Alert from MD-IDA Concerning Vision Therapy

7 Apr


Bills would test efficacy of vision therapy on Special Education Students
The Minnesota House and Senate each have a bill before legislation that would fund a three-year pilot study to require vision therapy screening and treatment for all Special Education students in grades 2-5 to determine the effectiveness of the therapy in improving the students’ learning outcomes.

Please contact your representative and senators and ask them to VOTE NO on these bills and to keep the issue out of other education legislation.

Proponents of the bills suggest vision therapy may improve learning for students with a variety of “adverse academic behaviors,” claiming these behaviors are due to convergence insufficiency instead of learning disorders. Research does not support such claims. The American Academy of Pediatrics, in a 2009 joint policy statement with the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, and American Association of Certified Orthoptists, stated:

“Most experts believe that dyslexia is a language-based disorder. Vision problems can interfere with the process of learning; however, vision problems are not the cause of primary dyslexia or learning disabilities. Scientific evidence does not support the efficacy of eye exercises, behavioral vision therapy, or special tinted filters or lenses for improving the long-term educational performance in these complex pediatric neurocognitivie conditions. Diagnostic and treatment approaches that lack scientific evidence of efficacy, including eye exercises, behavioral vision therapy, or special tinted filters or lenses, are not endorsed and should not be recommended. ” (CLICK HERE FOR FULL STATEMENT)

We need to provide sound research-based reading instruction to struggling readers rather than subject students to costly therapies without scientific merit.

The bills in the House (HF638) and in the Senate (SF812) are still alive – they have been from Education policy committees to finance committees in both houses. Both bills are identical and propose a three-year vision therapy pilot project grant to determine the effect that comprehensive eye exams and vision therapy have on 2nd through 5th grade students’ need for special education services.


2 Responses to “Alert from MD-IDA Concerning Vision Therapy”

  1. snuggarunt April 18, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    “We need to provide sound research-based reading instruction to struggling readers rather than subject students to costly therapies without scientific merit.” Agreed, That’s why I say,
    Vote Yes! The pilot study will show no relationship between vision therapy and reading and we’ll put this issue to rest once and for all!

    • snuggarunt April 29, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

      Vision has absolutely nothing to do with reading! And even if it did, scientists have proven that, unlike the auditory system, olfactory system, vestibular system, speech-language system, somatosensory system and motor system, the visual system has a unique resistance and immunity to change. The visual system alone is the only modality that is not modifiable or plastic like all of the other systems. The visual brain cannot be altered by any “vision therapy”. That is an idiom of scientific fact. Furthermore, all reading problems are homogeneous. Reading disabilities have one origin, one cause, and one only. Period. Furthermore, vision problems cannot ever co-exist with dyslexia as a comorbid condition. Can’t happen. Therefore, they cannot even contribute to reading problems since all reading problems, by definition, are always language-based. Let’s face it. Those pseudo-scientists in the optometric community are just trying to confuse us all and make money off of us by using such fancy terms as convergence insufficiency, convergence excess, vergence dysfunction, accommodative infacility, accommodative insufficiency, saccadic dysfunction, magnocellular processing dysfunction to describe visual conditions that could influence reading. Not even my child’s pediatrician and ophthalmologist have ever heard of these terms. . . and they’re smart people! And so are we! WE KNOW WHAT WORKS! WE KNOW EVERYTHING! WHAT ARE WE AFRAID OF? VOTE YES AND PUT THIS ISSUE TO REST ONCE AND FOR ALL!

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