Saturday, August 1, 2009

Spanish Optometrists Complete Program at ICO

A group of Spanish Optometrists spent the better part of the summer with us at the Illinois College of Optometry/Illinois Eye Institute. They spent time seeing patients all over the Eye Institute including pediatrics/binocular vision. I had a small role to play in their advanced education and had lots of fun doing it! They each received a certificate upon completing the program.
Now if my Spanish was only better...!!

AOA Optometry Editor Speaks at ICO

Dr. Paul Freeman, editor of the American Optometric Association journal, Optometry; talked to Illinois College of Optometry students on low vision and to faculty on how to publish in referred journals. Dr. Maino and Dr. Freeman are to the left. Dr. Freeman and Dr. Kent Daum, Dean of ICO on the right.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Dr. Paul Freeman, editor of the AOA Journal is at ICO for more info.....DM

Website Helps Parents Ensure Their Children are “Seeing Smarter”

St. Louis, MO, July 27, 2009 - Parents can now go to one place to find out how babies learn to see, why vision problems cause kids to struggle in school, and what they can do to help their child “see better” and “learn more”. The SeeingSmarter web site ( is the newest children’s vision and learning resource.

It provides comprehensive, useful information about children’s vision development and its role in successful learning. SeeingSmarter provides the latest information on:
• Vision development of infants through school-age kids.
• Discussions of common childhood vision problems.
• Insights on how training the eyes and brain to work together more
effectively can improve a child’s learning and thinking abilities.
• Choosing toys and games that help develop needed vision skills.

Created by Stephen C. Miller, O.D., former Executive Director of the
College of Optometrists in Vision Development and Director of the Clinical Care Center for the American Optometric Association, SeeingSmarter provides the knowledge and practical guidance parents can use to
promote good vision. With help from the SeeingSmarter web site, parents are empowered to recognize, understand and respond to a variety of vision concerns that affect how children seeand learn.

“The SeeingSmarter web site can serve as a helpful information source for parents that optometrists can recommend,” said Dr. Miller. “It can help support and expand their recommendations on early childhood vision care. And they can establish a link from their practice web site to the SeeingSmarter site as an additional resource for their patients.

Optometrists can help parents learn more about ways they can promote early vision development and good vision habits that help their child “see smarter”, by suggesting they check out the resources available at

Background: Dr. Miller is an optometrist, writer, and past Executive Director of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development and Director of the Clinical Care Center for the American Optometric Association. During the past 35 years, he has had the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the country’s leading experts in children’s vision.
Currently, Dr. Miller is a partner in St. Louis-based Innovative Writing Works, which provides creative copywriting services for businesses and non-profit organizations.

Comments: Please note that I have been a long time friend of Dr. Miller's and don't even try to pretend that I'm not biased. Anything Dr. Miller is involved in should be considered worthwhile to investigate. DM

Childhood Brain Injury Can Delay Development

...The effects of a traumatic brain injury in childhood may linger for years, a meta-analysis showed. Deficits in intellectual functioning and attention in children with moderate traumatic brain injury resolved only modestly after two years, "suggesting that they do not fully catch up to their demographically-matched peers...

Comments: Vision problems can last long after rehab has been completed. Have a comprehensive eye examination that includes assessments of binocular vision and vision information processing. DM

Alternative medicine a big business in U.S.: report

...Complementary and alternative medicine such as acupuncture, herbal supplements and meditation are big business in the United States, totaling nearly $34 billion in out-of-pocket spending, according to a government report released on Thursday...More than 38 million adults visited chiropractors, acupuncturists and other specialists in alternative care in 2007, the report from the National Institutes of Health found....

Comment: You have to wonder why so many of us seek out alternative approaches to allopathic medicine? What is medicine doing wrong? Could it be that they've lost that personal touch? After all, if you only spend 5 minutes or less with a patient; if you do not take the time to get to know your patient; if the paperwork that is needed to be done to make a living in medicine makes you grumpy all the time and it shows on your face and in the manner you address your patient....well, is it any wonder that we look elsewhere for the care and caring we need? DM

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Have your Infants Eyes Examined at No Cost: AOA's InfantSee Program

Prevalence of Vision Problems and Eye Diseases That Will Develop in Children

  • 1 in 10 children is at risk from undiagnosed vision problems
  • 1 in 30 children will be affected by amblyopia - often referred to as lazy eye - a leading cause of vision loss in people younger than 45 years
  • 1 in 25 will develop strabismus - more commonly known as crossed-eyes - a risk factor for amblyopia
  • 1 in 33 will show significant refractive error such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism
  • 1 in 100 will exhibit evidence of eye disease - e.g. glaucoma
  • 1 in 20,000 children have retinoblastoma (intraocular cancer) the seventh most common pediatric cancer

Clinical Data Demonstrating the Need for InfantSEE®

  • A study reported by the American Academy of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) in 1999 compared two groups of 8-year-olds for amblyopia
    • One group of 808 children had been screened between the ages of 12 and 30 months and provided appropriate treatment
    • The other 782 children from the same community did not receive the infant screening
    • At age 8, the group that did not receive the infant screening was 17 times more likely to have amblyopia
  • The Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (ALSPAC) reported that intensive screening performed 6 times between ages 8 months and 37 months by an eye care professional led to a decrease in:
    • Amblyopia, which was three times less likely after treatment - from 1.8 percent to 0.6 percent
    • Residual amblyopia from 25 percent to 7.5 percent after treatment
  • Current red reflex screening appears to be ineffective in detecting early retinoblastoma as over 80 percent of patients had their presenting sign detected by a family member or friend
  • Untreated amblyopia costs the U.S. nearly $7.4 billion in earning power each year. There is a return of $22 for each dollar spent on amblyopia diagnosis and treatment

To learn more about InfantSEE® visit or call toll-free (888) 396-EYES (3937).

Comments: Help stamp out amblyopia/lazy eye today. Protect your child's most precious gift. Her vision! Go to to see how you can have your little one's eyes assessed at no cost. Do it. You know you want to. DM

Understanding the Difference Between Vision Screenings and Vision Examinations

Vision Screenings — See What Your Child May Be Missing:
Vision screening programs are intended to help identify children with eye or vision problems that threaten sight or impair their ability to develop and learn normally. However, vision screenings are a limited process and cannot be used to diagnose an eye or vision problem, but rather to indicate a potential need for further evaluation.

Comments: For more info click title above. DM

ICO Announces Alumni Awards

Hello ICO Alumni........

Come celebrate with us as we recognize this year's Alumni Association Award recipients! Each year, the ICO Alumni Association Awards are presented during our Alumni Weekend festivities. Join us during the Class Reunion/Alumni Awards Reception and Banquet, scheduled at the InterContinental Chicago on Friday, September 11th, to celebrate with this year's honorees. They are:

Louise A. Sclafani, OD '89
Alumna of the Year Award

Peter H. Kehoe, OD '84
Alumnus of the Year Award

Steve A. Leon, OD '80
Distinguished Alumnus Award

Haag-Streit USA/Reliance
Distinguished Friend Award

Dennis W. Siemsen, OD '76, MHPE
Professional Achievement Award

Rebecca K. Zoltoski, PhD
Excellence in Education Award - Faculty

Joseph J. Pizzimenti, OD '89
Excellence in Education Award - Non-Faculty

The Jenzabar Foundation
Humanitarian Award

Darrell G. Schlange, OD '64, DOS
Lifetime Service Award

Congratulations to all! If you would like to attend the Class Reunion/Alumni Awards Reception and Banquet, please register by using the attached form or register online at The last day to register is August 21st.

Hope to see you there!


Connie M. Scavuzzo, M.A.D
irector of Alumni Development
Illinois College of Optometry
3241 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616
ph 312-949-7080
fx 312-949-7683
e [email protected]
e [email protected]

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

From the College of Optometrists in Vision Development Website

Comments: The COVD website is a great place to learn about is updated frequently with information like that noted below. Go there frequently! i have a link to Dr. Barry's blog...scroll down lower left. DM


Neurobiologist Talks about Vision Therapy

Dr. Susan R. Barry is a professor of neurobiology in the Department of Biological Sciences at Mount Holyoke College and the author of Fixing My Gaze.

Dr. Barry was cross-eyed as a baby, but three childhood surgeries made her eyes look straight.

Her doctors thought she would never gain stereo vision - the ability to see in three dimensions. Then, at age 48, Dr. Barry consulted a developmental optometrist who prescribed a program of optometric vision therapy, which taught her how to coordinate her eyes and see in stereo.

Read about and listen to Dr. Barry's interview on NPR affiliate
Read the interview between Dr. Barry and a COVD member
Read the interview by the Review of Optometry

Dr. Barry's Articles
Speaking Engagements

Why Can't My Child Read?

UC Berkeley

Neurobiologist finds adult brain is quite flexible

Bookstore Events

A flawed statement on vision therapy, learning and dyslexia is reissued

A flawed statement on vision therapy, learning and dyslexia is reissued

By Leonard Press, O.D.

“Vision problems can interfere with learning, but vision problems are not the primary cause of reading or learning problems for most children. Therefore, any effort to improve a child’s visual performance through vision therapy is unsupported, even if your child happens to be one of those who might be helped by vision therapy.”

Any parent reading that statement would find it illogical if not misleading. Yet for the fourth time in four decades, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, and American Association of Certified Orthoptists have combined their efforts to publish this notion in the guise of public interest.

This is the essence of the abstract of an article in the August 2009 issue of Pediatrics that states:

“Vision problems can interfere with the process of learning; however, vision problems are not the cause of primary dyslexia or learning disabilities. Scientific evidence does not support the efficacy of eye exercises, behavioral vision therapy, or special tinted filters or lenses for improving the long-term educational performance in these complex pediatric neurocognitive conditions.”

The American Optometric Association in a joint policy statement with the American Academy of Optometry has previously pointed out the flaws with the joint policy statement of the organizations above (1997, at ). A point-by-point rebuttal of the misleading information intended to discredit optometric vision therapy was published by the American Optometric Association in its journal, Optometry. (Bowan MD, 2002). This latest iteration in the form of the Pediatrics article unfortunately recycles the same straw man arguments as the prior joint statements.

Here are the primary flaws and myths in the Pediatrics article:

“Convergence insufficiency and poor accommodation, both of which are uncommon in children, can interfere with the physical act of reading but not with decoding. Thus, treatment of these disorders can make reading more comfortable and may allow reading for longer periods of time but does not directly improve decoding or comprehension.”

FACT: There is no basis for this statement. In fact, there is evidence to the contrary.

The definitive scientific study on convergence insufficiency was published by the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial Study Group. The study was published in Archives of Ophthalmology in 2008, and involved children from the ages of 9 through 18. A key part of that study was the Convergence Insufficiency Symptom Survey (CISS) published by the CITT group in Optometry and Vision Science (2003). As noted by the CITT investigators, although it has been suggested that CI is not common in children, no data have been presented to support this position.

More important, consider the implications of the following items in the CI Symptom Survey on reading comprehension:

Do you lose concentration when reading or doing close work?

Do you have trouble remembering what is read?

Do you have double vision when reading or doing close work?

Do you see words move, jump, swim, or appear to float on the page when reading or doing close work?

Do you feel like you read slowly?

Do you lose your place while reading or doing close work?

Do you have to re-read the same line of words while reading?

For each of these questions, the positive response of the children diagnosed with convergence insufficiency was statistically much greater than the children with normal binocular vision.

For example, 43 percent of children with convergence insufficiency reported losing concentration fairly often or always when reading, as opposed to only 7 percent of the children with normal binocular vision. 34 percent of the children with convergence insufficiency reported trouble remembering what is read as opposed to 9 percent of children with normal binocular vision. 47 percent of the children with convergence insufficiency reported feeling like they read slowly as opposed to 9 percent of the children with normal binocular vision.

Many children with reading disabilities enjoy playing video games, including handheld games, for prolonged periods. Playing video games requires concentration, visual perception, visual processing, eye movements, and eye-hand coordination. Convergence and accommodation are also required for handheld games. Thus, if visual deficits were a major cause of reading disabilities, children with such disabilities would reject this vision-intensive activity.”

FACT: There is no basis for this statement. In fact, there is evidence to the contrary.

The statement that many children with reading disabilities enjoy playing video games is not substantiated by any evidence in the article. Assuming that some evidence was presented for this, however, it would not be surprising. In fact, it would support the concept that a subset of children with reading disabilities has unstable binocular and eye tracking skills for static stimuli, such as reading print on a crowded page, but excel in tracking dynamic or moving targets such as video games.

How, as a parent, might you infer this? Consider your experiences when trying to read in a car. How well are you able to concentrate on, and comprehend what you read? Even if you’re a good reader, chances are that the act of reading under conditions of instability induces not only discomfort, but can be distressing to the point of dizziness or nausea. Try to play a hand-held video game in a car, and see if you have the same experience. Motivation is less relevant here than physiology, and you too will find that video games are far easier to sustain.

For children with unstable binocular vision, the act of reading at a table is equivalent to someone with normal binocular vision trying to read in a car. While the medical professionals who put together this policy statement view this as incidental to comprehension, we suspect parents and non-biased professionals will agree that conditions such as convergence insufficiency may be highly relevant to reading comprehension and reading disabilities.

“…is poorly validated because it relies on anecdotes, poorly designed studies, and poorly controlled or uncontrolled studies. Their reported benefits can often be explained by the placebo effect or by the traditional educational remedial techniques with which they are usually combined.”

FACT : The review of the literature conducted in this paper is highly selective and skewed.

Although papers have been published, and policy statements issued to counter the misinformation in this Joint Policy Statement, its authors continue to ignore factual criticisms. Interested readers are encouraged to review the Optometric Joint Policy Statement on these issues at:

The literature supporting the efficacy of optometric vision therapy often exceeds the level of supportive literature for other forms of therapy touted in this paper and far exceeds the placebo effect. The bulk of children with learning disabilities or dyslexia aided by optometric vision therapy come to us having already failed with other forms of intervention including educational remedial techniques. Optometric vision therapy is not offered as a replacement for educational interventions. These children continue to struggle despite their parents reading to and with them, and spending countless hours on homework and reading tutors.

A final note is in order here. Susan R. Barry, Ph.D., is a professor of neurobiology at Mount Holyoke College who recently authored a book “Fixing My Gaze” (Basic Books, 2009). Her book is endorsed by two Nobel Laureates in Physiology and Medicine and a professor emeritus of ophthalmology and neuroscience at Yale. Susan writes of her struggles to read as a child and the way in which she and her mother were patronized by the medical and educational systems that overlooked or devalued her visual problems. She offers considerable scientific support as an antidote to the misinformation of joint policy statements such as the most recent version of the article in Pediatrics. It should be required reading for anyone doubting the role of vision in learning and reading disabilities.

AAP Statement Flawed

A “Joint Policy Statement” published online in the Journal Pediatrics on July 27 appears to cobble together outdated research and vision science, such as the controversial Irlen lens, in an attempt to discredit optometric vision therapy, according to prominent optometrists.

The policy statement, developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on Ophthalmology; American Academy of Ophthalmology; American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus; and American Association of Certified Orthoptists, sheds doubt on the claim that vision therapy treats dyslexia - a claim that vision researchers and clinicians have not made for decades.

It also ignores the evidence of the proven benefits of vision therapy, such as in well-designed studies, most notably the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial (CITT), which was funded by the National Eye Institute. This study showed that vision therapy administered in an eye care provider’s office is the best course of treatment for that condition.

“This publication pretends to be a review of the literature, but instead is a straw man argument,” noted Leonard Press, O.D., chair of the AOA’s Pediatrics and Binocular Vision Committee and prominent member of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD). “The references at the end, for example, include outdated research literature, and are padded with 23 references to the Irlen lens concept. None of the positive studies on vision therapy from optometric literature is included.”

The timing of the “joint policy statement” seems curious as well, noted Dr. Press, with recent studies showing positive results from vision therapy and with prominent individuals from the academic and scientific communities supporting vision therapy.

  • In May, Susan R. Barry, Ph.D., professor of neurobiology in the Department of Biological Sciences at Mount Holyoke College, published a book, Fixing My Gaze, about her long struggle with vision problems and the ultimate success of vision therapy treatment.
  • More currently, there is the well-publicized success of former vision therapy patient Larry Fitzgerald as a wide receiver for the Super Bowl-contending Arizona Cardinals earlier this year. Fitzgerald credits his grandfather’s vision therapy treatments as a key to his success in catching the football. Just last month, Fitzgerald started working with COVD as a spokesperson.
  • And now, as children and parents ready for the school year, and the AOA is engaged in a media campaign to raise awareness of the importance of having vision examinations before school, there appears to be a campaign to discredit vision therapy.

Dr. Press said there has been a regular pattern of such publications.

“What the policy statements have consistently done is link vision therapy treatment to unrelated conditions and then show the treatment is not successful,” he noted.

He prepared a detailed refutation of the “joint policy paper” (see here) and told AOA News that he was grateful, in a way, for its publication because the paper provides another opportunity to cite relevant research, recount the success stories and raise awareness of the role of optometric vision therapy in treating vision conditions that inhibit learning.

Other prominent optometrists and educators also took issue with the “joint policy paper.”

“It should also be noted that every school and college of optometry teach courses in and provides clinical experiences for students in the area of vision therapy and that the procedures used in vision therapy have been codified within text books published by major publishers throughout the United States and the international community,” said Dominick M. Maino, O.D., M.Ed., professor of Pediatrics/Binocular Vision at the Illinois College of Optometry and editor of Optometry & Vision Development.

“Optometric vision therapy is a scientifically sound series of therapeutic procedures used successfully for a number of vision disorders from amblyopia to learning-related vision problems,” Dr. Maino said.

“In this era of evidence-based medicine it is disheartening to read this panel of ‘experts’ purposefully misleading the reader by disregarding recently published randomized clinical trials and the only quality research about the effectiveness of treatments for convergence insufficiency,” said Mitchell Scheiman, O.D., chief of the Pediatric/Binocular Vision Service and a professor at Salus University. Dr. Scheiman was the study chair for the year-long CITT study, which had clinic sites in nine states and included 208 children.

The authors of the joint policy statement falsely note that “symptomatic convergence insufficiency can be treated with near-point exercises, prism convergence exercises, or computer-based convergence exercises. Most of these exercises can be performed at home, and extensive in-office vision therapy is usually not required. Alternatively, for other patients, reading glasses with base-in prism or minus lenses can be used as treatment,” Dr. Scheiman said.

“The references they use to support these statements are not research studies, but are editorial responses to the CITT studies published in Archives of Ophthalmology. The authors of these editorials base their opinions about the effectiveness of home-based therapy on their “clinical experience” and fail to present any quality data from randomized clinical trials. The authors also conveniently chose not to reference the only randomized clinical trial of base-in prism for the treatment of convergence insufficiency. That study, in fact, found that base-in prism was no more effective than placebo reading glasses.”

Dancing to improve Brain Function

....Brain Dance Developed by Anne Green comprised of eight fundamental movement patterns that we move through in the first year of life. Research has shown that these patterns are crucial to the wiring of our central nervous system. As babies, we did these movements on our tummies on the floor. However, cycling through these patterns sitting or standing has been found to be beneficial. This "dance" is an excellent full body and brain warm-up for children and adults in all settings. The BrainDance can be done at the beginning of class; before tests, performances, and presentations; and during computer work and TV watching for brain reorganization, oxygenation, and recuperation. ...

Comments: I haven't sought out any research to support what they do...I will...but I do like the idea of improving one's brain by dancing. Current research on neuroplasticity shows that "movement" (using our muscles) improves our synapses and brain volume. See Maino D. Neuroplasticity: Teaching an Old Brain New Tricks. Rev Optom 2009. 46(1):62-64,66-70 for more information. DM

Permanent Visual Loss Due to Dietary Vitamin A Deficiency in an Autistic Adolescent

Children with autism often have restrictive diets. Here, we report an adolescent with autism who developed dietary vitamin A deficiency because of a restrictive diet. Despite supplementation with vitamin A, some of the visual loss was permanent with optic atrophy. Children with autism who have restrictive diets may need periodic serum vitamin levels assessed.

Research Reveals How Visual And Auditory Information Converges Into The Firing Of Single Neurons

Pictures paint concepts of a thousand words - now, for the first time, scientists studying the brain have worked out how words paint concepts in our minds.....

What Is Concussion? What Is Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI)?

...Concussion is also known as mild brain injury, mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), mild head injury and minor head trauma. Some experts define concussion as a head injury with temporary loss of brain function, which can cause cognitive, physical and emotional symptoms. Concussion may also be defined as an injury to the brain generally caused by a jolt or blow to the head - in the majority of cases the individual does not lose consciousness...

Comments: It has been found that even very mild concussion can cause lasting vision problems that affect performance. If you've had a concussion, even a mild one you can find a doc to help you at . BTW I belong to COVD....but have no financial interest in the organization outside of the dues I pay from time to time. Just keepin' things honest! DM

Back-to-School Health: Are Your Child's Eyes Ready For The Classroom?

...Good vision can be directly correlated with a child's learning ability. As much as 80% of the learning a child does occurs through his eyes and approximately 1 in 4 school-age children have some type of vision impairment....."Generally, the earlier we diagnose vision issues, the better the outcome for the child," said Dr. Mark Borchert, a pediatric ophthalmologist and the director of The Vision Center at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and associate professor of ophthalmology and neurology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. "Professional eye examination tests not only measure distance of vision, but also how accurately the eyes focus and how well the eye muscles are working," he said....

Comments: So....ophthalmology does have something to do with learning! Awesome! For more info go to DM

Working memory and ADHD

...A study to be published in the August 2009 edition of Applied Cognitive Psychology sheds new light on how Cogmed Working Memory Training and stimulant medication address working memory impairments in children with ADHD. Working memory, acknowledged as one of the core deficits in ADHD, represents the brain's ability to hold and process critical information related to the present moment....

Vyvanse CII Significantly Improved ADHD Symptoms For Children 13 Hours After Administration

....The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, analog classroom study that assessed the efficacy and safety of Vyvanse in 129 children aged 6 to 12 years with ADHD. . ...In the study, Vyvanse demonstrated significant efficacy versus placebo at 1.5 hours, the first time point measured. Further, Vyvanse treatment was associated with significant efficacy as measured by both subjective (SKAMP-D and SKAMP-A) and objective (PERMP) assessments from the first time point (1.5 hours) through the last time point (13 hours) assessed during the classroom day, and at all time points in between (2.5, 5.0, 7.5, 10.0, and 12.0 hours). ...

Comments: Drugs for ADHD are an important tool to improve child functioning....we need to be ever vigilant that this tool is not overly used or used when not needed. DM

Raising Smarter Children Tells of the Benefits of Vision Therapy

...When my daughter, Erin, a Pediatrician and co-founder of this blog, was in the first grade, her teacher called me in and said she wanted her to repeat the first grade due to reading problems....I was horrified as you can imagine, because Erin could read at age 4, and I am a reading specialist. What was I missing?
Fortunately, and I believe there are no coincidences, the mother of a child I was coaching in faster learning strategies, told me her son was taking
vision therapy. She said her son had visual perceptual problems that weren’t picked up in the school vision exam on the distance eye chart, and she discovered he didn’t see the printed page the way he should....

Comments: The authors of this blog, Pat Wyman and Erin Mavredakis, M.D., unlike organized medicine, realize that learning related vision problems can interfer with academics. Thank you Pat and Erin. Now we just need to get the AMA, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Ophthalomology to stop using politcially motivated, scientifically unfounded statements, that hurt their patients, their credibility, and thier role in providing leadership within the health care arena. DM

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Can Blue M&M;'s, Blue Gatorade Protect Your Spine? Surprisingly Helpful Foods

...All those who rejoiced when M&M's swapped out tan for blue in the '90s, crunch on this: New research suggests that a compound nearly identical to the common food dye that gives M&M's and other foods their blue hue may have an unexpected application—treating spinal cord injuries. Here's a look at the candy's potential and a few other vibrant foods whose health benefits might surprise you...

Comments: I love M&Ms. I love chocolate. Now I can tell my wife it's OK if I over do it a bit!! I'm getting health!! DM

OEP Regional Seminars

AUGUST 15 & 16, 2009
Regional Clinical Seminar, “Clinical Application Of Neuro-Optometric Diagnostic & Treatment Procedures"
Palo Alto, California
SPEAKER: Allen H. Cohen, O.D.
CONTACT: Thomas Headline, COVT, 408-528-9509,
[email protected] 12 hours CE available.

August 22 and 23, 2009
Regional Clinical Seminar, "A New 'Old Fashioned' Approach to Strabismus & Amblyopia" Richland, WA
SPEAKER: Robin Lewis, O.D.
Elizabeth Heaston, O.D., 509-943-317
12 hours CE available. 7 hours COPE approved.

As you know, the RCS programs are designed for small group learning. There are always new ideas, techniques and fellowships at an RCS. Please contact to register. You can also contact me with any questions you may have.

Diane Serex-Dougan, O.D., FCOVD
National Chairperson, Regional Clinical Seminars
[email protected]

Comments: I've heard Dr. Allen Cohen speak on this topic before at the annual COVD meeting. I then listened again via CD recording. He's awesome! Go an learn from him. BTW Dr. Robin Lewis is always informative as well....go listen to him also! DM

Find a Developmental Optometrist

...Ideally, you want to locate a Developmental Optometrist who oversees a vision therapy department that offers Office-Based Vision Therapy somewhere near you. Alternatively, you might find a developmental optometrist who routinely refers to a vision therapy department. This is essential. An optometrist who doesn’t refer to vision therapy is unlikely to perform the testing necessary to determine whether your child suffers from the sort of vision problems corrected with vision therapy.....

Comments: The OnTrackReading blog has a great deal of information about reading....and vision. Take a moment to visit. You'll be glad you did.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The link between children, soldiers with brain injuries

...You may think that brain injured soldiers share little in common with children but some doctors are seeing a connection. ...“In pediatrics, we’re used to working with infants and toddlers who can’t speak to us, can’t tell us what’s wrong,” says Dr. Suzanne Wickum, a University of Houston pediatric optometrist. “So the techniques translate over to the adults who have brain injuries, who aren’t able to communicate as well.” ...

Girl With Half a Brain

In mammals smooth retinotopic maps of the visual field are formed
along the visual processing pathway whereby the left visual field
is represented in the right hemisphere and vice versa. The reorganization
of retinotopic maps in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN)
of the thalamus and early visual areas (V1-V3) is studied in a
patient who was born with only one cerebral hemisphere. Before
the seventh week of embryonic gestation, the development of the
patient’s right cerebral hemisphere terminated. Despite the complete
loss of her right hemisphere (di- and telencephalon) at birth,
the patient’s remaining hemisphere has not only developed maps
of the contralateral (right) visual hemifield but, surprisingly, also
maps of the ipsilateral (left) visual hemifield. Retinal ganglion-cells
changed their predetermined crossing pattern in the optic chiasm
and grew to the ipsilateral LGN. In the visual cortex, islands of
ipsilateral visual field representations were located along the
representations of the vertical meridian. In V1, smooth and continuous
maps from contra- and ipsilateral hemifield overlap each
other, whereas in ventral V2 and V3 ipsilateral quarter field
representations invaded small distinct cortical patches. This reveals
a surprising flexibility of the self-organizing developmental mechanisms
responsible for map formation.

Comments: Read the full article by clicking on the title. Also check out the Neurologia blog. DM

Autism 101: Floortime therapy

Rehab Improves Attention Deficits in Stroke Survivors

...A rehabilitation program for impaired attention was successful in patients who had suffered a stroke, a randomized trial showed...

Contact Lenses in Pediatrics Study in Singapore

...A high proportion of Singaporean children requiring vision correction are able to successfully wear daily disposable soft CLs over a 3-month period. ...

Lea Hyvarinen, MD @ ICO: Oculomotor & Accommodation

Lea Hyvarinen, MD, a world famous OMD from Finland, came to the Illinois College of Optometry last week and presented information on working with children with special needs. Here is a brief video clip of her discussion of oculomotor and accommodative assessment. ... She is all about improving the vision function of her patients....I was thrilled to meet and have an ability to talk to her. DM

Call for papers : ICBO

6th International Congress on Behavioral Optometry
ICBO Call for papers

The International Conference of Behavioral Optometry is soliciting abstracts for papers and posters to be presented at the 2010 Meeting. Any person wishing to make a presentation is invited to submit a proposal as outlined below. Proposals may include research results, case studies, or new and innovative diagnostic procedures or treatment techniques.


Abstracts will be accepted as oral or poster presentations
Abstracts submitted by fax will not be accepted
Presenting authors must be registered participants and attend the meeting
Submission of an abstract acknowledges your acceptance for the abstract to be published in all printed material of the Meeting
Abstracts will be published in The Journal of Behavioral Optometry.
Abstracts must be original and must not have been published or presented at any other meeting prior to the ICBO 2010 Meeting
Abstracts must be submitted in English
All studies must have been approved by institutional committees on ethics of experimental and human investigations
Abstract title - limited to 20 words
Abstract text - limited to 350 words, including acknowledgements.

Abstracts of research projects should clearly state:
Background and aims

Abstracts of case reports should clearly state:
patient’s symptoms
findings, diagnosis

Abstracts of diagnostic or therapeutic techniques should clearly describe:
the procedure
its applications
its unique or innovative characteristics.

Use only standard abbreviations. Place special or unusual abbreviations in parentheses after the full word appears the first time.
Use generic names of drugs. Express numbers as numerals.
Conflicts of Interest / Disclosure: Work submitted for presentation must include an acknowledgement of funding sources of commercial nature and/or consulting or holding of significant equity in a company that could be affected by the results of the study

Topics of Specific Interest
· Visual Fields - testing and treatment
· Vestibular issues - balance and dizziness, treatment to resolve these problems
· Mid-Line shift - spatial perceptions post trauma, concepts of changing spatial transformation
· Driver rehabilitation - innovations in driver rehabilitation
· Learning/Development theory
· Vision therapy - group versus one-on-one
· Vision therapy - home-based therapy versus in-office only
· Vision therapy - curriculum-based versus specific treatment for specific diagnosis

Each abstract will be reviewed for the following elements: (1) scientific and clinical quality; (2) broad appeal to the interests of the meeting attendees; (3) multidisciplinary nature; (4) timeliness of the topic.

Each complete submission received by August 1, 2009 will be independently peer-reviewed and rated on a blind evaluation basis.
First authors will be notified of acceptance or rejection by October 1, 2009.


All presentations must avoid commercialism. Presentations that constitute promotion and advertising will be prohibited. This specifically includes pervasive and inappropriate use of logos.
No advertising matter of any description may be distributed. No material may be displayed that in any way directly promotes the commercial interest of any particular company or enterprise, or of the author(s)/presenter(s).
If the cost of presentation has been underwritten to any extent, a clear acknowledgment stating support and identifying the particular source should be included (e.g., "The support of [name of corporation/institute] for this project is gratefully acknowledged.")


ALL accepted presenters/authors/speakers are required to register for the conference, and are fully responsible for all of their expenses related to the conference (e.g., registration, airfare, hotel, meals).

Deadline for submission of abstracts: September 1, 2009

Submit electronically to: [email protected]

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Heads Up All Facebook users

A friend of mine has noted that: - FACEBOOK has agreed to let third party advertisers use your posted pictures WITHOUT your permission. Click on SETTINGS up at the top where you see the Log out link. Select PRIVACY SETTINGS. Then select "NEWSFEEDS and WALL". Next select the tab that reads FACEBOOK ADS. There is a drop down box, select NO ONE. Then SAVE your changes. (REPOST to let your friends know!)

Call for articles: "The Sight" Journal

Nepal optometry students society is going to publish its 5th issue of annual Optometric publication "THE SIGHT".

The targets of this magazine are Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Ophthalmic assistant and all eye care professionals .

We kindly request you to provide any article as highlighted below within 15 days .
1.The article should be informative and scientific .
2.The article should be in English or Nepali medium.

1.Child hood blindness
2. Catract.
3. Glaucoma
4. Retina
5.Refractive error.
7.Corneal topography and its degenrative conditions .
10.Contact lens
11.Low vision
12.Ophthalmic dispensing

Email these articles to: [email protected]
Thanking you ,
Suman Adhikari
The Secretary
Nepal Optometry Students' Society
P.O. Box: 8750
B. P. Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies
Tribhuwan University Teaching Hospital
Phone no:0977-1-4720694/695

Should you have any queries about Nepal Optometry Students' Society, I would be rather obliged to you to satisfy them!

The Secretary, 8th Executive Body
Nepal Optometry Students' Society, NOSS
P.O. Box: 8750
B. P. Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies
Tribhuwan University Teaching Hospital
Phone no:0977-1-4720694/695