Benjamin was first diagnosed with a lazy eye in the summer of 2003.  He was 5 years old and had a series of falls prior to his diagnosis. He would frequently miss curbs or any fluctuation in the terrain.  He would fall hard and not even put out his hands to stop himself from landing hard.  He had several head injuries, one that resulted in an ER visit that required a gash on his forehead to be glued.  It was following that injury that we took him to the eye doctor to have his vision evaluated.  The lazy eye was diagnosed and we were told that Benjamin’s depth perception was only 50%.  The helped us to understand why he was having so much difficult negotiating changes in the terrain when he was walking outside.  We were living in Michigan at that time and our optometrist told us to patch Benjamin’s good eye several times a day, for about 30 minutes at a time.  Benjamin was to perform certain activities while wearing the patch that would force him to use the lazy eye.  For example, he did dot-to-dot puzzles, sticker books, strung beads, and built things with LEGOs.  The optometrist also prescribed a pair of glasses for Benjamin.  After six months of wearing the patch we went back to the doctor.  He was pleased to announce that Benjamin’s lazy eye was no longer lazy and Benjamin was now using both eyes.  This seemed like very good news.  Six months later, Benjamin had another eye exam.  It was discovered that even though both of Benjamin’s eyes were seeing, they were not working together.  It was explained to use that his eyes were over converging and it was causing him to have double vision.  The doctor prescribed a bifocal for Benjamin that would help his eyes relax when he looked at things up close (reading, building LEGOs, etc…).  If Benjamin used the bifocal it would help him not to see double.  The doctor told us that it was good in some way the Benjamin was seeing double because it meant that he was still using both eyes and not suppressing his left eye.  One year later, Benjamin had another eye exam and our doctor talked to us about some vision therapy.  At the time the doctor in Michigan offered vision therapy that we could try at home.  It was a computer program that forced Benjamin to exercise his eyes. He wore special glasses while he performed certain tasks or “played” games.  Benjamin had some success with the program but there were certain tasks he could never get past.  Our doctor did not seem concerned about the tasks Benjamin was unable to perform and told us that as long as he the bifocal he would be OK.  Two years later we moved to South Carolina.  Our doctor gave us Dr. Draisin’s name and phone number.   After settling in, we made an appointment for Benjamin to see Dr. Draisin.  At the first appointment, we were amazed at the thoroughness of his exam.  We were disheartened to learn that Benjamin was indeed suppressing his left eye and that he was having double vision more frequently that we realized.  However, we were also encouraged because we believed we were in the right place for Benjamin to get the best help.  Benjamin had a vision therapy evaluation with Diann and it was determined that he would benefit from 6-8 months of therapy.  Benjamin was able to begin therapy several months later.  I cannot begin to say enough about how wonderful Diann and all the therapists at DVG are.  Benjamin responded very well to all of them and he seemed determined to do his best at every session.  He knew that this therapy was going to help him see well.  The activities that the therapists sent home with him were very beneficial.  He worked on his vision therapy at home on days when he did not go to therapy.  I am sure this helped him progress more quickly.  About 2 months into the therapy we started to notice that Benjamin’s left eye did not turn in toward his nose as frequently as it had before.  We also noticed that around the same time that Benjamin did not flutter his eyes like he used to.  He had this strange habit of rolling his eyes and fluttering them when he saw double.  We were so excited to see that improve for him.  Toward the end of the six months, Benjamin began to hit a bit of a wall.  He had trouble converging and diverging at times.  Barb Sumner was determined that Benjamin would get past the wall.  She tried new exercises that seemed to help him make progress.  Benjamin was able to converge and diverge in all the tests that Dr. Draisin performed.  We are pleased and thankful to say that Benjamin is not seeing double and he no longer suppresses his left eye.  He does not flutter or roll his eyes at all and we never see the left eye turn into his nose.  We are so thankful for the staff at Dr. Draisin’s office and all they have done to help Benjamin.  We will benefit from their dedication for the rest of his life.  The quality of his vision has improved in ways none of us knew were possible.

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