My name is Marc, and I am a vision therapy graduate. I was your typical kid, except that I could not pay attention in school and hated to read. Luckily, my second grade teacher requested that I get an eye examination, and the optometrist recognized that I needed more than glasses. I was referred to an optometrist who specialized in learning-related vision problems, including visual efficiency and processing disorders. I immediately started a vision therapy program and saw tremendous improvement in my symptoms and success in school. When I entered optometry school, despite my background, I did not instantly gravitate toward the vision therapy department. It was during my first job after graduation that the light bulb went off; I realized my true calling. Vision therapy has the potential to help so many people, to change lives.
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Over my 10-plus years in practice I have developed a core set of equipment that I cannot live without. While some would be considered basic, others are more complicated. It is this mixture of high and low tech that keeps patients interested and enables the uploading and downloading of activities to meet therapeutic needs. I hope that my top 10 pieces of vision therapy equipment will quickly become yours.
1. Wolff wands
It is amazing that a simple design can be so powerful. Created by Bruce Wolff, the wands are two 1-foot-long metal rods with either a gold or silver ball at the end (Figure 1). These wands can be used for activities related to tracking and convergence, but most importantly, they are crucial for an activity known as eye control. In any successful program of vision therapy, the patient must understand where his eyes are pointing in relation to his body. Eye control is performed early in therapy and aimed at achieving this understanding. It is the reflective nature of the balls on the wand that make them irreplaceable. If the patient sees his reflection, he knows that he is pointing his eyes at the intended target.