Saturday, December 01, 2012

Both Kids Have Eye Reading Problems Now

Older son had eye tracking problems that began at age 10 which the behavioral optometrist felt were neurologically based from Lyme Disease. He had syntonic phototherapy, one course, and eye tracking exercises at home. He went from reading short books for kids aged 9-12 to reading Harry Potter and Eragon. His main complaint was losing his place on the line, skipping lines, and skipping words. This negatively affected his reading comprehension. He also had a hard time reading long text on a page so loved pages with large font text and lots of white space. He would avoid thick books and was nearly obssed with reading comic books and graphic novels before the treatment. He wore weak prescription eyeglasses with a prism lens.

In October 2011 that son began neurofeedback for visual processing disorders, attention span, and memory issues which the psychologist felt were related to a new case of Lyme from June 2011. Three months into the treatment the eyeglasses began to hurt his eyes and give him a headache. He claimed to be able to read perfectly without them.

My son's use of a new Kindle Fire mostly to play video game apps increased and the pleasure reading disappeared in March. In May we got texting for the family so more time was spent staring at a teeny tiny mobile phone screen (Samsung Brightside with no Internet access so he was not surfing the web or playing apps on it).

This fall my son complains of getting so tired while he reads that he falls asleep. He claims he gets headaches and just can't read.


Younger son is having trouble reading for the first time in his life, this autumn. He got Lyme Disease in June 2012 while we were on vacation in Connecticut and Massachusetts. He did not receive proper treatment from the Boston pediatrician who at first said he had Lyme then said it was strep (only) and had me discontinue the antibiotic for Lyme. He got sick again after the antibiotic was stopped, and we resumed the antibiotic (on our own) but my son was not compliant and fought me twice daily. My son did not want to believe he was really sick with Lyme. Getting the course of antibiotics in him was a struggle and he did not have a solid 21 or 28 days of treatment.

His new reading problem is he claims he cannot remember a single thing he reads. He also can't remember what I read aloud to him. He gets headaches and dizzy when he reads. When reading in the car he gets carsick, this is brand new, he used to read (for fun) for hours in the car. He is having brand new attention span issues. When we tell him something he does not hear us. When we ask him to do two things he can only hear and remember the first one. This is nothing like his usual personality.


I do not have a behavioral optometrist in our new state. I did not know if thye needed reading glasses. I have terrible eyesight so my kids have a 50/50 chance of needing glasses anyway.

I looked for local behavioral therapists and could not find any. I hit dead ends and got exhausted by the project. I am trying to avoid scam artists or poorly trained doctors.

I decided to go to a regular optometrist first to evaluate the vision.


I had to pay $175 out of pocket for each eye exam at the optometrist's office and we walked out with NO TREATMENT to help my kids read.

Older son's distance vision is 20/15 and his reading vision is 20/20. That confirms that the neurofeedback done in late 2011 and early 2012 has CURED and IMPROVED MY SON's VISION.

Younger's son distance vision was 20/40 and his reading vision was 20/20.

About the close reading we need to remember these exams only care about accurate reading of six or seven letters.


Such an exam does not check for what happens to the ability to read a string of words on a page then go to the next line and read those, or read whole words and see that words or lines are being skipped entirely.


I explained the past treatment my older son had and how my younger son simply cannot do any reading for schoolwork and this is unacceptable and impossible. He was open minded to the specialty work done by behavioral optometrists and gave me the name of what they are calling a pediatric optometrist. The optometrist also said that the distance vision issue can be fixed possibly after consult with the pediatric optometrist, if he needs glasses for that they will make him the glasses for distance in that one prescription, I guess.

I am so desperate for this to be fixed I got an appointment for the next business day for my younger son. They do not do syntonic phototherapy, which worked so great for my older son, which is disappointing.

My older son's appointment will be held off for now. They won't give him an appointment until they get copies of his medical records from the behavioral optometrist.


I am hopeful about getting things fixed. I hope this works. I feel duped to have used a traditional optometrist when I already knew that what was most likely needed was treatment by the behavioral optometrist. They are considered "alternative" and their services are not always accepted by traditional western medical doctors. Access to traditional providers is easier. But as you can see from this story obtaining their services does not always yield a fix to the problem. They may say my kids have 20/20 reading ability but the fact is they are struggling to read and to learn which is a problem that needs to be fixed.

I hope my younger son does NOT need to have neurofeedback to fix this and other problems because we don't have four thousand dollars extra in the budget for that on top of the various other unexpected medical bills we incurred and are still incurring weekly in 2012.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

I wonder if your younger son's attention span issues could be related to the profound and rapid brain changes that happen in puberty. I recognize this stuff...and none of my kids have had Lyme. Two of my children have tracking issues that our eye doctor (who is a therapeutic optometrist) has not been able to diagnose. We live in a remote area and I had thought to get a second opinion in the Big City ...your hope post does not give me hope that this will be resolved!