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Jordan’s Vision Therapy Experience

Jordan attended vision therapy from June to December 2009. The transformation is nothing short of miraculous. To say Jordan struggled with reading is an understatement. Despite her desire and arduous efforts she progressed slowly, remaining below grade level.

As a mother I tried everything including moving her to a Catholic School to repeat the first grade, working for several months (one on one) with a Learning Specialist, and of course having her vision tested. At the end of first grade (the second time) I enrolled her in Encinitas Sylvan Learning Center.

My first note of gratitude is to the Sylvan staff, they immediately referred me to Dr. Hillier. Jordan has 20/20 vision but she needed glasses and vision therapy to properly work those brilliant eyes.

Before meeting Dr. Hillier, both Jordan and I were near defeat. Jordan’s self esteem from not progressing with her class mates was horrific. She felt loved at the Catholic School which was an improvement from the isolation she received at the public school, but she still felt damaged/inferior/less than her fellow students.

As a mother I felt like a failure. How could I not help my daughter? I was also tired of people telling me I was pushing her all children learn to read eventually just relax. I don’t believe all children learn to read eventually. I do believe children get left behind and that repeated attempts at trying and not succeeding lead to a life long aversion for learning and low self esteem.

Vision Therapy is expensive. Vision Therapy was not covered by my insurance and my own pediatrician did not endorse it because the American Pediatric Association does not endorse it. Of all the people I spoke with, one endorsed it. A young man I work with. He attended Vision Therapy in fifth grade. When I spoke with him I knew that he had endured what Jordan had and I was determined that she would get help immediately.

Vision Therapy is time consuming. In addition to weekly sessions there is homework. Homework that you as a parent or guardian have to participate in. Homework that will not make sense to you because your vision is fine. Homework that will change your child’s life.

Month’s later, Jordan is at a third grade reading level – she’s physically in second grade. Jordan wants to read and even enjoys reading. But, more importantly Jordan is gaining back her self esteem. She no longer clutches the car door, because she does not want to attend school. She no longer fakes being sick to miss tests or worse yet the return of tests where all the children go how did you do – bla bla bla. She has even started to believe she can learn math and writing.

It is a transformation that I see, her father sees and even her five year old brother notices she is happier. Will Jordan ever be a laureate fellow? She will be if she chooses to. Vision Therapy gave her the opportunity to make that choice.

My gratitude to Dr. Hillier, Christy, and Brenda will last a lifetime.

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