Behavioural Optometry is a holistic approach to the assessment and management of vision problems. Traditional optometry is more involved with eyesight which is a large component of vision and so understanding all aspects of traditional optometry is extremely important to a Behavioural Optometrist.
Vision is learned and it combines information from many sensory systems. A child with a limitation to normal environmental experiences, is more likely to develop an abnormal development of vision.
Neuroscience, particularly neural development provides the basis for Neuro Developmental Optometry and is an exciting, ever expanding new area of study.
Behavioural optometrists use a wide range of tools and treatment options such as:
Lenses (single vision, bifocals, multifocals, tint, prisms and occlusive)
Gross motor activities to help with the integration of vision and movement
Eye exercises with specific goals to improve awareness of how information enters and is processed by the visual system
Goals of Behavioural Optometry
To prevent vision problems from developing
To remediate vision or eye problems that are present
To develop and improve vision skills for a specific visual task such as reading or playing sport
Who can benefit from Behavioural Optometry?
All patients can benefit from the holistic approach but it is particularly helpful for specific problems such as eye movement control, lazy or turned eyes, developmental delays, neurological damage or learning delays.
Those more experienced practitoners tend to provide in office vision therapy. Fellows of ACBO ( Australasian College of Behavioural Optometry) are also more likely to do so, having completed a rigorous program involving private study, open and closed book examinations ,clinical research and oral assessment.
Fellows are the most experienced and skilled members of ACBO and are identified by a gold star and highlighted priority listing on the ACBO website.
Did you know that many children who present to us with a vision or visual processing issue will pass a 20/20 sight screening test?
Did you know that one in four children will experience a vision or visual processing issue at some time during their schooling?
Did you know that children with a visual processing issue struggle to concentrate and keep on task. They
are likely to have below average reading comprehension and writing skills?
The most common symptoms of visual processing issues are:
● difficulty paying attention to visual tasks
● easily distracted by too much visual information
● becomes restless or inattentive during video or visual presentations
● tasks that require copying (taking notes from a board) challenging
● reverses or misreads letters, numbers and words
● breaks/bumps into things
● finds writing within lines or margins frustrating
● has trouble spelling familiar words with irregular spelling patterns
● can’t remember phone numbers
● poor reading comprehension when reading silently
● can’t remember basic facts that were read silently
● skips words or entire lines when reading, or reads the same sentence over
● complains of eye strain or frequently rubs eyes
● has below average reading comprehension and writing skills, despite strong oral comprehension and verbal skills
● has weak math skills; frequently ignores function signs, omits steps, and confuses visually similar formulas
● routinely fails to observe or recognize changes in bulletin board displays, signs or posted notices