developmental optometristA developmental optometrist is another name for a behavioural optometrist, which is an optometrist who takes a special interest in the development of the visual system, especially as it applies to learning difficulties and the development of conditions like myopia.

Most developmental optometrists start out as I did, being a regular optometrist but wanting to do more to help the children I was seeing.  I recognized that conventional optometry did not detect all the conditions of the eyes, in particular those which relate to children with learning problems.

Many kids with learning difficulties visit an optometrist and are told that they have 20/20 vision, and that they are not long or short sighted.  This leaves parents with little alternative except to move on and try tutoring, etc., but if you main symptom is poor concentration when reading and doing close work, there has got to be more to the story!

So How Can a Developmental or Behavioural Optometrist Help?

On the Sunshine Coast there are many optometrists, in all shapes and sizes, some working for big corporations and others, like myself, in smaller, friendlier local practices.  Yet there are very few behavioural optometrists, dedicated to testing and treating visual development in children with learning difficulties.

“When you are a Developmental Optometrist your entire philosophy of vision testing changes,” explains Dr Darin Browne, “And rather than simply testing to see if a child is long or short sighted, we look far deeper at the focusing and eye teaming abilities, as well as factors like visual memory for spelling, directionality for letter reversals and other perceptual skills like coding, sequencing and even eye movements.”

The reality is that the developmental optometrist often discover deeper issues that are not even being tested by other more conventional Optometrists.  And even more importantly, they have a means of not only testing for conditions, but also treating them successfully.

“Using specialized lenses and prescribing various types of vision therapy we can successfully help the vast majority of children who come to our practice with learning problems,” explains Darin, “and that is what most parents really want to see happen… that their children, who they know are bright, have the chance to reach their full potential.”

So even if your child has seen another Optometrist, why not visit Eye CU and discover how a developmental optometrist could make the difference in your child’s learning difficulties.

Sunshine Coast OptometristIf you are trying to find a children’s Sunshine Coast Optometrist then it is worth turning to Dr Darin Browne, who has been working with children and learning difficulties for over 25 years.

Darin operates from a family friendly Optometry practice and brings years of experience and creativity into the testing of children, especially kids who are struggling at school.  His entire practice is geared around children, with a huge selection of fun frames, the latest in lens innovation for kids and online vision therapy.

He makes sure that from the moment you walk through the door, you are made to feel welcome, with friendly staff and a great atmosphere that your kids will love, from the PlayStation in the reception area to specialized tests that have been designed exclusively for children.

In fact, he thrives on kids, so your child’s eye test will be more fun than any other offered by any Sunshine Coast Optometrist.

Darin has seen remarkable changes in the world of optometry, and in the field of learning disabilities and dyslexia.  And with vision being the dominant sense in the classroom, having over 80% of all information coming in to the child’s brain, the link between vision problems and learning difficulties is a very strong one.

With most optical stores on the Coast treating children like miniature adults, Darin is the Sunshine Coast optometrist with a completely different view, with a host of special tests designed for children which the big stores simply don’t do.

He also writes and designs his own therapies, so the incredible results seen for children with learning difficulties are available exclusively through Eye CU Optometrist on the Sunshine Coast.

So don’t leave your child struggling to learn, or experiencing headaches, sore eyes or poor concentration and frustration when trying to read.  Visit Dr Darin Browne at Eye CU, the Sunshine Coast Optometrist who genuinely cares for your children and your family.

Vision Therapy HTS

Vision Therapy HTS
Found this awesome TV report on why you should get your child’s eyes tested at a childrens vision behavioural optometrist like Eye CU Optometrist.

childrens behavioural optometrist

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This is why we recommend a trip to the childrens behavioural optometrist, not just the regular optometrist you might visit as an adult.  We have loads of extra tests and can do a lot more to specifically help kids with learning difficulties.

Behavioural OptometryBehavioural Optometry is an area is holistic, looking beyond the ability to see to include the ability to comprehend and process information via the eyes and visual system.  It is usually connected with kids and developing vision, and for this reason is typically referred to as developmental optometry.

Behavioural Optometry was once considered by conventional Optometry as being somewhere between reading tea leaves and reading palms!  When I started behavioural practice a long time ago, I felt like my fellow Optometrists saw me as weird and eccentric, but much has changed since then.

Nowadays other Optometrists send patients they may be unsure about to me!  In my area on the Sunshine Coast Behavioural Optometry is being embraced by established practitioners and recognized for what it is, a unique specialty or discipline within our profession which can provide real answers to children struggling at school.

 

Academic Support for Behavioural Optometry

Academics are actually discovering solid support for what Behavioural practitioners have been working with for years, and this has increased the credibility of this mode of Optometry.

Yet it does not stop there!  As a Behavioural Optometrist, I can now supply answers for most patients and many conditions, notably the efforts we’re pursuing to stop the progression of short sightedness or myopia.  This means that we don’t have to sit down by and watch our children’s prescriptions get stronger and their lenses thicker through the years!  Sometimes we can even reverse it, and the principles we build such treatments on are based upon longstanding Behavioural Optometry premises.

Another area which works well is in the treatment of turned eyes and lazy eyes, where conventional Optometry holds few answers and loads of frustration.  As Behavioural Optometrists, we can help the eyes to actually function together.

However, the actual power and attraction of this discipline is in the area of learning disabilities, where we are able to not just increase concentration and decrease frustration in our children, but we could also train them in the skills they need to learn, and hence see rapid and sustained improvement in their learning abilities.

So now could be the time when this branch of this profession is coming into it’s own!  There is a sound and powerful tool that can be used to assist children with learning disabilities, turned eyes, lazy eyes and increasing short sightedness, and this tool is known as Behavioural Optometry!

behavioural optometristIf you’re the mum or dad of a child with a learning disabilities, a Behavioural Optometrist might have the answers you’re looking for!

A Behavioural Optometrist has a special interest in children, especially those that are battling learning disabilities.  These sorts of youngsters most frequently present with symptoms like reduced concentration for all their school work, and nearly all of them have in some way failed to develop the necessary visual skills required to perform well at school.

But the great news is that a behavioural optometrist like myself can help your child right across the board, both in focus and visual skills, using a combination of reading glasses and targeted vision therapy.

 

A Behavioural Optometrist Can Help Focus

 

Most folks think that all an Optometrist can do is help a child to see better, and most kids with learning problems have absolutely no issues with seeing the print.  Yet, as a Behavioural Optometrist I can tell you that the most common symptom I see in children with learning disabilities is poor concentration, not blur, not headaches and not sore  eyes.  These different symptoms can occur, that is for certain, but reduced concentration for reading and near tasks is by far the commonest symptom.

This occurs because the pressure induced on a child’s visual system as they try to read and learn causes the focusing and eye coordination mechanisms in the eye to stress out and ultimately break down.  If concentrating on reading is demanding for a child, they either do the work and suffer eyestrain, headaches and sore eyes, or more commonly simply refuse to do it… that is, they stop concentrating on their school work!

A Behavioural Optometrist can prescribe special support or study lenses, or they can use focus and eye coordination vision therapy.  Both of these techniques work very well, and both of them can increase the length of time a child can concentrate for.  This is a dream come true for a lot of annoyed parents, however there’s so much more that we can do in addition to helping your child to concentrate, and there are a number of ways we can assist your child as they battle to learn at school.

A Behavioural Optometrist Can Assist Studying

A child learning to read should develop certain skills to do the job properly.  Skills like word recognition, visual memory, eye movements and control all serve to help a child when they read.  Children struggling to learn most often show diminished visual skills, mainly because they have never concentrated long enough to develop the skills they need, and this is where I can offer something totally unique to help.

I have designed special exercises, therapies and games which target and supercharge a child’s visual development, and these therapies also help them to pay attention and learn more efficiently.

As a child reads, shouldn’t these skills develop normally?  Well yes, they definitely need to, but if a child has learning difficulties then they typically do not develop correctly, or are slow at developing.

Vision therapy allows us to concentrate on developing these skills and make them happen faster than they would normal develop as a child reads.  While the lenses we prescribe help children to pay attention better without stress, vision therapy permits us to train the skills they need to read, write and spell quickly and effectively.

Combining the two allows us to have the maximum influence on a child’s learning experience, and to do so within the shortest amount of time.  I have the chance to see both of these techniques work successfully in my practice, and I really like hearing children excitedly inform me that they have gone up a level in reading, or listening to their dad and mom describe the improvement.

So when it comes to helping children with learning disabilities, a Behavioural Optometrist could hold the answer to the problem.

That’s why I love being a Sunshine Coast Behavioural Optometrist!