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It's back to school, and back to paying attention. It's also often the time of year it's suggested to parents that they have their child assessed by a psychologist for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or attention deficit disorder (ADD). This generally comes up because a child is having difficulty maintaining their focus in class. It's often hard for them to stay on task when reading, writing or similar. Sometimes the idea for psych ed testing comes up because that child is struggling with reading, writing, [...]
Listen to the podcast here: On this episode you will learn three things: What is Dyslexia? Diagnosing Dyslexia with an optometrist Understanding how the visual system works. 00:01 About doctor Cameron McCrodan 01:24 Why is Dr. Cameron McCrodan’s message important for you. 02:37 How did Dr Cameron McCrodan transitioned from being a regular optometrist to a doctor that focuses on the way that be I functions properly. 05:10 What is visual development 06:01 How visual development affects older people 08:15 What sets you apart from other [...]
Listen to the podcast here. Cameron McCrodan gave a Ted Talk about the unknown or often overlooked parts of the visual system. Having over 36,000 views on Youtube, his speech has caught the eye of many adults, parents, students, and professionals, including Dr. Stull and Dr. Edwards. We welcome him on this month’s podcast! Things you will learn in this episode: Unlike a disease, it is difficult to show people what is happening or understand what the patient can see. This is why it can be [...]
Suffering from vertigo, feeling dizzy, or have a feeling of unsteadiness? Does it get worse with visual stimulus like grocery stores, busy places, flashing lights, patterns, blinds, or watching motion? It could be related to how your eyes and brain work together. In many of these cases, but not always, people may also experience migraines with aura or visual/ocular migraines. 70% of the brain's incoming sensory information is visual and more of your brain is dedicated to processing vision than any other sense. This means that [...]
My daughter was diagnosed with Dyslexia. We had her eyes tested and they said it’s fine. Could tracking be a problem?
“My daughter was diagnosed with Dyslexia. We had her eyes tested and they said it’s fine. Could tracking be a problem?” This mom writes in with a really common question. Can vision be part of the dyslexia puzzle? Well, the answer is yes… and no. Probably not what you want to hear, is it? As we break down how vision and dyslexia are related, you’ll understand just what I mean. Vision First, a reminder of vision. Unfortunately many professionals still consider vision just as [...]
Her concussion program wasn’t cutting it, and she wasn’t getting better. She turned to the people she could trust.
I've seen Dr. McCrodan and his staff twice for separate issues, 5 years apart. The first time was for a convergence insufficiency and the second time was after a serious concussion which completely debilitated me. Both rounds of therapy were similar in that they completely changed my life. The first time not only did we fix the convergence issue, I became a much faster reader, I stopped bumping into things, I felt like I was thinking faster and it actually felt like my IQ increased. It [...]
A stroke left her with dizziness, balance problems, difficulty reading and more. Nobody was able to help, until she found vision therapy.
I am 75 years old and suffered a cerebral stroke. My symptoms were dizzy spells, loss of depth perception, seasickness, inability to read and comprehend, balance problems and navigating stairs was frightening. Before the stroke I loved to walk, read, go boating and do aquafit. After the stroke these activities became a huge problem. I related all of these symptoms to my GP, an ENT specialist, an Optometrist, and an Ophthalmologist. A CT scan of my head showed exactly what the problem was but nobody was [...]
Why will one doctor recommend 10 weeks of vision therapy, and another recommend 25, 30, or 40? As a person evaluating your options for treatment, it may be difficult to understand why the difference. Most of the time it comes down to your neuro-optometrist's understanding of vision. There are a variety of different approaches, and at the risk of over-simplifying, we will boil it down to 2. Convergence, accommodation, and saccades (tracking) There is a school of thought in optometry that areas of vision are essentially [...]
Are you an educator or parent concerned about a struggling child? You may have already read the research showing that eye tracking problems can cause problems with reading and learning and even mimic learning disabilities like dyslexia or ADD/ADHD. Perhaps you’ve already spoke with the parent of a child who has had these conditions treated. Either way, you want to learn more. Book Dr. Cameron McCrodan, OD, FCOVD for a workshop for your school or PAC today. Learn about how eye movement problems can [...]
So you teach your child a word, then three lines later they can't recognize the word you just taught them. Is it a language problem, learning disability, or just not being focused? When you child’s eyes and brain don’t work together, it’s like playing a really bad game of ‘telephone’. They won’t be able to make sense of the words they see. For example, if their eyes don’t track accurately, the next time they see a word, it may look like an entirely different word. If [...]
Are you taking Amitriptyline? Here are a few things you should know: Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant that also is prescribed for headaches and migraines. As with many medications, many side effects are overlooked when prescribed, or when the side effects start, they aren’t thought of as side effects, and more medications are added. So let's look a little more at amitriptyline and then give you some tips on how you can find the root cause of your headaches/migraines. Please note that I am not against amitriptyline, [...]
Wow. I have been struggling with my concussion symptoms for nearly a year. After some test, Dr McCrodan built a pair of prism glasses for me to try on. He asked me to read, something I love to do and have been struggling to do for far too long. I read the first sentence of the paragraph and I'm not afraid to admit, that I started crying. I can read again. It was so overwhelming in a good way. I can't be shy, because I looked [...]
Still struggling with post concussion symptoms? Are you sensitive to screens? Do you get headaches throughout the day? Are you having trouble concentrating on reading or work emails? Do you still have a sense of fogginess? Does your dizziness or nausea still come on worse than before? Sometimes you may have noticed that something feels 'off' about you vision. Although many people don't always equate these symptoms with their vision. Either way, experts will recommend that you have your eyes tested, just to make sure. But [...]
Computer screen blue light filters have become a hot topic lately. Especially in relation to headaches or migraines. They are being pushed by everyone from industry insiders to people like Dave Asprey. It’s hard to buy a pair of glasses without having the person ask if you’d like to pay extra for a blue light coating. It’s being pushed hard by industry reps on doctors, but does the logic hold up? Have you heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? The Mayo Clinic Defines SAD as: [...]
To be a great soccer player you'd need to have great foot movement. Why do we so often forget that young readers need to have accurate eye movement? It's still too common for educators, doctor's and parent's alike to overlook eye movement, or even be stuck in the old dogma that eye movement has nothing to do reading, or that vision therapy doesn't change reading ability. It makes logical sense that accurate eye movement is required for reading and learning. No child who is struggling with [...]
Concussion recovery programs are now common in many clinics and hospitals. Many of these fantastic concussion or neuro-rehab programs are missing one critical component: vision. According to Johns Hopkins director Dr. Eric Singman, MD PHD: 'there should be vision specialists dedicated to working with patients who demonstrate deficiencies in eye teaming, loss of visual acuity and/or visual field as well as uncoupling of ‘visuospatial awareness’. When vision is not part of the concussion treatment plan, it can increase the length of post concussion syndrome and [...]
Left: Normal eye tracking (time is downwards). Note the two eyes working together. Right: Abnormal eye tracking in a dyslexic reader as the two eyes are doing different things. Defn: Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. Characteristic features of dyslexia are difficulties in phonological awareness, verbal memory and verbal processing speed.' - dyslexic.com Dyslexia is diagnosed based on performance on testing that measures the above abilities. If we put a child [...]
Vestibular Migraines? Do you or someone you love suffer from vestibular migraines? If so, there may be triggers and treatments that have not yet been discovered or discussed. Most of the patients that I see who have been diagnosed with vestibular migraines have triggers that are largely visual. Busy visual environments, flashing lights, computer screens, reading, motion and more. This leads me to believe that there is something wrong with the visual processing, otherwise why would these visual triggers cause symptoms? An easy example of [...]
This is reproduced from the guidelines published by St. Joseph's and Fowler Kennedy: POST-CONCUSSION SYNDROME MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES INTRODUCTION The most recent Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport has defined a concussion as a“complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by traumatic biomechanicalforces”. Concussions can be caused by a blow to the head, face, neck or body. This trauma willresult in a set of clinical symptoms that may or may not include loss of consciousness. A concussion will typically result in short lived, spontaneously resolving neurologic impairments [...]
What if our current thinking on Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is completely overlooking something so obvious? Let's look at the logic and language involved with the diagnosis. Think critically, and you may find a solution. Developmental- concerned with the development of someone or something. Coordination: the organization of the different elements of a complex body or activity so as to enable them to work together effectively Disorder: a state of confusion So DCD is the lack of development of proper coordination. Imagine for a moment that you were [...]
Gaslight (verb): to manipulate someone in to questioning their own sanity. It seems like almost every day I meet someone who has been told that their dizziness, nausea, headaches and other symptoms are psychological. Sometimes it's chalked up to depression or anxiety (despite solid research showing that eye movement problems are not caused by depression or anxiety). Sometimes it's chalked up to being just vestibular in nature. The problem is that the testing of the health of the eye, visual acuity, and very basic eye movement [...]
The year after Dr. McCrodan found the tracking issues Matthew came out of the 'special programs' in school. By Grade 9 he was on the Honor roll and continues to take normal classes and achieve great academic success.
The improvements to my vision, headaches, quality of life and professional performance achieved through the diagnosis and treatment provided by your team and you at McCrodan Vision has been life changing.
Not only can I work full-time again, and care for my children with energy and enthusiasm, but I have reclaimed my life. I can go out whenever I want to, I can sit in a restaurant, I can do a grocery shop, I can live a life! I wasn’t sure if that was ever going to be the case again. I still get migraines, but only a couple a month rather than every day. And the migraine symptoms are much more manageable now and last a much shorter length of time.
My son (grade 6 student) commenced treatment with Dr McCrodan after suffering a serious concussion accident. He also had been diagnosed with dyslexia and the combination of the concussion accident had left him with no balance, memory loss and a grade 3 reading level speed. He also found reading music difficult. He had low self-esteem, no confidence, few friends, and was often bullied at school. After following the specific program with Dr McCrodan and his staff (9 months), my student son regained his balance within 3 [...]
As you are reading this text, your brain is controlling how the incoming information is processed, and how your eyes track, coordinate, and focus. Post Trauma Vision Syndrome refers to deficits in these areas after a concussion, head-injury, whiplash, or mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). If you have PTVS and your eyes do not work together efficiently, you will have a hard time sustaining your attention and may even end up with a headache or migraine. Problems with inaccurate eye tracking may cause you to mix [...]
In this day and age we are all looking for a quick fix, or hope to be able to offer one. I'm reminded of a wise friend telling me of what his mentor said. "I can teach your child to beat a test in a few weeks, but to gain the lifelong value of actually learning the material, so that this learning has a positive effect on the rest of their life, it will take us many months." This concept was just proven by the Pediatric Eye [...]
4 months ago a young girl walked into our office, unable to stand without two hands braced on anything, and had to walk by hanging on to her mother. She had missed 5 months of school, and nobody had been able to figure out why she was so dizzy and off balance. That day we were able to learn that her brain wasn't processing her vision properly, preventing the visual information from integrating and being used for her body to understand where she was in her [...]
Since a very young age Jared has struggled with anxiety, behavioural issues and a lack of physical coordination. He comes across to others as very shy or rude as he would not speak to adults or other classmates and avoids eye contact. He hardly engaged with other kids and would only play with a select few. He was considered the ‘shy’ kid in class who never caused any problems but was completely different for us when he got home. He would have meltdowns; screaming, crying, aggressive [...]
Dear Dr. McCrodan, We have come to the end of our second child working with you and your team for vision therapy. We wanted to highlight some of the benefits both our children have experienced as a result. Crispin started vision therapy as a thirteen year old. Until that time, he struggled in school in virtually every subject, including math, reading, and writing. He spent countless hours with tutors and frustrated parents as he tried to learn everything thrown at him. Headaches were common [...]
Happy Monday! Many children with convergence insufficiency and other binocular vision disorders display symptoms identical to ADHD. Since ADHD is a diagnosis of exclusion (meaning everything else needs to be ruled out), it's important to look for anything that could be causing the troubles. For example, does the child drink 5 cups of coffee before school, as it may be the caffeine, not true ADHD that is at the root of the problem. The important part to remember is that if there are NO VISION problems, [...]
Concussions often affect how the eyes work, resulting in difficulty returning to work or school. Congrats to Alex and his family for their hard work with his vision therapy (neuro-visual rehab). The week after initially seeing Alex I saw a young girl with identical vision problems post concussion. At a 6 month follow up, without treatment, she has missed over 6 months of school, and still cannot read or do school work for more than half an hour. Without the hard work and dedication of Alex [...]
Here is your feel-good Friday post. This was copied to me by a mom of a wonderful young girl who has now just blossomed after going through vision therapy to treat the vision problems that were holding her back in school. "I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to compose this email. I realize that the longer I take to express myself, the more children get left behind. I just need to get it down on "paper". As background, my daughter, [...]
Looking back, I can't believe how fast the time went and how quickly I improved, especially after many dark days when I wondered if this dazed state would be my new reality.
Question: I have a ten year old daughter with Dyslexia, would vision therapy be applicable to her? - S. Hi S, Thank you for the inquiry. The long and short of it is that vision therapy can only help with dyslexia symptoms if there are deficits in visual function (how the eyes track, work together, or how the brain processes the visual information). In true cases of dyslexia, these vision problems will have been tested for and ruled out (as required by the DSM), and then [...]
It takes a lot of bravery to share a story of difficulties with reading, writing and academics. It takes even more bravery to make this story public, but Helena told me that it's all worth it if she can prevent even one other child from struggling the way that she did. Another piece that is very important to her was ensuring that parents and educators understand the learning problems that can be caused by vision conditions. Helena's mother, Anita Murray-Hill, has teamed up with another mother of [...]
One of the newest measurements of an athlete's status after a hit in sports is if they can perform the same on an eye tracking test as pre-season. If they can't, they are pulled from the game.When I was in high school my younger sister sustained a concussion. Her ability to concentrate on school work decreased, and her grades suffered. She was affected by headaches, avoided schoolwork like the plague, and was always frustrated and angry by the end of the day. Countless appointments were had with [...]
The New York Times recently published an excellent article talking about sports vision training. An athlete's swing is only as accurate as where his brain has calculated the baseball to be. This also holds true for catching balls, or even where a basketball player judges the hoop to be. Computer driven sports vision training can be quite effective, but it is problematic in the sense that an athlete does not play in a 2 dimensional world, or even in simulated 3 dimensions. Computer therapy programs have a [...]
The Times Colonist published a fantastic article today discussing how vision problems can mimic ADHD. Early in my career I worked a lot with Dr. Quaid in Ontario, and he was one of the people that ignited my interest in developmental optometry and dealing with eye-teaming disorders. To see an example of how a tracking problem can cause a reading difficulty, please watch this video here. The paper also brings up a very interesting point about concussions and learning problems or attention problems despite having a [...]
Could Vision Problems Cause an Attention Deficit Disorder Diagnosis? There are two points that will help here: 1. Attention deficit disorder is a diagnosis of exclusion. There is no specific test for it, as it is simply a collection of behavioural symptoms. As a diagnosis of exclusion, all other causes for the behaviour must be ruled out. 2. Behaviour is almost always secondary. Imagine yourself riding a bicycle with a group of other people of similar fitness. Now if the tires on your bicycle were flat and [...]
I used to think I didn’t like to read because I was stupid. Now I realize it was a problem with how my eyes work. After years of crying every single day before school, this is the first year he said during the summer he is excited to return. Every August, many parents face resistance from their children about returning to school. For some, it’s due to the loss of outdoor fun that is the hallmark of summer time. But for too many kids, the dislike [...]
Meet Austin. At 6 years old and half way through grade one, he was unable to read, struggling to form his letters properly, and miserable at school. He would hide under his desk at school, and was unable to attend to any work for very long. He was not a very happy child. Educators were beginning to suggest that perhaps he had attention deficit disorder.