OCVT Marks Autism Awareness Month this April with In-Office Educational Presentation

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The Optometry Center for Vision Therapy (OCVT) is presenting "The Vision and Learning Connection: Helping Children with Autism" to spread awareness about how vision therapy can help patients with autism.

Optometry Center for Vision Therapy

The Optometry Center for Vision Therapy (OCVT) is marking Autism Awareness Month this April with an in-office presentation titled "The Vision and Learning Connection: Helping Children with Autism". OCVT founder and Executive Director, Dr. Briana Larson, will lead the discussion at OCVT’s San Antonio location on Saturday, April 28th from 9:00-10:30am. The presentation is open to the public, but space is limited. Those interested in attending can RSVP by emailing jordan.wilson@ocvt.info.

Autism Awareness Month is important to the staff at OCVT because they regularly assist patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Approximately 80 percent of individuals with autism have a visual learning dysfunction, compared to 25 percent of the general population.

OCVT has developed tools and training, as well as an objective evaluation, to meet the needs of people with autism. Treatment plans may include specialized lenses, prisms that reorganize vision, or a vision therapy program to improve eye tracking, teeming, visual attention, reading skills, and hand-eye coordination.

OCVT also offers a free eye exam and developmental screener for infants. Dr. Larson, a board-certified developmental optometrist, recommends that all children between the ages of 6 and 12 months be screened. “We can look for early visual signs of autism, such as reduced eye contact, excessive blinking, and visual stimming,” she says. “In our testing, we can pinpoint how these signs relate to the way the eyes team and track, and how the brain processes vision.”

While the OCVT staff emphasizes the value of developmental screeners for infants, they treat patients of all ages. The team’s specialized training and data-backed approach allows them to work through communication barriers and help patients with autism improve their vision. Dr. Larson notes that vision training often helps patients make improvements in other areas, such as speech, classroom behavior, reading ability, and peer interactions. “We’ve noticed that when we can train individuals with autism to start making eye contact, they get better at reading facial expressions and develop better social skills,” Dr. Larson says.

OCVT is currently accepting new patients at their San Antonio and Austin locations. Families and individuals can schedule a complimentary consultation by filling out an appointment request form on OCVT’s website.

About OCVT - The Optometry Center for Vision Therapy provides individualized vision therapy, vision care for special needs, and neuro-optometric evaluations to children and adults from across Texas. The Austin Chronicle ranked OCVT as Austin’s best vision therapy practice in 2015, and OCVT’s doctors have received numerous distinctions. Dr. Larson is one of only 18 optometrists in the U.S. who has been named a Fellow of the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (FNORA) and is the only practicing optometrist in Texas with an FNORA credential. Dr. Larson focused her post-doctorate research on the Optometric Management of Children with Autism and Attention Deficit Disorder.

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