Vision Therapy Blog

The Doctor's Mailbag: Our Optometrists and Vision Therapists Take Your Questions!
Inside: Autism, Bifocals, and Screen Time

posted on July 4, 2016
screen time The Doctor's Mailbag: Our Optometrists and Vision Therapists Take Your Questions!
-Inside: Autism Bifocals and Screen Time

It's the first edition of the Advanced Vision Therapy / Strasburg Family Eyecare Mailbag, and we have three common, excellent questions that we'll be answering. This series is YOUR opportunity to ask Dr. Rob Lauver and the Advanced Vision Therapy team whatever is on your mind related to you or your child's eyes, brain, etc. Each time, we'll answer about three questions. To submit your questions for the next edition of the mailbag, follow the instructions on this blog post.

Without further ado, let's get to the questions!

Q: How can vision therapy help treat autism?

A: This is a common question we receive … we know that vision is inextricably connected to brain development, but for a condition as broad as autism, can vision therapy really be the answer? Well, vision therapy is not a cure, but it can help address many of the symptoms of autism such as:
  • Lack of eye contact
  • Fear of catching
  • Toe walking
  • Heel striking
  • Delayed speech
It is well-documented that just having 20/20 vision is not the end of the vision conversation for those without autism, and it is just as much the case for those with the condition.

Q: Why might my child need bifocals? I thought those were for older patients.

A: The short answer is that any bifocal prescription for children or adolescents should be temporary … in other words, no optometrist worth his or her salt will simply prescribe bifocals and move on. In the short term, they can be a band-aid treatment for symptoms of underlying vision problems. In most cases, a bifocal prescription should be combined with a recommendation for vision therapy, which can treat the weak focusing muscle that causes the problem in the first place. Wearing bifocals instead of vision therapy treatment will only perpetuate the deterioration of other skills needed for vision such as eye alignment and coordination.

Q: How much screen time is too much for my kids over the summer?

A: We recommend a maximum of two hours per day, but it is important to note that in addition to a time limit, another consideration is that devices should stay at least an arm's length away from the eyes. The closer to the eyes a child holds the device, the more likely they will need glasses and vision therapy.

Have a question we didn't answer?

This mailbag will be a monthly feature of the vision therapy blog, and we will do our best to answer every question that is submitted. Use the contact form on this post to submit your question related to vision, vision therapy, eye care, learning, or anything you can think of!

About Advanced Vision Therapy

dr rob lauver About Advanced Vision Therapy

Advanced Vision Therapy is a practice located in Strasburg, PA, that is closely associated with Strasburg Family Eyecare. Accredited by the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, Advanced Vision Therapy has been a leader in vision therapy for over a decade and sees better results than nearly any practice in the area. Check out some of our success stories and contact us for more information.

Pictured: Dr. Rob Lauver

Correcting and improving binocular, oculomotor, visual processing/perceptual and brain injury disorders.© 2017 Advanced Vision Therapy, All Rights Reserved.
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