“It Takes a Village.”  That is the title of the book, written by Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1996, when she was the First Lady.  This title refers to an African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” How appropriate to introduce this post from Dr. Leonard Press.  This post also appears on VisionHelp Blog.  Dr. Press has been building a strong village to support the needs of the children (and grown-ups) he serves.  He knows he can’t do it alone.  The more we interact with like-minded professionals, the more we will learn about how to help our patients.

I’ve had a fabulous time, twice over the past two weeks,  giving a day long seminar to occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech-language pathologists.  Our field has been blessed with colleagues who do a marvelous job of this, in particular Drs. Appelbaum, Hellerstein, Hillier and Scheiman.  Although I’ve been asked to put seminars like this together before, I’ve shied away due to time constraints.

Venturing first up the Hudson River along the Palisades Parkway to do the seminar in Spring Valley, and then down the New Jersey Turnpike for a gathering in Princeton, I had a blast.  One of the best things about having an interactive seminar with “the big three” therapies of OT, PT and Speech,  the ones who are part and parcel of early intervention services, is that they get it.  There’s no need to  convince any of the attendees of the importance of VT, only to work out a framework in which they can feel comfortable collaborating.

Here is what we covered:

seminar-visual-processing-and-therapy-oct-2010

I’m happy to share this information, though it isn’t as much the facts that makes the seminar special as it is the interaction.  In contrast with some professions who don’t grasp the science and substance of optometric vision therapy, those in attendance at these seminars grasped the concepts almost intuitively.  Ideas about the balance between structure and function, between reductionist disease models and holistic developmental models, and between the senses and the senseless resonated with each of the attendees.

My seminars are highly interactive, and though the PowerPoint slides in the hyperlink above will give you a feel for what we covered, it really is the interaction that is priceless.  Though I’m referring principally to hands-on workshop demonstrations, a subject that comes up frequently is how best to advise parents to obtain a consult with a developmental optometrist.  To steer clear of school system and health care politics, I suggest that therapists simply guide parents to the wealth of information at http://www.covd.org, http://www.oep.org, http://www.aoa.org and http://www.visionhelp.com.

Build it, and they will come.  Interact, and they will process the facts – with the public as the ultimate beneficiaries.

– Leonard J. Press, O.D., FCOVD, FAAO

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