We were in crisis mode when when we found Dr. Gordon. Anna, our daughter, was struggling in school:
She was very anxious in Kindergarten, In first grade she always wanted to go the nurse's office, Ana ran behind the house when the school bus arrived, and Anna was tested for eyeglasses but didn't need them.
One of my worst moments was when the Principal and School Counselor talked to me about three options for Anna: Home Schooling, Medication, or Classifying her as Special Needs.
Another terrible memory was when my husband Dave, our county Youth Advocate and I (hiding a rosary in my clutched hand) met with a table full of school personnel.
Driving to Dr. Gordon's office took us 50-minutes each way. Visual tracking difficulties were discovered and glasses and therapies were recommended. Anna didn't want to do the eye exercises at home initially. But she eventually found them to be helpful. She was nervous when therapy ended, afraid that her vision would go back to the way it was.
That was years ago. Vision therapy made a great impact on her and her life.
Anna graduated from high school one year early, she attended Genesee Community College (GCC) and worked in the bookstore. When it was slow she would read books for fun! She earned two GCC Associate Degrees (Biotech and Liberal Arts/Natural Sciences). She transferred to SUNY Buffalo and earned a Bachelor's Degree in BioTech. Eared a Masters degree from Western Governors University in Data Analytics. She was a UB Graduate Assistant and now at the age of 22 she is working on her second Master's Thesis in BioTech. She is also a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and teaches Kyosahnim Martial Arts to 3 - 4 year olds.
What was hard is now easy!
Dr. Gordon and his team examined my daughter, Susanna, when she was 6 years old. At that time, we had significant concerns about sensory processing, attention difficulties, her gross and fine motor skills, etc. After having her tested by various specialties through the Commitee on Special Education through the school district (twice), she did not qualify for any services. We sought help with an independent occupational therapist, who recommended a therapeutic optometric evaluation with Dr. Gordon. We didn't know anyone who had gone this route. We were nervous, but we went for it.
Dr. Gordon quickly identified her as having difficulty with visual tracking, convergence and delays in primitive motor reflexes. We were immediately relieved. Although no parent wants to hear that something is "wrong" with their child, we finally felt "heard" and "Seen" by Dr. Gordon and his staff. Why did Susanna trip over things so often? Why couldn't she find things right in front of her? Why did she have such difficulty sitting on a bicycle and leaning over the handlebars (let alone pedaling)? Why did she become frustrated so easily when doing even the most basic pre-literacy activities (solving paper mazes, drawing shapes and letters, coloring pictures)? We embarked on a 30-week vision therapy program. We hoped for some improvement in some of these areas. Working with Deede, Susanna exceeded all of our expectations!
Susanna has transformed in so many ways. Yes, she can see better. But there's so much more to it than that. She can jump rope while reading a eye chart! You may not think this is important until you drive by Stillwell Avenue three times because (now you realize) it is difficult to read a street sign while driving, listening to music and fielding questions from the back seat. She can march to a beat! She can jump over her sister's boots laying on the door mat! She can find a pencil around the house! She can cut her own chicken fingers! She can tell her right from left! She can put her shoes on the right feet! She can pour her own lemonade! She can read! I'll say it again - she can read a word, a sentence, a book!
Deede and Mark have forever changed our lives, our family, our Suzanna. We are grateful to have crossed paths with such wonderful people, who were able to see what we could not. That is, the potential in our child and the road map to bestowing a confidence upon her to achieve in ways never imagined. We cant wait so see what they do with our four year old...
Tara W & Sergio H
Vital role in school and life!
Having completed vision therapy our daughter has made tremendous gains, not only in the classroom, but in her day-to-day life as well. She went from having a hard time writing to writing legibly, to writing multiple sentences. She started therapy toward the end of Kindergarten, and she was way behind her peers, and unable to read. She is in first grade now, and has moved up four reading levels!
The biggest impact we have noticed since vision therapy has started, has been a decrease in her ADHD symptoms and her increased confidence in herself and her ability to learn. She is better able to attend to tasks and better able to visually take-in its around her, and can finally track in a straight live across a page of print.
She is no longer avoiding and fighting with us to do her work because it was too hard for her. Instead she is eager to take on the task at hand.
Vision therapy has played a vital role in her ability to learn, and in her quality of life in the classroom and day-to-day life!
What a relief!
I no longer have stress in my eyes and my eyes don't hurt when I read. I have grown in reading so much! My writing has improved and so has my pencil grip; it doesn't hurt to write. In therapy we worked on tracking so now I can read easier. We also worked on visual memory to help with spelling.
I do not have blurry vision anymore. Vision therapy has helped me with so much. My eyes are so much better and now my face is not 'glued' to the paper. My eyes connect to my brain much easier. My eyes can now converge and connect with the words on the page.
Before vision therapy it was hard for me to read a paragraph or write a paragraph. Now I can read a whole book without a problem. Going to vision therapy was the best thing I could ever do for my eyes.
Undiagnosed Vision Challenges!
Before starting vision therapy our 8-year-old son experienced significant difficulty with reading and overall body control. Reading was a time of frustration in which he became fatigued after a few pages and had frequent eye rubbing. Additionally, our son struggles with coordination. Activities such as riding a bike were met with resistance.
We had an evaluation with one of "the best" pediatric ophthalmologist's in the area. Results showed no issues. This is where Western Medicine is a failure. It never takes into account the entire person and the root of the problem is not treated.
Fortunately, our educational advocate referred us to Dr. Gordon. Our son had comprehensive testing fo the entire visual system (eyes, visual pathway, and brain). Results now showed poor visual tracking and accommodative function, poor visual processing, and retained primitive reflexes.
We have completed a 30-week vision therapy program. To date, this has been the most beneficial therapy our son has received. Four weeks into the program, our son rode his bike without training wheels. Reading is no longer met with frustration. Our son is calmer with his body control. We are eternally grateful for Dr. Gordon and Deede.
One final note, Vision therapy is a program that treats the entire visual system. That being said, it is important that your child is ready for the program. That means emotionally, physically, and nutritionally your child must be at his/her best.
He can read now!
Drew had writing trouble as early as kindergarten. As school progressed he avoided writing, and when he wrote it was un-readable. He also had difficulty reading, and was placed in remedial class. He NEVER picked up a book and read it voluntarily. Reading was a frustrating chore to endure for us all. After vision therapy, Drew had become a voracious reader. Since this summer began, Drew has read 22 chapter books in a series, as well as others. We now have to force him to turn off the light at night because he wants to stay up and read! His writing has also improved -- it is faster, and a bit neater, and stays better on the lines!
Relieve the frustration.
We have spent many of Kacey's 10 years trying to find the key that would unlock the door to help her. Reading was difficult and very frustrating for her. She mainly had such little confidence in her reading abilities that it was difficult to get her to "practice" in order to try and improve. Finally after seeing an advertisement in the Western New York Family magazine that asked, "Does your child have trouble reading? Does your child have poor handwriting?" it was like a shock to me. Since we could answer a resounding "yes" to most of the questions, I decided to call Dr. Gordon for an evaluation. We had tried so many other things, we figured, "Why not?" We were surprised and almost relieved to find out there was something wrong and there was help for her.
There was almost an immediate improvement in Kacey's skills and not only did we see it, she also noted which resulted in an improvement in not only her skills but her self-confidence as well. There was a lot of hard work on Kacey's part, which is really an essential factor in her success, as well as a dedication on our part to give her encouragement and reinforcement during rough times. The other essential factor was Francine (the vision therapist at Dr. Gordon's office). She was always kind, patient, and so supportive. She made Kacey's therapy fun and enjoyable and greatly enhanced her success as well. Finally, we believe, Dr. Gordon's skills as a diagnostician and practitioner is being able to specifically pin point a problem and how best to deal with it.
The combination of eye "vision" therapy and some other changes have really helped turn Kacey around. We realized it was not going to be like waving a "magic wand" to change things (as much as we would have liked that) but that dreaded "door" is opening and Kacey is emerging as a significantly changed student. "Thank you", Francine and Dr. Gordon, just doesn't seem adequate for how you have helped Kacey, but trust me when I say you will be kept in our thoughts and prayers and referred to whenever I hear those words, "I don't know what to do anymore!"
Thank you again!
Last year in 4th grade Zachary had a significant struggle with comprehension & reading skills. He frequently experienced headaches & increasing frustration with homework and even school in general. It was very difficulty for Zachary & even us as parents doing everything we knew to help him. When I heard Dr. Gordon speak on WDCX-radio I was somewhat curious as to whether or not vision therapy would help. This year 5th grade has been much different. Zachary has improved in all areas with very few headaches. His grades are very good & he is a lot happier in school & at home. He is much more diligent with his homework.
Dr. Gordon's program has helped Elizabeth go from a "C" student to an "A" student!
Homework horrors ended.
Although Leah is a bright girl and very verbal and loved being read to, she simply would not read by herself. She struggles, she cried, she had headaches. Her teachers up to 3rd grade said to give her time, but they weren't dealing with 20-minutes of homework which took 2-hours each night because of the breaks needed, agitation, and negativity. Vision therapy was a lot of work å no denying it å but when I saw Leah volunteer to read spontaneously at last months Temple service I was so proud of all our efforts. I have to take books away from her so she will go to sleep, homework is smooth, & Leah is proud of herself. She's very positive about vision therapy & its results for her.
My son, Jordan, was evaluated by Dr. Gordon in October 1997 and began vision therapy in November 1997. He was in second grade and had been struggling immensely for two years with reading and spelling. We were so relieved to find that his problem was something we could correct! His vision therapy began to show results almost immediately. At the start of third grade, his teacher passes out a "Reading Survey" for the children to fill out. The first question was "Who taught you how to read?" Jordan answered, "My mom and my eye doctor." Vision therapy has changed Jordan's life. He loves to read and write stories. There are no more headaches and watering eyes. He used to be ashamed and quiet, hoping that the teacher wouldn't call on him. He is much more outgoing in school and has made lots of friends. This morning on the way to school, I told him that I would be picking him up today for an eye exam. He asked me, "Can I always go to Dr. Gordon for my eye check-ups for my whole life"? I said, "Well, I guess as long as you live here and Dr. Gordon lives here, you could go to him." He replied, "Good, Mom, cuz he's like my Guardian Angel. Isn't that right, Mom?"
Yes, Dr. Gordon, he's absolutely right.
Chelsea can read without her eyes getting tired. Her eyes do not water and get blood shot. She can focus on the board at school and look at a book and is not having problems.
These problems have been with her since 2nd grade. Later grades teachers watched her, then reading lab. Teachers expected more from her. We took her for testing, eye exams, and tests at school. Never really finding a reason. Because of all this her confidence was not very good.
I am glad we did this. I wish we had known to do it sooner. Because of this therapy her confidence has grown and now she knows she can do it.
Caitlin is a different child now. When Caitlin was tested by Dr. Gordon in March 1998, she was seven years old and in second grade. She couldn't read anything. She was tested at school and by our eye Doctor for problems, but nothing significant was found. It was obvious to my husband and I that there were real problems. Caitlin experienced frequent headaches, extreme frustration with schoolwork, low self-esteem. She was a bed wetter but seemed to control it during summer and vacations from school. Some of these things may appear unrelated to a vision problem but now Caitlin does homework without tears and in a timely manner. She only occasionally has a headache and has not wet the bed in nearly six months. She is now 8 years old and repeating 2nd grade. She is still slightly behind in the class but is reading daily in school and at home. She reads books for fun now. Last week I was helping in her class at school as she read to the class. I almost began to cry. The activities she completed in therapy helped Caitlin with her tracking difficulties and we have reaped the benefits, which have spilled over into all areas of Caitlin's life.
Reading Problem not noticed by eye surgeon.
By the end of first grade, we knew Kelly had a reading problem. She did well in all her other subjects, but had a difficulty reading the simplest book. She could not sound out words, or spell very well when writing. Yet, Kelly was too "bright" for the school to provide any reading services. By the beginning of second grade, it was evident that her frustration level was increasing as other children in her class were moving ahead. We thought that because of the two previous eye surgeries, and on-off eye patching for four years, that there might be a connection with her reading problem, but didn't know what to do about it. Then in December 1997, we heard of Dr. Gordon through his speaking to the Orchard Park Special Education Committee. When Kelly complained of seeing double, we made the phone call in January 1998. After initial evaluation, we were shocked to find out that Kelly's eyes were not working together or tracking properly. Our surprise was based on the fact that she had been seen by ophthalmologists regularly since the age of 6 months. But we were relieved that Dr. Gordon felt that he had a treatment plan that would help Kelly.
After vision therapy the difference with Kelly has literally been night and day. Kelly went from a child who would not pick up a book to one who won't turn out the lights at night, as she's reading. Her confidence level has soared, as well as her ability to read smaller print and more difficult chapter books.
I think our experience with Dr. Gordon can best be summed up by the following... When Kelly was asked in school to write, "One thing that makes you happy", her response was "reading".
I would like to thank Dr. Gordon and his staff for being so accommodating to Kelly's needs. Therapy was enjoyable, and she looked forward to coming every week. Vision therapy can be an alternative solution if your child is having difficulty in school. It was for our family!
I'd like to Thank You and your office staff for all of the help you've given to Nathan.
Nathan was having problems in Kindergarten. I tried working with him at home but it wasn't helping. I thought that I was a failure! My sister told me to bring Nathan to you for an evaluation.
Nathan's reading is fabulous! I can't believe some of the words he catches without a struggle! Nathan also plays soccer. He is great! Every week he gets his name in the paper for scoring. His spelling tests are great! 90's to 100's!!
Without your help Nathan would probably be another child that is labeled by our schools and New York State.
I wish that more people would take my advice and bring their child in for an evaluation. Their children would have so much more confidence in themselves and they'd be much happier!
Thank you so much!!!
God Bless You All!
Reading increases over four grades in nine months
Kevin has struggled with reading since he was in first grade. He started going to Dr. Gordon when he was 15 years old. We had tried numerous avenues of intervention but none seemed to really work. I only wish we had started with Dr. Gordon sooner. In the 9 months of therapy Kevin's reading comprehension improved from 5.6 (5th grade 6th month) grade equivalent to 9.2 (9th grade 2nd month) grade equivalent. These results were received from the testing done by he school he attends. They (the School) also were amazed at the increase.