tucsontopia-logo-things-to-do

Vision Therapy in Tucson

Vision Therapy Tucson | Vision Therapy in Tucson

Does your child:

  • struggle with reading?
  • mix up letters and words?
  • make frequent mistakes in math lessons?
  • omit small words when reading?
  • tire easily when reading?
  • see double?
  • cross his/her eyes?
  • have a lazy eye?

It might be worth it to schedule an appointment with an Optometrist (Doctor of Optometry) in Tucson who specializes in vision therapy.

WHAT IS VISION THERAPY?

Vision therapy is a doctor-supervised, non-surgical, and customized program of visual activities designed to correct certain vision problems and improve visual skills. Essentially, it's a type of physical therapy for your eyes and brain.

Vision therapy typically is a program that consists of weekly appointments with a trained visual therapist. At the appointments, the vision therapist leads the patient through a variety of activities - reading alphabet/number charts, playing brain games, using balance boards, exercises with 3D glasses, etc. The patient then has daily homework to help the eyes continue to work together.

Throughout the treatment period, the doctor will do regular progress checks. The doctor may also recommend therapeutic or prism lenses - even if the patient has 20/20 vision.

MY CHILD HAS 20/20 VISION. COULD HE/SHE STILL BENEFIT FROM VT?

Traditional vision screenings typically miss the need for vision therapy - especially since some children and adults who could use vision therapy have 20/20 vision. Although vision therapy can help decrease astymatism, the focus of treatment is typically on eye convergence, tracking, etc.

DO REGULAR OPTOMETRISTS DO VISION THERAPY?

Most optometrists are not trained to administer vision therapy. You will want to look for a Board Certified Optometrist with experience in Vision Development and Rehabilitation through COVD (College of Optometrists in Vision Development).

Here is a quick introduction to eye care specialists:

  • Optometrists (OD) - four years of study after college, offers regular vision care
  • Opthamologists (MD or DO) - went to medical school (including residency and internship), offers complete eye care - including surgery
  • Opticians - not a doctor, has a 1 or 2 year certificate, works with optometrists and optometrists to check prescriptions, do eyeglass fittings, etc.
  • Vision Therapists (COVT - Certified Optometric Vision Therapist) - requires 1000 to 2000 hours

The Optometrist or Ophthalmologist is who you will see for progress checks and eyeglass prescriptions. The Vision Therapist is who you will see for weekly appointments and exercises. As such, it is important to relate well with both the doctor managing the program and the vision therapist (who you will see on a weekly basis).

HOW TO FIND A VISION THERAPY PROGRAM IN TUCSON

You can start by searching by zip code on the College of Optometrists in Vision Development website. You may also want to seek out recommendations in "Vision Therapy Parents Unite," a closed Facebook group that has over 20,000 members.

HOW MUCH DOES VISION THERAPY COST IN TUCSON?

Fees vary, but will probably fall in the $3000-$8000 range.

WILL INSURANCE COVER VISION THERAPY?

Most insurance companies do not recognize vision therapy and, as a result, many parents have to pay out-of-pocket. That being said, some parents have had success with submitting letters to insurance companies from the child's eye doctor and/or pediatrician that deem vision therapy as a "medical necessity."

You may also be able to use CareCredit (a loan program) or flexible spending account (FSA) funds.

Can I use ESA funds for vision therapy?

ESA stands for Empowerment Scholarship Account. It is a program that is administered by the Arizona Department of Education.

In essence, parents can choose to opt their child out of the public school system and instead receive funds to enroll their child in a private school or to homeschool.

There are very specific eligibility guidelines for this program. Your child may qualify if he/she falls in one or more of the below categories:

  • Preschool student with a disability
  • K-12 student with a disability
  • student with a parent who is active duty military
  • student with a parent who was killed in the line of duty
  • student with a parent who is legally blind, deaf, or hard of hearing
  • student attends a D or F rated school
  • student resides within a Native American reservation
  • student is a sibling of a current or previous recipient
  • student was a ward of the court
  • student was a previous ESA recipient

There are application dates each quarter. If your child is approved for the ESA program, you can use the funds for vision therapy (some specific guidelines apply).

WHAT IS MY NEXT STEP TO LEARN ABOUT VISION THERAPY?

Schedule a consultation with a Tucson Optometrist who is experienced in Vision Development and Rehabilitation. Vision therapy offices will sometimes offer free 15-minute consultations. After the initial consultation, you will likely be asked to come back for a full visual skills assessment (which can range in cost from $200-$400).

After the visual skills evaluation, the doctor will recommend a vision therapy program. Your child will likely be in vision therapy for 12-36 weeks (2 to 8 months). Many doctors will also include complimentary post-visual-therapy progress checks in their overall package.

***Watch this page for new and updated information about vision therapy resources in Tucson.

Desert Christian Schools
Chris Lawler NOVA Home Loans
Tim Sheaffer Sell's Real Estate
Veritas Academy
TucsonTopia contains both paid and non-paid mentions of businesses and organizations in and around Tucson, Arizona. Any reference made here to local businesses, services, classes, etc. is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement. We encourage you to do your own research before participating in an event or engaging with a local business or organization. The intent of TucsonTopia is to provide ideas for family-friendly activities, events, and resources. Participants assume all risks for any activities they engage in. TucsonTopia is not responsible for any injuries or problems that may arise from partaking in any of these events and activities.
© 2012-2020 TucsonTopia - All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy
Top menu-circlecross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram