Guidelines for Proxy Therapists

It is very important that the patient be prepared in advance before introducing any of the home procedures.  The perceptual set of the patient must be such that he answer the demands of the task in a way that the experience is both pleasurable and meaningful.  In this way, learning will be enhanced.  The following steps will help accomplish this goal:

1.  The home procedures must not be approached on a right or wrong basis.

2.  Don’t tell the patient how he/she performed on each procedure – let the patient tell you.  In other words, the patient should be allowed to assess his/her own performance.

3.  Discuss how much progress has been made each time and let the patient figure out what must be done differently next time to accomplish the desired goal of a particular procedure.

4.  Don’t emphasize the unaccomplished phase of the performance.  Instead, stress the part that was accomplished.  Being 75 percent right sounds much better than being 25 percent wrong.

5.  Don’t supply too many answers.  Learn to ask the right questions so that the correct answers can be made.  Observe and ask questions.  Do not judge and label the patient’s performance.  This approach will help the patient begin to monitor his own processes.

6.  If it is obvious that the patient is tiring, stop short of failure and try again next time.  If success is experienced on a given procedure, and the patient wishes to continue it awhile longer, encourage him/her to do so.  Challenge, but not frustrate.

7.  On the day of your office visit, the new home training activities should be done by the home assistant(s) to better understand what will be asked of the patient druing the coming week, and to be better able to carry out your home assistant’s role, as described above.

8.  If either the patient or the home assistant is not feeling well, overtired or cross, do not work that day.

9.  Home training is best done without an audience.  If others are around, move to a separate room.  When the training can be done with an audience, an improved level of performance is indicated.

10.  The patient is the one who has the problem.  Therefore, the home procedures must be approached as one means to solve his/her vision problem.  You should not have to nag to do this.  If there is a problem in this area, please let us know immediately.