Throughout April we will be sharing inspiring stories of how Vision Therapy has helped individuals with autism. 1 in every 88 kids in the US is diagnosed with autism (www.autism-society.org) and the most recent research suggests it is closer to 1 in every 50 kids (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Vision Therapy is often part of the care team of specialists working with individuals with autism.
The following success story was written by a vision therapy patient with autism
“How My Life Started Coming into Focus” by Adam*
Blurry, fuzzy, jumpy, bumpy – this describes most of my life.
Can you imagine if all of your friend’s faces looked like nothing more than round fuzzy balls? How would you tell them apart? What if you had to identify your friends by remembering their face shape, height, hair color, skin color, and clothing color because your eyes didn’t work like the other children’s eyes in your class?
Can you imagine learning to read when all the letters and words were fuzzy, flipping back and forth, and jumping around like jumping jelly beans?
Can you imagine how it feels to say, “I’m sorry” all day long for bumping into people on accident, even if you couldn’t help it? What if you couldn’t tell how close or far a person was from you because your eyes didn’t work right? How would you feel about making an apology to a wall for bumping into it (thinking it was a person)?
I don’t know how you would feel but I can tell you how I felt. I felt different. I felt different from everybody else. It’s hard being different. And when you are different most people don’t want you to play sports or other activities with them.
Now you can imagine how awesome it was for me when my mom finally found somebody to help me. My ‘somebody’ was my Eye Therapist. When I started eye therapy, it was amazingly hard and frustrating. I had to do eye exercises every day and weekly eye therapy sessions. It was a ton of hard work. Sometimes I felt like giving up but I never did. I never gave up because I didn’t want my eye problem to mess up my life anymore. My therapist and my mom believed in me and that gave me the strength to continue.
Now I can see my friend’s faces. Now most of the time the letters stand as still as a stone for me to read. Everybody seems to be glad that I don’t bump into things as much. People seem to like me more. I have even been invited to participate in many sports. I feel proud of myself for working so hard and I feel proud of my eye therapist for believing in me.
I’m thankful that my life is coming into focus.
Check back for more stories and information about the link between Vision and Autism coming this month!
*name changed for privacy