Child Behavior Problems

Learning Disabilities

Visual Processing Disorder Is Not A Life Sentence
Upset Boy

As told to Sara Leah Green

“Menachem’s been having some trouble at school,” I said to my husband. “His teacher said he needs to be shown letters and shapes dozens of times before he can identify them on his own, while his classmates remember after being shown just 5 or 6 times.”

It was one of those rare moments when the kids were in bed and we could actually carry on a conversation without being interrupted. “Do you think he’s simply having trouble seeing or it’s more than that?” Trying to ease my anxiety, my husband suggested we have Menachem’s vision assessed first before looking into other possibilities.
But when Menachem passed his eye exam with flying colors, I decided to talk to his teacher. “It’s very likely he’ll grow out of it,” said Morah Tzippi. “He’s so young, he has plenty of time. I’ve seen kids like Menachem enter grade school and turn out just fine.” Morah Tzippi’s reassurance put my mind at ease; after all she was an experienced teacher and a mother herself.
Fast forward a few years, and a very different conversation occurred with Menachem’s third grade Rebbe. “Menachem is struggling to read properly and he’s getting very frustrated. He mixes up letters and has difficulty with word order, plus he loses his place easily when reading aloud,” said Rabbi Levy. “He can barely keep his eyes on his Chumash and has trouble copying notes off the whiteboard.” Mrs. Kinderman, Menachem’s English teacher also complained about his reading: “Menachem reads very slowly for his age. He should know simple words like ‘cat’ and ‘mat’ by sight already, but every time he sees these words he sounds them out as if he’s never seen them before. We need to address these problems sooner than later.”
I immediately called our pediatrician who had followed Menachem since infancy. He suggested we see a neuropsychologist, who was specifically trained to diagnose learning issues and weaknesses. So I booked an appointment and after performing a number of tests the neuropsychologist explained that Menachem’s problem wasn’t so much his vision but his inability to process visually, otherwise known as Visual Processing Disorder. This explained Menachem’s struggle to read and write, because it meant his brain was having difficulty processing the visual world around him, including symbols, pictures, distances, and colors. “I spoke to another parent just yesterday whose son recently completed a Physio-Neuro Therapy program called Neurolinks and has seen miraculous improvements,” said the specialist. “I’d do some research about the program but it might be worth giving them a call.”

I made some inquiries and discovered that the program seemed to work wonders with processing disorders. After an evaluation, Mrs. Chayala Taub, Director of Neurolinks Lakewood explained: “People often think visual processing and memory are only related to eyesight; however it is not just about having 20/20 vision. Visual processing is about how our brains process the visual world and how we understand the information being taught. Menachem not only finds it difficult to focus, but he has issues with mental picture so his ability to form and hold a mental picture is weak. This can result in poor visual memory, poor spelling, poor recall, and the inability to visualize a new concept taught in class. The Neurolinks program uses exercises to target and improve the affected areas of the brain to minimize and even erase these problems.”

After six months of hard work, Menachem finished the program and our lives have been changed forever. Neurolinks successfully addressed his processing issues with a series of exercises to improve the areas of the brain that weren’t working efficiently, ultimately curing Menachem of Visual Processing Disorder. It’s unbelievable, Neurolinks literally performs miracles!

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About the Author: Honey Soibelman