Posted by: Crystal | December 22, 2009

Optometric Vision Therapy Helps Children With Math Problems

This article was posted on Medical News Today on Dec 19, 2009.  This knowledge has the potential to help many children struggling in school. These are the types of problems that we hope can be identified and solved by children receiving eye exams when entering school.

“The incidence of individuals with a mathematics learning disability is between 6 – 7% of the population.” Since there are more than 300 million individuals in the United States, up to 21 million men, women, and children may be affected by this disorder. Sidney Groffman OD, MA, FCOVD, Professor Emeritus at SUNY College of Optometry, author of the article published in the December 2009 issue of Optometry & Vision Development, also says, “This is unfortunate because math skills are of prime importance in everyday life enabling us to understand number concepts and do calculations. Math ability is essential for many occupations and professions.”

Dr. Dominck Maino, editor of Optometry & Vision Development says that in this article, “Dr. Groffman goes on to review a particular ability called subitizing. This is a basic skill which has been known to be a precursor of math skills.” Dr. Groffman has helped to develop a subitizing vision therapy computer program that has been designed and based upon theories and experimental data appropriate for improving math skills. It consists of a diagnostic test and four therapy programs. This paper reviews subitizing and how members of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development can use this computer program to help their patients.

In this same issue of Optometry & Vision Development, Drs. Burkhart Fischer and Klaus Hartnegg of the Centre of Neuroscience, Optomotor Laboratory, of the University of Freiburg, present their research on instability of fixation and children with dyslexia. They note that “Dyslexic subjects have higher incidence of fixation instabilities as compared with their corresponding age group. The percentage of affected subjects was 25% for the binocular instability independent of age. Daily practice improves binocular fixation by 55%, with simple stability improving by 19%. To the extent that the binocular vision instability causes dynamic problems of stereo-vision (3D vision), the trained subjects have less and shorter periods of double images arriving at cortical levels of visual processing. This in turn makes it easier for them to identify letters and short sequences of letters with the result of fewer problems in reading.”

And finally, researchers at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Optometry, the Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA, and the Southern California College of Optometry, Drs. Chris Chase, Chinatsu Tosha, Eric Borsting, and William Ridder have noted that the Conlon survey is a useful tool to identify students with near work vision problems that negatively affect academic/school performance or are associated with eye focusing problems.

About Optometry & Vision Development

Optometry & Vision Development (OVD) is a peer-reviewed open access journal indexed in the online Directory of Open Access Journals.

About COVD

The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) is an international, non-profit optometric membership organization that provides education, evaluation, and board certification programs in behavioral and developmental vision care, optometric vision therapy, and visual rehabilitation. The organization is comprised of doctors of optometry, vision therapists and other vision specialists.

Source: College of Optometrists in Vision Development


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