

Visual memory:  The ability to store, retain, and retrieve visual information.  When this skill is reduced, it may result in difficulty copying information from the chalkboard, poor comprehension, and poor math skills.

Visualization:  The skill needed to manipulate and organize visual information.  When this skill is reduced, it may result in not remembering or understanding what has been read, or an inability to picture descriptions, directions, or instructions in the mind.

Visual Motor Response Skills

Visual Motor Speed:  The skill needed to direct movement with vision.  When this skill is reduced, handwriting will usually be better when done slowly and poor when done at the person's "normal" pace.

Visual Style:  The overall observation by screening personnel of the visual systems functions in terms of the accuracy, speed, and energy required to perform concentrated vision tasks.  When other visual skills are not adequate, then accuracy and speed can be poor and there may be hyper or
hypo-activity.  Therefore, Visual Style usually indicates how much the person's reduced skills are outwardly affecting their performance.

Parent Observation

    Parent observation is a very important part of school success.  Without vision skills training, your child will favor one of  his/her senses for learning.

    If your child learns best through his/her sight, then your child will learn best with his eyes.

    If your child learns best through touch, then your child will learn best through movement and touch.  (Many children are incorrectly judged to be hyperactive because they learn this way.)

    If your child learns best through his/her hearing, then your child will learn best through listening.   (Many children are incorrectly judged to be dyslexic because they learn this way.)

    Whichever sense your child learns best with will dictate the type of school and the type of teacher that  he/she will do best with.

    Sounds, sight, touch--which sense does your child learn the fastest with?  

    Now, how  does his/her school teach?  An open concept classroom may be stimulating to a sight learner, but distracting to a touch or sound learner.  A structured classroom may be just what a touch learner needs for success, while a sight learner may be bored.  

    Go to school and ask what systems they use.  Talk with your child’s teachers to see how they teach.  If the school or teacher doesn’t match your child’s learning process then your child will not be as successful as he/she should be.
    One of the major goals of vision skills therapy and vision skills enhancement is to prioritize the senses to match the requirements of our society.   Vision must be the primary sense for a sighted person in our society.  75% to 90% of learning in our schools is done through sight.  A sound or touch learner is at an extreme disadvantage and must learn ways to turn sight information into touch or sound information if they are to be successful in school.
Advanced Reading
    
    The average person receives little or no additional training in  reading after he/she has achieved the vision skills required to stand in front of their class and read aloud without errors.

    Unfortunately, that only provides a reading  speed of from 80 to 240 words per minute for the average person and  why settle for that when our vision system is capable of taking in 450 to 750 words per minute with excellent comprehension.   That means that with a small amount of training, your child could take in information in less than half the time that it used to take him/her.  How valuable could this be to your child?

    Please see the last page of this brochure for further information on Advanced Reading training.

Who is Dr. Dunn?

    Dr. Michael J. Dunn is an Optometrist who has taken advanced courses in vision skills testing and training.  He has been an instructor in vision therapy for the University of Houston, College of Optometry.  He has written articles for Lubbock Parent Magazine, and he has lectured to Optometrists, Physician’s Assistants, parents, teachers, school diagnosticians, students, and Civic groups.  He has been a consultant for Johnson and Johnson’s Contact Lens Division and Lubbock Christian University’s sports program.  He has practiced Optometry in Lubbock, Texas since1977.

 
 
 
Lubbock Optometrist Family Vision Center is a certified Optometrist specializing in Developmental Vision, Cataracts, Glaucoma, eyecare, lasik and much more in Lubbock, TX. We also do Home and all work related in the 79423 area and surrounding areas in Lubbock