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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11356
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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My 11 year old son has perfect vision but on tracking

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My 11 year old son has perfect vision but on tracking exercises, his eyes occasionally jump from point of focus and then lock right back on. It is not very frequent but he does lose his spot reading etc. He has a concurrent diagnosis of receptive / expressive language disorder.
We went to a "behavioral optometrist" (I believe that was his title; my wife set up the appointment) and he recommended a program of training that included prisms etc, but he was vague on initial discussion. I tend to be a cynical person and, as a veterinary clinician myself, my warning light was blinking that I might be straying into the realm of the hokey. Can someone please let me know the efficacy of such treatment and possibly direct me to a refereed journal with some research on the subject? I do not have a specific diagnosis as this still requires another session with a therapist.
Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

I agree with your gut feeling......this "behavioral optometrist" and his treatment plan sounds like a lot of hokey to me too.


Dr. Rick :

I recommend you stay away from this person and, if you are worried about your son's eyes and issues with tracking, take him to a pediatric ophthalmologist for a complete eye exam.

Dr. Rick :

From what you have posted I, however, do not feel that any thing needs to be done. As long as this occasional jump from point of focus is not causing any problems, why mess with it?

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

Please remember the top 3 ratings are positives and Excellent service is my goal. Your positive feedback is how we are compensated. If you aren't 100% satisfied, just click "reply." I will be happy to discuss your issue in more depth and do everything I can to provide you with the information you require.

Otherwise, a high positive rating is very much appreciated, bonuses are great, and find me anytime for follow up.


Let me know if you have further questions.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Problem is, my son is in the sixth grade and reads at 3rd grade level, although he is recently improving greatly. Are there any therapies that deal with this, and how severe would it have to be to warrant an intervention? As I said, he deals with it and other than reading, he manages just fine visually. He excels at ice hockey for example.

Do kids outgrow this?(optometrist assured me they do not)

There are many causes of reading difficulty and, as you already know, find a treatable ocular issue can be a problem.
I am glad to hear that your son is improving and I can understand your need to make sure that everything that can be done is being done.
That being said, there are a lot of "doctors" touting therapies...usually the expensive/frequent type. Do kids who have these "treatments" get better? Some do, but they may have got better -- as your son is doing on his own right now -- anyway.
I think the best thing you can do is consult with a Board Certified Pediatric ophthalmologist or if you prefer, a University Pediatric Ophthalmology Department, and follow their advice. These folks will not steer you wrong.
You are wise to be wary of "behavioral optometrist" in my opinion.
Does this answer your question?
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