Starting in the 2nd grade, Destiny’s family couldn’t understand why their usually-sweet daughter was suddenly displaying behavior issues in school, being repeatedly sent to the principal’s office. The next year was more of the same in her 3rd grade year.  In a time her parents describe as a “nightmare,” regular meetings with the Principal prompted them to seek out a variety of treatments, including changes in diet, supplements, and psychiatric medication. But the side-effects from the drugs made life an even bigger challenge, without making any positive difference. Knowing it wasn’t the right solution for their child, Destiny’s parents stopped medication therapy and spent night after night researching treatments. They made it their mission to solve the mystery of their daughter’s behavior.

However, the unexpected answer came during a routine eye exam, when the doctor turned to Destiny’s mother and asked if she was aware that her child had an eye turn, or strabismus, which may cause behavior problems and is often missed during vision screenings. “I almost fell out of my chair!” Destiny’s mother recalls, “I broke down in tears of joy and relief.” After years of struggle, the family was directed to a member of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, an optometrist who specialized in vision therapy.

After just a few weeks of drug-free vision therapy to retrain her eyes to work together, Destiny’s balance and coordination began to improve. Her behavior in school changed drastically and her ability to learn in the classroom was dramatically improved. “She listens and follows directions and seems happier,” her mother says. “She has not been to the Principal’s office once.”

Destiny’s new abilities in the classroom have expanded her extracurricular life, as well, empowering her to try new things. She was even given a solo spot singing in her school’s Veteran’s Day play. “Destiny is ready to try new endeavors and take on new challenges with her head held high.”

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Do you think your child may be struggling with an undiagnosed vision problem affecting learning, just like Destiny? August is Vision & Learning Month to raise awareness of these issues, just in time to head back to school. Schedule a comprehensive exam  with a behavioral optometrist today to ensure your child has every opportunity to live up to their potential!

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