I have been meaning to talk about this portion of Little Brother’s therapy for a while. Initially we saw a surgeon/opthamologist who ultimately said Little Brother would need eye surgery to correct his eyes. Like, immediately.
While I think there is a time and a place for surgery, and I don’t have anything against going that route AT SOME POINT, my husband and I would like to exhaust all conservative routes before surgery.
Additionally, MANY people have shared their personal stories: surgery alone doesn’t fix the problem (the eyes can revert back).
We got a second opinion from one of my former photography clients (an eye doctor in town) and his philosophy is much more in line with our comfort zone. If you have any eye issues or just need your eyes checked and are local, I totally recommend Dr. B!
In a nutshell: vision and physical therapy helps train the brain to differentiate between left, right, and both sides of the body… this includes, arms, legs, and, YES, eyes.
So our gameplan:
Vision therapy & Physical Therapy
Worst case scenario a vision/PT therapy + surgery + more vision therapy sandwich.
I already shared this eye doctor put tape on Little Brother’s glasses. That tape has helped his eyes track straighter over the last several weeks. While he has tracked (or used) just ONE eye at a time, switching back and forth… GET THIS: for a split-second this morning, Little Brother looked at me and it TOTALLY looked like he was fixing his gaze with BOTH eyes. It was literally a split second, but I was THRILLED! 🙂
Never in a million years did I anticipate having a baby with eye issues. I’ve come to realize you really can’t take the little things for granted… when I look at Little Dude’s eyes (Little Brother’s big brother), I am reminded of that.
So, the “passive” vision therapy exercises we have been doing at home SEEM more like physical therapy. But if you think about “training the brain” they really do relate to vision. Our eye doctor e-mailed us 10 VERY detailed instructions of how to do these 10 exercises. They say to do 4 a set, but Little Brother doesn’t loosen up (remember he has “high tone”) until after that. So I’ve probably been doing about 10 a set and aiming for 4 “good ones” (meaning he’s not fighting me) at the end.
Not all of the exercises are a solo operation. And Little Dude, bless his heart, helps a little but it’s really a “2 adult” kind-of-job to hold opposite limbs down while the others are working.
Once we got the hang of it, I just had to know the exercise name and see the diagram and do the exercise.
He gets tired after 2-3 exercises, so that’s how we break it up. A few a day and no longer than a few minutes at a time.
Here’s the quick-reference chart I put together to condense the eye doctor’s instructions: (obviously using this chart doesn’t replace office visits and actual vision therapy, so GO see your own doctor!)
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