Blog

Why Hasn't Computer-Based Therapy Been Working For My Child?

A parent called into our office with this question last week, and she is not the first to do so.  Vision therapy takes many forms. Some optometrists offer in-office vision therapy with a trained therapist, others put patients on the computer or in group sessions, and others prescribe a home-based program. At Advanced Vision Therapy Center we provide all vision therapy sessions in a one-on-one environment; relying on our therapists, rather than a computer, to train visual skills. Abundant research has been performed in the area of vision therapy and the effectiveness of these various modalities. The research continues to show that in-office vision therapy with trained professionals is the most effective treatment for convergence insufficiency (a binocular vision condition). So it should not come as a surprise that when you sit a kid in front of a computer for months, the question often arises

Research from the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trials has shown computer-based therapy to be the LEAST effective treatment for convergence insufficiency. Despite its lack of effectiveness, many doctors still rely on computer therapy programs to “treat” convergence insufficiency. Some doctors sell the program to patients and have them work at home while others charge the patients to come into their office to use the same program (kind of like an expensive time share). Why some people choose to use an ineffective treatment method is a question you will have to ask them, but today we are going to talk about why computer-based vision therapy is ineffective in treating convergence insufficiency.

Convergence insufficiency is an inability to use the eyes effectively at near. This condition causes a number of symptoms at near and computer. How much sense does it make to have a child stare at a computer screen when this is the exact visual skill they lack? The underlying eye teaming and focusing skills that are at the root of your child's challenges must be addressed in a stepwise, interactive fashion. In short, the source of the problem is not the answer for the problem.

Computer-based therapy is designed to increase the demands on the visual system over time in hopes that the child will rise to the occasion and make improvement. If improvement is not made, the demand remains low week after week, month after month. This treatment approach does not provide the patient with the tools for success, which is why success is limited.

Would you send your child to a school where there were no teachers? If you handed your child a stack of books that covered everything from counting to calculus do you think they would master mathematics on their own? Training of any sort requires interaction, feedback, coaching, and mentoring. Without a trained vision therapist working with your child it is very unlikely that something will “click” and all of the sudden new abilities will develop. We have seen numerous patients who have undergone computer-based therapy (both at home and in-office) with the same results; embedded bad habits. When performed improperly, vision therapy of any kind can reinforce bad habits and lengthen treatment times.

As has been shown in clinical trials, in-office vision therapy is more effective than computer-based therapy for the treatment of convergence insufficiency. This is why we perform all vision therapy one-on-one, in-office with a trained vision therapist. The constant supervision and interaction allows our patients to make rapid and dramatic improvements in their visual abilities.

If your child has been staring at a computer for months on end with little to no improvement it is time to make a change. 

Posted by Ryan Johnson at 7/24/2014 10:04:00 PM
Share |
Comments (2)
Why Hasn't Computer-Based Therapy Been Working For My Child?
Why Hasn't Computer-Based Therapy Been Working For My Child?
# ship lOQKwT
Posted by on 8/22/2014 7:09 AM
Why Hasn't Computer-Based Therapy Been Working For My Child?
Why Hasn't Computer-Based Therapy Been Working For My Child?
# ship lOQKwT
Posted by on 8/22/2014 7:09 AM

Call 208.377.1310 to Schedule Your Assessment

Advanced Vision Therapy Center is Idaho’s premier clinic for Vision Therapy, Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation and Sports Vision Training. We offer vision assessments and customized treatment for both children and adults that are tailored to the specific vision condition of each individual.

Not sure which type of vision assessment is right for you? Call us today and we'll help you determine the best assessment to achieve your visual goals.

Request an Appointment