October 2019: Learning Disabilities Awareness Month
** What do parents say about learning disabilities?
In a 2012 survey by NCLD, parents said living with a child who has LD can be challenging. Here are some of the issues they describe:
* 45 percent of parents say their child has been bullied.
* 66 percent think that kids with LD are bullied more than other kids.
* 37 percent say their child’s school doesn’t effectively test for LD.
* 31 percent have conflicting feelings. These parents accept their children’s issues, but aren’t sure how to find or ask for help. They feel stressed, admit to being impatient with their children and are worried about their children’s future.
“Vision Therapy was a wonderful program to provide Allie better support with her learning challenges. It has given the school and us a foundation to build other learning strategies off of.” ~Sarah, Allie’s Mom
Happy Fall to our Patients, Colleagues, and Friends!
As always, thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. This month, in my opinion, is especially important. We are highlighting Learning Disabilities by sharing the personal story of Allie and her family: truly one of the cutest, most outgoing patients we’ve had the privilege to work with. In particular, we’ll share how Vision Therapy helped to unlock Allie’s full potential both at school and at home.
Allie began Vision Therapy with us as an eight year old second grader. She had just been diagnosed with dyslexia. “We knew she had learning disabilities, but they were masked from the school with a bright smile and an eager to please personality.” According to her mom, Sarah, “Allie had been in and out of special education services several times with a hard time reading, recalling information, and frequently skipping words and lines. She was reading well below grade level and became tired quickly; she felt discouraged that she couldn’t keep up with her classmates. She was smart enough to know she was different than the other kids and not in an exceptional way.”
Allie completed five and a half units of Vision Therapy. Here, Sarah explains the transformation, “VT helped Allie with the ability to pick up on the little words she often missed. Her prescription was tweaked to ensure it would allow her the focus that was needed. The assignments at home weren’t overly challenging; they gave us an opportunity to connect for a few minutes at the end of the day. It helped, too, that her sister participated in them nightly, as well. She loved going and ‘playing’ with the therapists. The encouragement and ‘games’ helped her to learn strategies that were then supported at home and applied in school. Without the vision therapy, I am sure we would not have progressed to average test scores in less than one year of effort and plan to be fully integrated in under two. The focus and support, both in the school and home environment, gave her vision the needed attention to help overcome the challenges of dyslexia.”
Unfortunately, “misconceptions persist among the general public. Half of the people surveyed name medication and mental health counseling as treatments for LD. Another third think that lack of parent or teacher involvement in early childhood can cause LD. And some people think that LD is caused by a poor diet, vaccinations or too much TV. Other incorrect assumptions include: LD is correlated with intelligence. 70 percent of parents and educators link them to autism and intellectual disabilities. LD is associated with blindness and deafness. Learning Disability is a label given to what is the result of laziness.”
And if the above paragraph made you pause or frown or sigh, we hope that you’ll vow to help us in creating environments where different learners can thrive, where there’s acceptance and awareness in our schools, homes, and workplaces. For those struggling with a Learning Disability, we are behind you 100%; our goal is to break the stigma!
Drs. Christine & Thomas Semenza and The Vision Therapy Team