A few months ago, I asked our clinic assistant Desirae to find Resonance Wellness a developmental optometrist to refer to. She found Dr. Debbie Luk, who then came to meet us and talk to us about what she might offer our patients. Since we get to see a number of patients with learning and developmental disabilities, we were so grateful to have a place to send kids for visual assessment. At the meeting, Dr. Luk suggested that Dr. Stephanie and I come to her office and see what the assessment process entails. So, we did, bringing my 7 year old son Beck as our test subject.
We arrived at Dr. Luk’s office in Panorama Hills, and Beck was ushered in to do several sets of visual exams that assessed vision, how well he could focus his eyes, tests of visual perception of letters and shapes, and his ability to copy what he sees. Beck was really comfortable with the staff and before long, he’d sent us packing back to the waiting room. Some of the tests are done with the staff alone, so that parents are not prompting! It was a full hour of tests.
Then came the shocker. My kid really can’t see well. Not only that, but his eyes are a full two diopters apart in visual ability. I almost died on the spot of mom guilt – I have never needed glasses and never thought Beck would either! Dr. Luk assured me that this was not uncommon. Kids that have poor vision don’t have anything but their own vision to compare to, so they usually don’t report it to a parent. After sharing this story with some of my patients last week I was surprised to hear of how many kids had vision problems that their parents didn’t pick up until later, or how a therapist assessing for other education related problems discovered it.
Because the vision in the one eye is poor enough that Beck is overusing the other eye, Dr. Luk recommended that he start vision therapy right away. Vision therapy is done on a big touch screen once per week in office. Exercises are given for home use to keep the therapy going between office visits.
Beck, who is 7, quickly perceived that not being very speedy at copying the board might be a problem. He was so excited that he was going to get glasses that he rushed out to pick out a pair! Beck is a fashionista, so you can just imagine the pairs he selected. This week we are going back to Dr. Luk’s office to have his prescription verified with an exam done under dilation. This is important because children can be unreliable in their reports of which lenses make things better or worse, so they use the dilation to perform an objective prescription test.
Beck was so disappointed that he couldn’t walk out with glasses – I have been hearing about it all week!
So – I’m going to report back to you how the whole thing goes and see what kind of achievements we can make with our new glasses and vision therapy.
Are you interested in getting your kid screened?
Contact Dr. Debbie Luk at:
Vision Therapy Calgary