A big thank you to Dr. Ilana Gelfond and Ms. Maria Casale for visiting us at SUNY! Their presentation was perfectly-timed for the Vision Therapy Residents, who are completing their residencies and embarking on the next stage of their careers. Recently-published author Dr. Gelfond spoke about why and how to build a network of professionals in the community where you practice. Ms. Casale is the founder and director of the Leap Tutoring Academy. She spoke about the challenges (including visual) faced by dyslexic children and her approach to remediation, which focuses on learning differences, not learning disabilities. Dr. Gelfond and Ms. Casale have been collaborating for 15 years, and together they have helped many of their patients/clients achieve greater success than if they worked alone.
Yes, collaboration is the key to success. The message to the residents was clear: you will learn how vision is often only one of many ingredients in your patient’s therapeutic brew. By collaborating with other professionals, you will help your patients achieve greater success, and grow your practice.
My personal experience absolutely supports this message. Yesterday, I re-evaluated an 8-year-old boy who I had first seen 4 months ago. At that time, the parents had been interested in a perceptual evaluation. I diagnosed several visual problems and decided to prescribe lenses and wait a few months before deciding if a perceptual evaluation was needed. At yesterday’s exam, his father told me about all the improvements noted at home, at school, and by other professionals working with their child. We had a long conversation, during which the father expressed gratitude for all the professionals that have been working with his son since he was just 2 years old. Then he said something so insightful:
“I am learning how all these things are related and dependent upon each other. His vision is affected by his language skills and improvements in his vision have made it easier for him to play the piano.”
I couldn’t help myself. I drew 4 intersecting circles on a piece of paper and explained Skeffington’s concept of vision as the emergent. And yes, improvements in one circle are bound to enhance performance in the other areas.
So……. COLLABORATION! Let other professionals improve your patient’s performance in other skills and watch as those enhancements accrue inside Skeffington’s circles. Vision, the emergent, and your patient’s success across a spectrum of activities will shine.
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Read more about Dr. Ilana Gelfond’s new book.