Gailmard Eye Center - Pediatric Vision

Gailmard Eye Center

The Pediatric Vision Clinic at Gailmard Eye Center was established in August 2009 under the direction of Amanda Sprehe, O.D. in response to a need for specialty eye care for children in Northwest Indiana Dr. Sprehe specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, remediation, and enhancement of the visual systems of children. Our services include:

• Eye exams for kids. We are specially equipped to perform eye exams without making them scary or intimidating. We use a calm and friendly approach and we make the tests fun. From special eye charts with pictures (instead of letters) to superfast autorefractor machines that take the guess work out of vision tests, we cater to kids. We even have a flat screen TV in the exam room that plays favorite DVDs while we do the work.

• Explanations for parents. We take the time to talk to you about your child’s visual development, explain vision problems and give you treatment options.

• An interdisciplinary approach. If your child’s vision problem is affecting school performance or behavior issues, we will work in cooperation with teachers, school nurses, psychologists, pediatricians and other professionals as directed by the parents. We provide a thorough written report of our findings.

• Special testing. When indicated based on the eye exam or other symptoms, Dr. Sprehe will run specialized diagnostic tests as part of a binocular vision evaluation or developmental vision evaluation.

• Vision therapy. The Pediatric Vision Clinic at GEC has a special department for vision therapy (VT). Through a series of VT sessions in our office under the direction of Dr. Sprehe and with the use of special optical and electronic devices, the patient is trained to use his or her visual system properly. Home VT exercises are also recommended. See more below.

• Eyeglasses for the younger set. We have lots of frames that look cool and fit well so kids actually love their glasses! We use durable products and safe polycarbonate lenses plus we have a great warranty program -- but kids will be kids and we are always here to repair glasses when needed.

• Contacts are OK for kids. Contact lenses have changed and they are safer and more convenient than ever, making them a great option for younger children. Disposable contacts takes the worry out of losing lenses. Personal appearance and self-esteem are important factors in a child’s development and many kids are thrilled with the idea of not wearing glasses. Contacts are a great option for sports and other activities. An easy in-office free trial can tell us if a child is ready.

Dr. Amanda Sprehe is the Director of the Pediatric Vision Clinic at GEC. She specializes in pediatric optometry and vision therapy.


Vision Therapy Is Effective Treatment

Vision therapy -- a type of physical therapy for the eyes and brain -- is a highly effective non-surgical treatment for many common visual problems such as lazy eye, crossed eyes, double vision, convergence insufficiency and some reading and learning disabilities. Many patients who have been told, "it's too late," or "you'll have to learn to live with it" have benefited from vision therapy. In the case of learning disabilities, vision therapy is specifically directed toward resolving visual problems which interfere with reading, learning and educational instruction. Optometrists do not claim that vision therapy is a direct treatment for learning disabilities.

What is involved in a Vision Therapy program?

Vision therapy is -- • a progressive program of vision "exercises" or procedures; • performed under doctor supervision; • individualized to fit the visual needs of each patient; • conducted in-office, in once or twice weekly sessions of 30 minutes to one hour; • sometimes supplemented with procedures done at home between office visits ("home reinforcement" or "homework"); • depending on the case) prescribed to -- • help patients develop or improve fundamental visual skills and abilities; • improve visual comfort, ease, and efficiency; • change how a patient processes or interprets visual information.

Vision Therapy Is Not Just Eye Exercises

Vision Therapy is not to be confused with any self-directed self-help program of eye exercises which is or has been marketed to the public. In-office Vision Therapy is supervised by optometric vision care professionals and various types of treatment devices are used (and some are regulated medical devices), such as:

• corrective lenses (regulated medical devices); • therapeutic lenses (regulated medical devices); • prism lenses (regulated medical devices); • optical filters; • eye patches or occluders • electronic targets with timing mechanisms; • computer software; • vestibular (balance) equipment • visual-motor-sensory integration training devices

The first step in any Vision Therapy program is a comprehensive vision examination. Following a thorough evaluation, a qualified vision care professional can advise the candidate as to whether Vision Therapy would be appropriate treatment.