Visual Processing and PressVision

Early Intervention

All eye doctors agree that the earlier a visual problem is detected and treated, the better the chances are of vision developing normal vision. Where we differ is what we consider "normal" vision to be. Regarding strabismus, for example, the emphasis of many doctors is to insure that the eyes look straight by three years of age. Regarding amblyopia, the emphasis of many doctors is to insure that eyesight is similar in both eyes by age seven. As we’ve learned, however, there is no magic age limit beyond which vision can no longer be improved. Research is continually pushing this window of opportunity wide open.

More importantly, there are many aspects of vision development that extend beyond straight and sharp eyes. As we’ve noted, normal development of the visual brain is as important as normal development of the eyes. There are many distinct areas of the visual brain that operate in parallel, and vision is a learned process. Developmental optometrists are adept at evaluation the visual system in its entirely so that infants and toddlers can receive the benefits of early intervention. This parallels awareness of the opportunities for early intervention through occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy services.

Is your Child Developing Appropriate Vision Function?

Here is where we are today in the eyecare field regarding early intervention. If you know that your child has an eye disease that requires treatment by an M.D., by all means go to a pediatric ophthalmologist. They are superb in the application of a wide variety of surgeries and treatment of exotic diseases. But if you have a concern over whether or not your child is developing appropriate visual function in the context of sensory processing or visual behavior, you want the opinion of a developmental optometrist. It really is that simple.

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