National Intrepid Center for Excellence Visited
While in Washington DC for a conference I had the opportunity to get a tour of this newly opened facility given by Dr. Jim Kelly the head neurologist involved with the center. This is a $65 million dollar facility on what has been known as the grounds of the Bethesda Naval Hospital and will be a new Tri-Services medical facility when Walter Reed Army Hospital is closed later this year. It is a state of the art facility for diagnosing and treating those service men and women who sustain traumatic brain injuries while serving our country. I hope to continue interaction with Dr. Kelly to help bring a behavioral neuro-optometric approach to bear on these cases as well.
Book Chapter Published
I had the opportunity to contribute the chapter, "The Use of Lenses to Improve Quality of LIfe Following Brain Injury", in the book Vision Rehabilitation - Multidisciplinary Care of the Patient Following Brain Injury edited by Drs. Penelope Suter and Lisa Harvey and published by Taylor and Frances, PE. This was a 5-year process for me that resulted in a chapter that I am proud of and that I hope the profession will find both helpful and instructive.
It is gratifying to have others recognize one's work.
- Head Injury Awareness and Rehabilitation - This is a link to a story done by WJZ on a patient of mine who has chosen to take her story public in the hopes of increasing awareness of the importance of recognizing the signs of a head injury, in her case a sports related injury, and about the need for rehabilitation, which included in her case vision therapy. Much of the interview was shot in my office and there is a brief shot of Abby doing VT with Liz St. Ours.
- 3D Movies - What if you can't see it? - This is a link to an interview done with a colleague of mine in San Diego about the problems some people encounter when they go see one of the new 3D movies. If you know of anyone that has complained that they didn't see much of a difference when they went to see a 3D movie or if they complained of headaches, double vision, or some other visually related complaint, please let them know about the services we offer. Many of these problems can be addressed by a thorough evaluation and treatment.
- The Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trials (CITT) studies are now entering the public domain with a series of publications. This landmark study shows that convergence insufficiency (CI) can be effectively treated by office-centered optometric vision therapy. If further goes on to say that simple pencil pushups alone or home-based computer driven vision therapy alone do not sure the CI. This is very significant and is in total alignment with the way I approach the treatment of CI. Here is a guide to some of the information available on the net on this topic:
The Toolbox Analogy gets some press
The Toolbox Analogy that I wrote and have used often, which explains how behavioral vision care and the education system work together for the benefit of the children, was recently featured on the "Reaching the Stars" Blog as Celebrating Excellence in Education. Janet Hughes is the President of the Vision First Foundation, which also features a version of the Toolbox Analogy. The purpose of Vision First Foundation is to implement mandatory meaningful comprehensive visual evaluations of school-age children to identify as early as possible those children at risk of developing learning related visual problems and getting them to optometrists who will provide the needed care. Janet is to be commended for her service to our children.
NAACP Passes Resolution on VT
In late September of 2009, the NAACP passed a resolution on optometric vision therapy. A routine visit to a behavioral optometrist, Alton Williams of Wilmington Deleware resulted in a national resolution that was passed by the NAACP at its 100th Anniversary Convention held in New York City, endorsing optometric vision therapy as a way to help those who have commited a crime to become productive members of society. I had the good fortune early in my career, to be involved in a study of vision problems in a population of juvenile delinquents in Maryland, which followed on the heels of work done in North Carolina, California, and Oregon. This work showed that an extremely high percentage of juvenile delinquents have primary visual development problems that when treated by optometric vision therapy, greatly reduced recidivism.
In March of this year ESPN did a story on the collaborative work that Susan Duram, OD and I did with a member of the Washington Capitals, Brian Pothier. Brian had not played hockey for nearly 14 months secondary to his fourth concussion. Sue had examined Brian and gotten him started with some glasses and asked me to see what else could be done. After only a few vision therapy sessions he was working out again, went to the Hershey Bears to play a few games and ultimately contributed to the Washington Captials besting the NY Rangers in 7 games and losing to last years' NHL Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Brian is playing at as high or at even a higher level of play than before he left the game and he credits vision therapy with many of these gains. His story has led to other players and members of the public finding out about what behavioral vision care can offer head injury sufferers. Brian is to be commended for sharing his story with the public. Here is a link to the Washington Times story just prior to Brian's return.