Introduction to Training – Overview of Learning and Vision Therapy

Congratulations on the journey you have embarked upon. You have come to this program because you have identified a need in your child for help with learning or language (or both). You are clearly a concerned parent and I believe this site will provide many of the answers you seek.

You have been approved for this program because you have shown sufficient interest and motivation to assist your child through eLVT. Not everyone qualifies, and generally this is due to time constraints, or a perceived lack of dedication to this sort of self-directed program. Some, due to a lack of understanding, feel uncomfortable with the idea of meditation as a centering exercise; they feel this is an affront to religious sensibilities, but there is no cause for this concern. In the end, the program must make sense to you in terms of time, scheduling, and commitment in order to get any benefit out of it whatsoever. Even traditional VT (Vision Therapy) programs require much travel, clinic time, and home practice time.

You should know at the outset that

  • You WILL notice positive changes in your child and that these changes will come in fairly short order and in many different areas, not only academic.
  • You WILL need to spend time with therapy, learning how to approach therapy, how to work with the various activities, and then of course more time working with your child.

Plan on spending around 1 hour per day either studying to do therapy, or in the actual activities themselves. This is not a hard rule, but if you would like to see any significant results, you should set this as a general goal. Initially, you will spend more time learning about the activities, perhaps even a few hours per week, then later you will spend more time doing exercises with your child.

It is sometimes helpful to compare eLVT to hockey in order to understand where things are going. Hockey first requires a basic ability to balance on skates and then to skate for a sustained period with greater and greater control until all forward and backward skills are mastered to the extent the emerging player does not even think about it. Then and only then can the player begin to really focus on his goal-scoring and team skills. In other words, if he is too focused on or hindered by the basics of skating, he will never be a great goal scorer.

Therapy concentrates on the following areas primarily:

  1. Basic self-awareness, body control, and spatial awareness: This equates to the basic knowledge of balance and self-control required for proficient skating.
  2. Visual Signal Acquisition (VSA) Skills: These are the mechanical details of being able to locate and acquire a visual signal from the environment (i.e. words on a page). This would parallel the development of great skating skills.
  3. Visual Signal Processing (VSP, or Perception) Skills: These are cognitive/perceptual skills that come in to play once the visual signal (word or image) has been acquired. This is like the player’s ability to think about the game and plan his next move.
  4. Reading Skills: Reading has it’s own set of specific rules to follow when it comes to signal acquisition and perception. It is a highly complex and multifaceted process, not unlike the game of hockey in that there are rules and there is play but underlying it all are core skills that make the whole thing possible.

In the first third of therapy, you will focus on core skills to ensure they are in place – self-awareness and control, and VSA. In the second third, you will emphasize refined skills related to signal acquisition and processing – VSA and VSP. Finally, you will continue with VSA and VSP skills development and refinement, but also introduce more real language and reading exercises. If I say that one area should be emphasized over another, this would mean that approximately 80% of your time should be spent in that area.

It is important to note that you should not avoid any activity because it doesn’t seem to be the right time. So, for example, you can very well be doing language and reading activities in the first 1/3 of training, but this should not be emphasis, especially if the child finds these intimidating. Indeed, you should try to mix up the activities to include a variety of things each week. Each session, however, should be more directed and predictable for the child. See Approaching Therapy for more details.

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