Last week I had another vision therapy appointment, and I realized something profound: I have been thinking about my vision therapy achievements all wrong. I have thought about my successes (and “failures”) in a linear way.
For example, with red/green bar reading. The way that is supposed to go is like this:
- read large text with red/green bars over the text while wearing red/green glasses
- read regular-sized text
- read while using a low-power flipper
- read while using a higher-powered flipper
- be a VT winner
However, I have had sporadic success, if success is measured by getting to “read while using a higher-powered flipper.” I read with a flipper when I wore bifocals, now with my nonbifocal contact lenses I can’t use a flipper, even though I’ve been trying for months.
Meanwhile……as I have fretted that I can’t nail the red/green reading, something else wonderful has been happening….
…my sense of depth in space and 3D vision is beginning to blossom! It is like Sue Barry’s experience with the faucets projecting out at her, but for me, it’s the handles on spoons and spatulas that stick out at me.
So I decided to think of my vision in a new way; it is like a growing garden. I have planted my seeds and I am trying to coax them all to flourish, but while I was preoccupied with the red/green reading skill, I didn’t really notice my wonderful growing 3D skills.
I realized that VT success is not always: do A then get result B. Maybe for improving my blind, amblyopic left eye, patching did clearly lead to that eye improving it’s vision to 20/20.
But everything is all mixed up, because eyes and brains are complicated. Every VT activity I do does have a specific goal, but they all work together in my brain to improve all the facets of my strabby vision.
I look up at that photo and think about how that fellow is focused intently on his little rows growing in his raised garden bed, yet there is so much wonderfulness growing all around him.