Professional Experience and Personal Reflections
by Lisa Bowstead, Founder

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Does Vision Training Help? 
July 13, 2013

Back in the 70s, when I was 9 and my sister was 7, we were referred to Dr. Richard Kavner for what was then referred to as vision-related developmental problems. I was reading several grades below grade level and my sister could not read sheet music for the piano, nor could she bounce and catch a 12" ball. Both of us struggled with spacial issues, even though she was a dancer and we were both talented visual artists. It was not a secret that we had inherited these issues from our father's family.

After a year of vision therapy (once a week at his office and daily HW), my sister was reading piano music and was the jacks champion of our school, and I was reading grade-level chapter books -- and enjoying them. 

Even at the age of ten, I was aware that Dr. Kavner was helping me with the symptoms of my issues, and not the cause. It seemed obvious to me that no amount of "vision" training would help with the chaotic way my brain takes-in, processes and outputs verbal data. What was critically important to my life, however, was the affirmation that my struggles with words were physical, and were neither a reflection of my intelligence, nor of my potential. 

...but vision training DID help with the symptoms. My body learned to track words in a linear manner, however inefficiently. The muscle strength from the training helped alleviate the vision strain (and subsequent headaches) when I pushed my body to read more and more. In my junior year of high school and then again in my senior year of college, I returned to vision training, because it helped me get through periods of heavy reading. 

My sister reports that Dr. Kavner cured her. Maybe that's because she got earlier intervention than did I, or maybe her issues were never as severe as mine, or maybe it's because she has chosen a path of education and profession in which reading issues are not an issue (I chose business and education, she chose carpentry, art and design).  

Dr. Richard Kavner was one of the founding doctors of the vision training clinic at SUNY Optometrics. Here is their website:

I recommend an evaluation.

If they can help, even a little, it's totally worth it.