How Can We Help?
Full Visual Assessment
In a Full Visual Assessment, we are interested in examining the entire visual process. We ask you or your child to take in and process visual information and then we observe and record how well your vision system handles the various visually related tasks, to give a profile of your overall visual abilities. This profile reveals areas of good (sometimes exceptional) and inadequate (sometimes non-existent) abilities and enables us to recommend alternative treatment plans.
A typical Full Visual Assessment can take up to two hours to complete. It covers all areas of vision including eye health, visual acuity, eye dominance, hand dominance, colour vision, eye movements, focusing skills, eye teaming ability, visual perception, visual integration with movement, perception, hearing and the other senses, left-right awareness and directionality, peripheral awareness, handwriting, tracking and more.
Most of the visual difficulties discovered, are not due to "hardware" problems (i.e. with the brain or the eye; as structures, these will be healthy) but with the lack of development in the "software" to perform the task being asked. Of course, the Behavioural Optometrist, like all optometrists, is responsible for recognising the existence of hardware problems (disease or injury to the eye) and making the appropriate diagnosis and treatment options available. However, it is understood that the vast majority of problems are software related. For example, eye turns (squints) are viewed as a software problem that can be corrected and not a hardware (muscles) problem. In general a problem found does not imply a damaged person; only that the currently operating programmes are not running things as well as they could be.
The brain will run on any programme it is given. It is the mind which makes decisions on what to do and the brain responds. E.g. in learning a foreign language the mind may like to learn Chinese and the brain will do it. If this does not appeal the mind may switch to Italian and again the brain will learn it. It does not matter to the brain what is learned, it will proceed to do it. With vision too, as a brain function and wholly trainable, we can programme it to run on a more efficient programme given the right conditions and help. We do this through the judicious use of Treatment Lenses, Vision Therapy, and in other helpful ways.