Approximately 1 in 4 people have eyes that don’t work properly together, even if they pass the “20/20 vision test”. Perfect acuity and collaborative eyes do not always go hand-in-hand! This condition is known as Binocular Vision Disorder (BVD), and most sufferers (adults and children) are generally unaware they have a problem. .They’ve always seen the world this way and without a frame of reference, the sufferer doesn’t know what an alternative world looks like!
BVD causes serious self-esteem issues in children, some of whom give up on school and may even become juvenile delinquents--even though they have great potential to become contributing taxpayers and members of society. It should therefore come as no surprise that 70-75% of juvenile delinquents suffer from binocular vision disorder. In 2014, the Justice Policy Institute reports that on average the annual cost to incarcerate juvenile offenders was $153K per person. Additionally, youth confinement costs the U.S. anywhere from $8B to $12B in long-term costs - an estimate that includes costs to taxpayers of those harmed by crime, the implications of lost educational opportunities, and sexual assault of youth during confinement.
Other disorders can affect visual processing, and they require additional diagnosis and management. Retained Primitive Reflexes that affect movement and balance have their own symptoms, but some of them overlap those of BVD. It is CVC’s goal to determine which disorders are affecting patients and the most efficient and effective way of treating them.
Arguably the biggest cost of all is the fact that these bright young minds can’t become productive, contributing members of society. YOU can help CVC change this!
However, it’s critical for us to get funding as soon as possible to bring qualified optometrists and diagnosticians to Northeast Mississippi.
- CVC has hosted three unique conferences on “Hidden Disorders—Right in Front of Our Eyes” for teachers, medical professionals and the public. Each year 6 hours Continuing Education Units were available for teachers, and in 2019 they were also available for medical professionals. Each conference faculty included at least two world leaders in their fields:
- 2017 Focus: Recognition [link each to the corresponding agenda]
- 2018 Focus: The Children
- 2019 Focus: The Symptoms
- 2020 Focus: Intervention SAVE THE DATE: September 24 (link to Facebook page)
- In 2017 and again in 2019, CVC distributed literature about vision and visual processing disorders to each of the approximately 500 teachers in Monroe County.
- Level of care: CVC is poised to provide cutting-edge care for vision disorders as well as visual processing disorders that are brain-based. Our Research Committee has compiled a unique screener that will not only identify the collection of problems that may beset the patient, but will triage the disorders, allowing us to treat the most prominent issues in sequence. Over time, the collected data will allow CVC’s doctors to streamline care.
- Cost of care: We intend to provide diagnosis and therapy at no cost to families, regardless of their financial circumstances or ability to pay because Mississippi Medicaid does not recognize vision/visual processing disorders and therefore insurance will not pay for the care. Funding will be through grants, major gift donors, local fundraisers and the anticipated partnering of families who have the means to contribute.
- Location of care: Through our central location in Amory, we can empower families in Northeast Mississippi to get the care they need. There is currently one vision therapy clinic about 40 miles away and two others, each over 120 miles out of Monroe County. When therapy requires one to two trips to the clinic weekly, location is critical.
- Nature of care:
- Developmental Optometrists are schooled in the management of Binocular Vision Disorder (BVD), a condition where the eyes do not work perfectly together. BVD is managed by a variety of exercises. Some are whole-body, for balance and coordination, and others involve the practiced movement of the eyes to bring the muscles into alignment. BVD is most thoroughly evaluated and treated by certified Fellows of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), though some other optometrists do provide a level of vision therapy . Few eye doctors are currently trained as Developmental Optometrists, which requires a 2-year residency. CVC’s doctor(s) will be certified or on track to complete certification within a year of joining the staff. CVC’s doctors will see patients by referral based on their scores on a special checklist and work collaboratively with local doctors, leaving primary vision care to them.
- For patients with brain injury or neurologically based disorders, our Team has five members who specialize in that care, three of whom are Directors.
- Irlen Syndrome is a specific neurologic condition, not an optical one. Headaches, ADD and Autism are among the disorders that are affectively managed by Irlen methodology, which includes the precise prescription of colored overlays, colored glasses or contacts. These disorders have symptoms that sometimes overlap those of BVD. The nearest diagnostician currently travels from Atlanta to meet with patients in Mississippi. Irlen diagnosis is a specialty that requires individuals with 4-year degrees in education or education-related fields to first become certified Screeners and practice for two years before taking the final training to become a diagnostician. Two $500 scholarship recipients were selected from among 21 applicants for Screener training at the 2019 Hidden Disorders conference.
- There are other neurologically based disorders, some that result from physical trauma like concussions, and others from emotional trauma, that are managed by observing colored light of a prescribed frequency for a specific length of time daily for a few weeks. This science is called syntonics and dates back to the early 20th Century. There are currently no resident practitioners in the state of Mississippi and referral must be made. Certification in syntonics is a two-year process, and CVC will have a staff member training toward certification who can provide that care under the guidance of certified Syntonists.
- Prism lenses are yet another way to manage symptoms of some of the neurological disorders. ADD/ADHD, autism, stroke and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are conditions that may benefit from the prescription of unique prism lenses.
- Retained Primitive Reflexes (RPRs) are responses the body naturally makes to various stimuli. They are normally outgrown between 6-24 months, but when they are not, the symptoms have classroom implications. Symptoms of RPRs also overlap some of those of BVD, Irlen or those treated with syntonics. CVC will work collaboratively with area Occupational Therapists to provide those therapies.