Allows Patient to Augment Office based Vision Therapy at Home
NeuroSensory Center of Eastern Pennsylvania now offers Web Vision Therapy to their patients.
- Continue your vision therapy at home under the supervision of your eye care professional.
- 40+ fun activities that will make you forget you’re doing therapy!
- Works on Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X, and Linux desktop and laptops.
- Can be used on your tablet or smartphone for use anywhere!
- Changing levels of difficulty as you improve your skills!
- Activities use 3D glasses for more fun!
Allows Doctors to Prescribe Computer Games To Treat Visual Impairment
Specialists at NeuroSensory Center of Eastern Pennsylvania Developed System
for Use With iPad
Children and adults suffering from visual impairment due to autism, brain injury, stroke or a variety of other conditions can
get help from a new program using specially designed games and activities played on an iPad. To read the rest of the press release click
Our staff, including a neurodevelopmental optometrist, a vision therapist, neurosensory specialists, R.N.’s and L.P.N.’s, and diagnostic technicians, serve patients with disorders including, but not limited to:
Dizziness, Vertigo, Chronic Headaches, Migraines, Dyslexia, Sensory Integration Disorders, Post-Concussion and Head Injury, ADD/ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
Dr. Becker interviewed by Autism Approved
Watch the two part interview by Kristin Selby Gonzalex of Autism Approved.
Bonnie Loves the iPad
Around the turn of the millennium Steve Jobs returned to Apple fueled with ideas. One of which was the iPad. Practically speaking Jobs understood the impact that his new tool would have in revolutionizing the lives of its users. He also knew that opening the iPad to other developers would lead to waves of creativity that he could never imagine.
In Jobs’ final year of life, many developers were scrambling to create applications for the boon of opportunity the iPad created. Also seeing the potential, health care professionals were working on applications that would help those suffering with debilitating illnesses. Ironically, as Jobs was fighting for his life, he provided new life to those struggling with their own health issues through his creation of the iPad. This is true for one local woman named Bonnie Trumbauer.
Not Just a Toy
Bonnie is a slender woman in her 50’s with an easy smile and twinkling eyes. It’s not long after she shuffles into the room with her walker that she cracks her first of many jokes. Beside her is her best friend and faithful companion, her husband Russ, clutching Bonnie’s prized possession, her iPad. Enclosed in a pink rubber case, the iPad is handed off to Bonnie as soon as she settles into her chair at the Assistive Technology Department at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation in South Allentown.
“I feel so lucky,” says a beaming Bonnie. “The iPad has been great. It has helped with my vision therapy. I can talk with friends, check Facebook and play Words with Friends. Once you get me on it, you can’t get me off it.”
In April 2011, Bonnie was diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a rare brain disorder that causes serious and progressive problems with control of gait and balance, along with complex eye movement and problems with cognition. One of the classic signs of the disease is an inability to aim the eyes properly because of lesions in the area of the brain that coordinates eye movement.
The Nazareth resident was a very active mother and wife and also had a career of almost 30 years. She had some heart issues and eventually had open heart surgery. As she recovered from the surgery, it became apparent to doctors that she had additional health challenges. She was diagnosed with PSP. The PSP dramatically transformed her life, leaving her unable to do many of the enjoyable and routine activities in life.
“Because Bonnie was active on the computer, we tried to get her back on it. But her inability to focus her eyes on the screen and then on the keyboard was challenging,” says Mary Jane Frick, an occupational therapist and certified assistive technology professional at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation. “After evaluating many assistive technologies to determine what would best meet Bonnie’s needs, the iPad was the clear choice, because Bonnie can move the iPad easily to hold it in front of her, she was able to use it,” says Frick.
Not only can Bonnie read books, surf the web, and stay connected with friends, but there are also many health related applications available for the iPad, including an app for her vision therapy. The application helps her to focus her eyes together and improves motor skills by targeting objects to touch on the screen. The app was developed by Jeffrey Becker, OD, a neurodevelopmental optometrist from Luzerne County, who offers vision therapy in partnership with Good Shepherd Rehabilitation.
Many think of the iPad as a fun tool that incrementally improves their lives, but to many, like Bonnie, the iPad truly enhances their quality of life by mitigating some of the effects of their disease. The iPad now is a new channel for many health-care professionals to offer resources and tools for patients worldwide.
The goal of Assistive Technology at Good Shepherd is to find and introduce life-enhancing technologies to patients and train them to it in a way that works for them. The iPad, they say, is one item that has truly improved quality of life for their patients. Bonnie is a testament to this and her family and friends are also beneficiaries as she can stay in touch and continue to be an inspiration to many.
Visual Therapy Program helps woman regain her focus
March 12, 2012 By Milton D. Carrero, Of The Morning Call
It took some time for doctors to explain why Susan Douglas had problems regaining her balance after back surgery.
The answer would come from an unexpected place: her eyes. While Douglas' sight was still strong, her eyes had trouble focusing and working together to perceive a clear image. The retired Wilson School District kindergarten teacher was no longer able to read, had double vision and persistent eye movements that prevented her from focusing properly.
She could see clearly while covering one of her eyes. But when both eyes converged on an image, Douglas felt disoriented. She could not go up and down stairs safely, and her life was becoming ever more limited.
"Your acuity can be fine, but that doesn't mean that your eyes are working well together or that your brain is interpreting what your eyes are seeing correctly," says occupational therapist, Donna Andrews.
Her therapists at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network in Allentown realized that she was having trouble adjusting to her head and body movements. Her eyes would jerk consistently, which affected her balance and depth perception. She would fall and hit her head four times before doctors would find a solution.
Douglas had come to Good Shepherd in time to participate in its vision therapy program, which started in 2011. It uses modern software and technology to identify and correct eye impairments. The approach has proven helpful in patients suffering neurological problems related to strokes, concussions, multiple sclerosis, tumors and other brain or head injuries.
"We are not looking at low vision," says Susan Golden, Good Shepherd's director of neurorehabilitation. "We are looking at people who have a neurological problem which has affected their vision."
This was Douglas' case. Besides her back surgery, she had undergone gamma knife surgery to remove a brain tumor in 2004. Golden determined that her balance problems stemmed from that surgery. She recommended Douglas for the innovative vision therapy program, and the results have been life-changing.
"I wasn't reading the paper," says the 64-year-old Lower Nazareth resident. "I wasn't reading books. Now, I'm doing almost everything."
The program is done in partnership with the NeuroSensory Center of Eastern Pennsylvania. Dr. Jeffrey Becker, a neurodevelopmental optometrist, directs the initiative. He has trained therapists in the various software and techniques and visits Good Shepherd once a month to check on patients' progress. Becker also conducts the initial electro-diagnostic testing, which is the key to a correct diagnosis and treatment.
"The electro-diagnostic testing we do is really important because it gives a real clear definition of what the problem is, where to go with it and how to treat it."
To do the initial test, Becker places electrodes on the patient's head and face to isolate various areas in the brain and identify any neurological problems. Becker matches the results from the initial test with various computerized therapies. The software tracks the patient's strengths and weaknesses, and the therapist can adjust the difficulty levels as well as the speeds and distances to meet the patient's skills and needs. The initial test is done at Becker's office in Kingston, Luzerne County.
"By sending people to him," Golden says about Becker, "he can see things that we can't. It gives us a lot of data, and it's great for the patient."
Golden said patients can often get discouraged if they don't perceive progress right away. But the software allows the therapist and patient to notice subtle changes and develop them. The technology is also compatible with an iPad application that allows patients to practice at home. Becker can in turn monitor the patient's results remotely to make any adjustments or recommendations.
Besides the computerized techniques, the program uses other more traditional hands-on methods such as prisms and accommodative lenses to further challenge the patient.
Both Becker and Golden are impressed with Douglas' development during the past six months. Her balance problems are gone. She can go up and down stairs, cook and take care of chores at home. She no longer relies on her husband for daily activities. In fact, she is finally savoring her independence.
"My husband can leave. I can function by myself," Douglas says.
What: A program for older teens and adults who suffer from vision-related problems caused by neurological disorders
It can improve: Eye muscle function, depth perception and balance.
How: Specialized computer programs and hands-on techniques.
Info: http://www.GoodShepherdRehab.org or 1-888-44-REHAB.
View Photos about vision therapy at Good Shepard Rehab