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Developmental Disorders

Reducing the Frustration of Developmental Disorders

Try this demonstration. Look at the following three letters.


Hard to miss, huh? Much larger than the largest print in a children’s book. You’d have to be half blind not to see these letters. Right?

Now, instead of looking directly at the word “CAT,” look at the left edge of your computer screen and try to see the letters out of the corner of your eye. See how pointing your eyes just a few inches to the side lowers your ability to read even large letters? Move your eyes to the right edge of your computer screen. Again, how good is your perception of the letters when you’re not looking directly at them. How would you like to learn to read this way?

The developmentally delayed child, who doesn’t know how to point his eyes where he is looking, who can’t maintain eye contact, who doesn’t use his eyes to guide his hands, who doesn’t have the Eye Control to accurately aim his eyes where he’s looking, sees the world to be confused, indistinct, and beyond comprehension.

How do you learn the words—the language—to describe such a vague world? How do you learn to read and write when your eyes aren’t pointed at the page? While there’s no doubt that language and educational specialists are essential for the developmentally delayed child, it is equally true that without vision therapy the results of these specialists will be unnecessarily limited and slow.

After vision therapy, these children can look at the individual details of the world, allowing the language therapist to supply the names for those details. After vision therapy, such children can zero in on the individual letters, allowing the educational specialist to teach.

Knowing how to take in information through the eyes is a necessity for the child with developmental disorders. For such children, vision therapy can make the difference between learning success and learning failure.

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Dr. Cook’s Publications:

  • Published articles in top optometric journals.
  • His article “Eyesight, infinity and the human heart” was voted “Best Non-Technical Article” by the Association of Optometric Editors.

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