Seeing Through New Eyes: Changing the Lives of Children with Autism, Asperger Syndrome and Other Development Disabilities Through Vision Therapy
Dr Melvin Kaplan,
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
ISBN: 1843108003, £12.99
Star Rating: 4/5
Reading through caused me to have fleeting images of a change of career as Kaplan painted the picture of a therapy so successful it is difficult to understand why we aren’t all at it, writes Beth Billington.
Kaplan, an optometrist (eye/vision specialist) with extensive experience of working with individuals with development disabilities, shares his enthusiasm and attempts to explain the theory behind his work.
Vision problems common in individuals with ASD are described, along with explanations for how this can lead to the array of behaviours labelled as “autistic”. As a non-expert, my understanding is that, for people with ASDs, vision problems are often not structural – there is nothing wrong with their eyes. Rather, the messages which are relayed between the eyes and brain have become confused, leading to problems (for example, spatial organisational problems, tunnel vision). Thus, through the use of special lenses, Kaplan retrains the eyes and brain to work together.
Kaplan has published extensively and his results look promising. My only difficulty in this book is figuring out whom it is aimed at. I found it enthralling but was aware that this was not a therapy I could use. Rather, I wanted to know where I could find an optometrist with whom I could link up. My feeling is that this book might be aimed at converting mainstream optometrists, while at the same time alerting the wider world to the existence of this therapy.
Beth Billington is a trainee clinical psychologist who has several family members with diagnoses of ASD.