This post offered by guest blogger, Robert Nurisio, COVT. Robert is a Vision Therapist with over 15 years experience and is the primary writer for the VT Works blog. He received his certification in 2008 and current practices under Dr. Mary Beck at the Austin Eye Gym in Cedar Park, TX.

Anyone who attended COVD’s Annual Meeting in Las Vegas last April may recognize the name Railey Daniel. Railey and her mom, Nancy, were “dialed in” to the Awards Luncheon by Michele Hillman, this year’s recipient of the Making Vision Therapy Visible award.  Earlier that day, Nancy posted a heartfelt message on the Vision Therapy Parents Unite Facebook page, which Michele administers, about her daughter’s struggles and a frustrating set of circumstances at school. Nancy wrote:

I am sad today. My daughter Railey is in the 3rd grade. She was born with intermittent exotropia, had surgery at 18 months old (which was over-corrected), and has been in VT since February. At the end of each 6 weeks, her school has a reward party for all kids who have met their AR (Accelerated Reading) goal. Railey has not met hers once this year. Today is the AR party, which she will not get to participate. She is crying now and has been crying since last night, saying she doesn’t want to go to school. This makes me so sad! 😦

After reading Nancy’s message, Michele graciously dedicated her award to Railey, and all the kids like her who struggle. Kudos, Michele!

Railey’s vision therapy program has continued on, as has her progress, and we are looking forward to great new things in the coming year!  Railey, and so many kids like her, suffer from the challenges created by an inefficient visual system – poor tracking, poor binocularity, and poor processing just to name a few.  Commonly passed off as other challenges, perhaps even described as dyslexia or a lack of motivation, visual challenges are quite real. With the new school year rapidly approaching, and this August being the 20th annual installment of Vision and Learning Month, remember to be aware of some of the more common signs and symptoms of visually related learning challenges.


As many before me have noted, our eyes truly are our windows to the world.  So much of what we know is collected through our visual system by seeing and understanding the world.  If the picture does not look the same consistently, or is not perceived in the same manner minute-to-minute,  day-to-day, week-to-week, the world can get pretty confusing pretty fast. Developmental Optometrists do a wonderful job in assessing the visual skills needed for efficient reading and learning!

Please click here to find a Developmental Optometrist in your area!