(616) 541-7080

Treatment Areas

ADD/ADHD

Symptoms of Vision Related Learning Problems (VRLP) overlap with some symptoms of ADD/ADHD. Examples include:

  • poor concentration/inattention
  • difficulty sitting still even when required
  • difficulty organizing tasks or activities
  • excessive talking
  • avoidance of near tasks (like homework and reading)
  • excessive fidgeting (especially during near tasks)

Each of these symptoms can contribute to poor classroom behavior and low self-esteem. Many teachers have never heard of VRLP’s and therefore request a child be tested for ADD/ADHD based on these overlapping symptoms. At Academy of Vision Development, we treat Vision Related Learning Problems with Vision Therapy techniques designed to improve attention and concentration.

Amblyopia

Amblyopia is a neuro-developmental disorder of binocular vision where the brain chooses to ignore or shut off the vision from one eye for a variety of reasons. This condition causes loss of depth perception (inability to see 3D), delays in visual processing and decreased visual-motor coordination, all of which can have numerous negative consequences to quality of life.

Our Advanced Binocular Vision Treatment includes:

  • Binocular vision therapy with 3D training
  • Perceptual learning
  • Visual Processing development
  • Oculomotor Therapy
  • Accommodation “focusing” development
  • Eye-hand coordination training
Autism & Developmental Delays
Vision development is often delayed in children diagnosed as having Autism/Spectrum Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Intellectual and Developmental Delays (IDD) and Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD).  Children who were born prematurely, were complicated pregnancies or had traumatic births can also display delayed visual development. At Academy of Vision Development, we create an individualized vision therapy program based on each special child and their specific needs. As a result, our patients are more receptive learners, better able to function in daily activities and thus respond more effectively in other rehabilitative therapy services.
Concussion/Brain Injury

A head injury can have some serious consequences for the visual system. The individual can suffer a range of symptoms, including double vision, dizziness, nausea, loss of attention when reading, headaches, blurred vision, eye strain, visual confusion, visual field loss and more.

At the Academy of Vision Development, we offer In-Office Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation. Vision Rehabilitation is an essential treatment to restore visual function and accelerate the recovery process of patients who have suffered concussion, traumatic or acquired brain injury, or cerebral vascular accident or stroke.

Convergence Insufficiency & Double Vision

The way our eyes team together and focus directly affects our ability to read, process and understand information. When our two eyes do not team together properly to make a single image, this double vision can lead to headaches, poor depth perception and tremendous confusion during reading and learning. At Academy of Vision Development, we help our patients improve their eye teaming and eye focusing abilities, which makes them more effective at reading and learning.

Poor Tracking Skills

At the Academy of Vision Development, we provide comprehensive diagnostics of tracking abilities to find Oculomotor Dysfunctions. Once diagnosed and treated, our patients experience improved handwriting abilities, reading with greater efficiency and ease, and confidence for approaching everyday challenges without the frustration of poor tracking skills.

Sports Vision Therapy

Whether you are a weekend warrior or serious athlete, the Academy of Vision Development can help give you a competitive advantage. Specialized Vision Therapy techniques can help develop or improve dynamic visual acuity, hand-eye coordination, depth perception, visual tracking, reaction time, and peripheral awareness. By establishing visual confidence through Vision Therapy, athletes are taught to control their visual skills and their bodies with greater agility and efficiency. These skills lead to improvements on the field and greater self-confidence when facing a variety of athletic, academic and everyday challenges.

Strabismus Treatment (Crossed or Turned-Out Eye)

Strabismus is a failure of binocular vision in which the two eyes are unable to properly team and align together. As a result, an eye will appear to wander out of alignment by going cross-eyed or going wall-eyed. This has an extremely detrimental impact on Vision, Visual Development and Stereopsis (3D Vision). At Academy of Vision Development, we understand the true meaning of neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to be retrained at any age) and we help our dedicated and motivated patients achieve binocular vision at any age, whether they have had previous eye muscle surgeries or have been told they currently require an eye muscle surgery.

One popular approach for treatment of strabismus is surgeons recommend eye muscle surgery. Sadly, even though the eyes may appear to be straight after surgery, the brain still does not know how to properly team the eyes together. Eye muscle surgery is merely the cosmetic realignment of the two eyes, it is not a functional cure! Without Vision Therapy, the brain will continue to use the two eyes just as it did before the eye muscle surgery. This eventually causes another eye turn a few years later to which surgeons again recommend another cosmetic, non-functional “cure”, surgery. At Academy of Vision Development, we help patients of all ages retrain the brain to use the two eyes together properly with the extremely effective and holistic approach of Vision Therapy. For those people skeptical about the brain’s ability to be retrained later in life or after eye muscle surgery, please read the novel, Fixing My Gaze by Dr. Sue Barry, or watch her Ted Talk.

Vision and Reading

Academic success hinges mainly on one’s ability to read fluently and comprehend the content. Teachers are even being graded based on their students’ achievement levels in reading. Poor vision skills lead to poor reading skills. Studies show that nearly 70% of children with an IEP suffer with a Vision Related Learning Problem and yet still pass the school vision screening. Many times a routine eye exam will even miss testing for these important skills.

Visual skills necessary for comfortable reading, content comprehension and overall academic success include; the ability to move the eyeballs independently of head movement (oculomotor control); the ability to change focus from near to far and back again (accommodation); retaining and recalling information from reading material (visual information processing); spelling words and writing paragraphs properly (visual-motor integration).

At Academy of Vision Development, we tailor each Vision Therapy Program to the specific goals of each patient and family while working to accomplish the professional goals of the Doctor based on the patient’s visual needs. Are you or the patient interested in any of the following? (These are actual goals written and achieved by our patients).

  • Getting homework done faster so there is more time to play?
  • Learning to ride a bike, rollerblades, skateboard, pogo stick, etc?
  • Learning to enjoy a sport for the first time?
  • Improving athletic skills, the way you aim, kick, hit, catch or throw?
  • Have better, more legible handwriting and be comfortable while writing?
  • Read faster and longer and actually understand the content?
  • Enjoy reading and read for pleasure?
  • Get better grades in school?
  • Behave better in school?

Academy of Vision Development is passionate about the development of the WHOLE person. We don’t just stop at Vision Therapy, we integrate all the desired goals to help the patient advance or enhance life skills, academic skills and athletic skills which serves to greatly improve their confidence and self-esteem.

Vision Therapy for Adult Patients

Vision Therapy is not just for children. Adult patients with vision dysfunction can also be treated at the Academy of Vision Development. Whether they have been struggling with vision dysfunction their whole life, or as a result of a concussion, traumatic brain injury or neurological event, the Academy of Vision Development has very successful outcomes with adult patients. Vision Therapy can actually be more effective for adult patients because they are typically more motivated in therapy, especially once they start seeing the results with their own eyes!

Vision Therapy is extremely beneficial to people of all ages. Anyone CAN improve their visual efficiency, but not everyone NEEDS to improve their visual efficiency. For instance, not everyone needs to acquire the visual skills required to be an NFL star, an accountant, or a neurosurgeon. Each patient is a unique individual and requires skills necessary to attain their personal goals in life.

Academy of Vision Development helps adults struggling with many visual symptoms, including:

  • Long-standing double vision
  • Poor depth perception
  • Eye turns (even if previous surgery was performed decades ago or just recently)
  • Headaches or difficulty focusing especially on the computer, phone or tablet
  • Brain injury or concussion

Vision Therapy can help people of any age, especially those fraught with vision dysfunction. The most successful patients are motivated and engaged in therapy, adhere to the homework regimen and maintain a positive attitude.

We are not saying it will be easy, we are saying it will be worth it!”

Sensory Integration and Visual-Motor Problems

Many people struggle with sensory integration issues. A properly developed visual system is a key component for well-integrated sensory systems and body awareness. At Academy of Vision Development, we integrate these sensory systems into therapy activities to enable all patients to learn to have better overall balance, coordination, and spatial/body awareness.

Good sensory integration includes these systems:

  • visual (brain processing)
  • ocular (eye movements)
  • vestibular (balance and coordination)
  • auditory (hearing)
  • linguistics (speech/language)
  • tactile (touch)
  • motor (gross and fine muscle movements)

The most likely culprit to “The Homework Wars”, and the extreme frustration experienced by every person involved in that battle, is an underdeveloped sensory integration system. Poor visual-motor integration (eye-hand coordination) is often associated with poor handwriting, difficulty completing assignments, misaligning digits in columns and frustration with paper pencil activities. The Academy of Vision Development provides effective treatment for accelerated development in visual-motor skills leading to improved visual-motor speed and accuracy, legible handwriting and more confidence with spelling and other writing requirements.

Visual Stress Headaches

Visual dysfunctions include problems with eye-teaming, eye-focusing, or visual tracking skills which can often lead to Visual Stress Headaches. These visual dysfunctions are exacerbated by prolonged near related tasks like reading, writing, and homework and also by excessive use of common technology (computers, tablets, phones and video games). Mild to severe headaches can occur due to an overworked or stressed visual system, especially in those suffering from visual dysfunctions.

At Academy of Vision Development, we treat visual discomfort with specific Vision Therapy techniques designed to eliminate Visual Stress Headaches resulting from visual dysfunctions. We help decrease the amount of visual stress a patient feels by training the visual system to increase endurance, efficiency and accuracy for near tasks and technology usage.  Our patients treated for visual dysfunctions are able to enjoy headache-free reading and computer work.

Angela L. Sanders, OD
Behavioral Optometrist
(616) 541-7080

vision therapy grand rapids

Academy of Vision Development, PLLC
6617 Crossings Dr. SE, Suite 102
Grand Rapids, MI 49508