#1 419 Ludlow Street Saskatoon | (306) 956-2020

VISION THERAPY

At Family Focus Eyecare, we are dedicated to helping our patients learn how to use their vision in a more meaningful way and be more successful in whatever they do. This information page will provide answers to frequently asked questions and an overview of Vision Therapy at Family Focus Eyecare. Should you choose to schedule a Vision Therapy assessment, please print off the Vision Therapy Checklist and bring it with you to the appointment.

What is Vision Therapy and Syntonic Phototherapy?

Vision Therapy is a treatment plan used to correct or improve specific dysfunctions of the visual system. It includes the treatment of vision related learning issues (difficulties with tracking/reading, reversals of letters/words, difficulty focusing, hand-eye coordination issues, perceptual problems), strabismus (crossed eyes), and amblyopia (lazy eye). It can also help with recovery from traumatic brain injury and concussion. We also offer Syntonic Phototherapy which may be used as a stand alone treatment, or as an adjunct to therapy. Syntonic Phototherapy is the use of visible light frequencies or color, through the eyes, to enhance visual attention and the ability to comprehend what we see. The goal of Syntonic Phototherapy is to treat eye conditions by balancing the autonomic nervous system, which controls our perceptual visual field. Light entering the eyes not only allows us to see but also joins together important brain centers and can act as a powerful tool to stimulate the biochemistry of the brain.

Why was I referred to Vision Therapy?

Perhaps you have been self-referred, but more likely, you were referred by a teacher, an occupational therapist, or by your optometrist. These professionals are aware that the visual skills necessary for adequate functioning in all activities of daily living go far beyond the ability of seeing 20/20 and having excellent eyesight. Vision is a learned skill and whether you wear glasses or not, you may still have difficulty with some visual activities. If an individual’s visual skills are not adequately developed, or a person fails to coordinate vision with other senses, confusing signals start to occur which can result in headaches, double vision, reduced school performance, fatigue, a lazy eye, a turned eye, or poor coordination.

Who provides the Vision Therapy?

Dawn, Jenn, and Mary are the Vision Therapists at Family Focus Eyecare. They work closely with Dr. Robbyn Dupuis who assigns the curriculum based on each students’ deficits and needs. As a team, we work together to cultivate our passion around the intimate connection between vision and learning, and neuroplasticity. Our mission is to help our patients achieve their maximum visual potential by providing the necessary meaningful and valuable experiences to develop new visual skills.

What is the process of Vision Therapy?

First you will need to set up an appointment for an assessment. This assessment will determine your personal visual efficiency and visual processing profile. Dr. Dupuis will review this profile and make a recommendation.
For Vision Therapy to be effective, visual skills need to be developed. This takes a large amount of commitment from the patient and a desire to change or improve visual skills. The program usually lasts around 25-40 weeks. The patient will be seen in office once a week, and will have approximately 20 minutes of homework activities to be done 4x/week.The personal physiological response to therapy can vary, but ultimately depends on the patient’s dedication to the program and compliance with completing the home exercises assigned.

During the hour that the child/patient is at the clinic, there will be 40-50 minutes of direct treatment time. Plan to spend the last 10 minutes in the room with your child in order to discuss therapy and to learn any new home therapy procedures assigned that week. Please note that time is spent planning and preparing for the session.

What results may I expect from Vision Therapy?

• Increased ability to track and scan leading to improved reading
• Increased ability to focus leading to decreased eyestrain and headaches
• Increased ability to follow moving objects leading to improved sports performance and safer biking/driving
• Increased visual motor integration leading to improved ability to write and copy
• Increased visual analysis skills leading to the ability to learn more effectively
• Increased peripheral awareness skills leading to a generalized improvement in functioning within your environment
• Overall improved “school skills” which may lead to increased self-confidence

Would my insurance cover any Vision Therapy costs?

Saskatchewan Health recognizes Vision Therapy to be beneficial for those with visual efficiency and/or processing difficulties. Saskatchewan Health will cover assessment fees and eight therapy sessions if you receive social assistance or the family benefits plan. Please notify staff when booking appointments that you may have coverage, as an approval of coverage is needed prior to the appointment time.
In addition, your extended health care benefits may cover some Vision Therapy services. This is usually as an optional or flexible expense.
Vision Therapy assessment and appointment fees may be deductible from your income tax. To find out how, please call the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) at 1-800-959-2221 or view the web at http://www.ccra.gc.ca/

More information

These are the websites that we recommend for those interested in Vision Therapy. We hope you find them helpful.

What is vision therapy?: www.visiontherapy.org
A guide for parents and educators: www.visionandlearning.org
Eye turns in/out or lazy eye: www.strabismus.org
Parents Active for Vision Education: www.pavevision.org
Children’s vision information network: www.childrensvision.com
College of Optometrists in Vision Development: www.covd.org
Foundation to educate Optometrists and Vision Therapists: www.oepf.org