I happened to be telling another mom of a child with special needs about the observation where the psychologist noted my son was going slightly cross eyed during academic times. I told her the school felt it was just yet another behavior. The mother said, “So your son is going cross eyed in an attempt to piss the teacher off?” When she said it aloud I really re-thought how ridiculous that sounded. In my previous research and outreach to other parents of special needs it had already been recommended that I take my son to a developmental behavioral optometrist. This type of doctor is not be confused with a ophthalmologist.
An ophthalmologist is a doctor who has special expertise in the medical and surgical care of the eyes and visual system and in the prevention of eye disease and injury. They can provide routine eye exams, medical treatment of eye disorders and diseases, prescriptions for eyeglasses, surgery, etc…
A developmental behavioral optometrist can also check the physical condition and health of the eye, provide routine eye exams, prescriptions for eyeglasses, but they can not perform surgery. However, in addition to good eye health and vision they also look how efficiently their patients’ vision allows them to function. Because ultimately vision is more than just seeing clearly. It is also about understanding what is seen, focusing our eyes, using both eyes together as a team, tracking written print across a page, be able to decipher letters such as b from d or p from q and the ability to “picture” in our mind what we see, such as holding onto letters to spell words.
However, neither the school or my medical insurance would pay to see a developmental behavioral optometrist. But the medical insurance would pay for an eye exam by an ophthalmologist. I set up an appointment. The
ophthalmologist examined him. In her findings she wrote, “In summary, he has no ophthalmic problems explaining his occasional esotropia (cross eyes). He has only minimal hyperopia, which is normal for his age and does not require any correction. I would suggest he see a developmental behavioral optometrist for an evaluation for possible tracking or processing problems as an etiology of his reading difficulty.”
For an ophthalmologist to tout a developmental behavioral optometrist and the idea of vision therapy was huge because generally speaking much like many medical doctors who don’t have a respect for chiropractors the feeling is similar between an ophthalmologist and a developmental behavioral optometrist.
However, even with this letter from the ophthalmologist I could not get the medical insurance to pay because they said it was “educational” not “medical” because it was effecting his reading. However, the school claimed it was “medical” because there must be something medically wrong with his eyes then and that was a parents responsibility to take care of.
It was the beginning of “The Blame Game!”
Copyrighted 2011: danadogooder and DMT