Does Your Child Have an Undiagnosed Vision Problem?

by Lizzy Parker

Few would guess that Alex has, age nine, has a visual dysfunction. He is the best reader in his fourth grade classroom and loves to borrow books from the library.
Defiant Child Disrespectful Child
Yesterday afternoon, when Alex came back home from school, after throwing his knapsack at the entrance of the house, taking a quick snack and a cup of cold orange juice, he waved bye bye to me and went straight to the public library to sit in his little “haven”. After sinking to the floor, leaning against a bookcase, and facing the blank wall, he buries his nose in the books and nothing in this world can move him from there for at least one hour.

He loves it at the library because it’s quiet, he doesn’t need to squint or get headaches. Also, they have full-spectrum light bulbs in the ceiling, in contrast to the flickering fluorescent lights in the classrooms and all the noise in the background at school. Here, in his quiet corner, there is no sunlight glimmering through the blinds, nor does she have other side bothersome noises.

In the classroom, on the other hand, it’s so very hard for him:

There is a truck going down the street, birds singing on the tree below, the teacher of the class next door is screaming at one of the kids really loud. With all those distractions he looses focus on what the teacher is saying.

Then, of course, the sunlight goes in a specific angle that makes it really hard for him to see the board. The fluorescent lights are a continual strain on his eyes. Sometimes he wishes that someone would just shut them off.

I love Alex. He’s a great kid. I wish that someone would force the teachers to take a course in which they have to sit in the students’ places for a month and ‘feel their difficulties’ so that they could better understand them. Perhaps then they would be more pleasant to Alex.

Vision and hearing are two very important senses, but let’s just expand on the vision angle for this article:

The visual system a complex sensory system that enables us to identify sights, anticipate what is coming at us, and prepare an appropriate response. Through vision we track movements so we can protect ourselves. We use sight to guide and direct our actions so we can interact with our environment, socialize with others, and learn new information.

The stimulus that triggers vision is light or a change in light. For example, when we go to the eye doctor, he checks our eyes is by directing a light at them and making it go on and off or stronger and weaker as needed.

Vision allows us to process information in time and space and to do so very quickly. “A picture is worth a thousand words” is a very cute saying, but it is a gross understatement. Words can never capture what vision can. Also, language is sequential. One word follows the other until you hear the complete statement. Vision is instantaneous. You see everything with one glance.

We are born with sight. We develop vision. As we grow we learn to make sense of what we see through experience, which is the basis of all learning. We learn to integrate vision with our other senses to provide us a complex picture of our environment. This is called sensory integration.

The ability to smell freshly baked onion rolls and know what they look and taste like, is the happy result of sensory integration.

Our well integrated senses give us so many happy childhood memories. These are memories that I will cherish forever. These are memories that I want Alex to have.


    Anthony Kane, MD

      P S Please leave a comment because I would really like to get your reaction to this.

        If you would like to have a quick step-by-step plan on how to end your child’s difficult behavior forever and your child is between the ages of 2 and 11:

          Please go to:

          How to Improve Your Child’s Behavior

          Today we are going to discuss what to do when your child uses foul language, bad language, or even curses you. Specifically, when you give a consequence, discipline or do something your child does not like, and they curse at you as a response.

          You have to understand what your child is trying to achieve.

          First of all you told them something he did not like. That means you are exerting your power and control over your child and his natural response is to:

          (1) resent you and try to attack you, and

          (2) try to show he has control over you in some aspect.

          That is what the foul language, bad language, or cursing achieves.

          It shows, first of all, that it expresses his anger in you. Second, he controls what comes out of his mouth and you don’t. It gives him an air of control where you have no control.

          The way you handle this problem is to recognize what your child is trying to do and do not get sucked in. You do not get drawn into a battle. You do not respond at this point, and you do not let your child suck you into an argument or respond really in any way.

          You want to maintain your dignity and control of the situation.

          For example, let’s say your child comes home late and misses curfew, your consequence is for the next week, the next couple of days, or the next couple of times he has got to be home an hour earlier. He gets angry and curses at you. You say, “Nevertheless, for the next week, you have got to be home an hour early” and you walk away.

          You do not get dragged into battle. You do not say, “How dare you curse at me.” You do not get involved in any way at all in what he said.

          That does not mean you let it go. You can come back later at a different time and say, “You know you cursed at me yesterday, you cursed at me an hour ago, two hours ago. You are not allowed to do that and there is a consequence for that also” and then you give a consequence for cursing.

          Do not let the cursing, the bad talk, the bad language, or the anger of your child get you off track. Your child’s goal is to exert his power, exert his control and to show you that he has something over you. Do not let him get away with it.

          Stay in control, stay in focus, keep on topic, and at a later time when things are calm, go back and address the cursing or the bad language. Do not let it go. Do not say you are giving in. Don’t do anything other than stay on track now and make sure you address it later.

          Please share this article.

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            Anthony Kane, MD
              P S Please leave a comment because I would really like to get your reaction to this.

                If you would like to have a quick step-by-step plan on how to end your child's difficult behavior forever and your child is between the ages of 2 and 11:

                  Please go to:

                  How to Improve Your Child's Behavior

                  By Ryan Novas

                  Many kids think that superheroes are powerful enough that they can do whatever they want by themselves. However, despite their incredible strength and superhuman abilities, at some point every superhero needs help.

                  By throwing a superhero sleepover party for your child, you can use fun and exciting games to teach everyone about bravery, trust, and social skills.

                  Superhero Obstacle Course:

                  A fun way to get everyone warmed up to their super abilities, while focusing on teamwork and trust, is a blindfolded obstacle course. In an open area, like your back yard or a park, create two pathways that are about 30 feet long and 10 feet wide by laying down cones or bright colored strings — just make sure you place a few odd twists or turns.

                  Then you can create obstacles within the paths, like hula hoops they need to step in and rows of traps (foam blocks or card board boxes can work well) that they need to pass without touching. Before each hero can complete the course, they must pick up 4 capes (or handkerchiefs) that are scattered throughout it.

                  To start the game, split the guests into two teams, one for each course. Each guest who goes through the course will be blindfolded. This means that they will need to rely entirely on their super-hearing, super-touch, and super-teammates to get through it.
                  Defiant Child Disrespectful Child
                  The teammates are allowed to help them by shouting out instructions, but the other team is also allowed to distract them. This way they must use their hearing to distinguish who is telling them to do what. If they go out of bounds, step in a hula hoop, or touch the trap, they will need to start from the beginning.

                  Because a superhero would never leave a man behind, everyone must pass the course before they can move onto the next activity. The first team to get all of their members through the course is the winner.

                  Target Practice:

                  Superheroes are known for their amazing coordination and athleticism. In this activity, guests should break into teams of two and each go to their own station, where they will stand for the rest of the game. Each station should have a number of different sized buckets scattered around it.

                  The goal of this game is for both team members to successfully shoot three energy blasts into three of the enemies’ force fields (i.e. throw a tennis balls into three different buckets). However, the trick to this game is that the teammate throwing the balls is blindfolded, and no X-ray vision is allowed.

                  After each guest has been blindfolded, spin them around in circles three times so that they won’t be able to remember where the buckets are. Now they will have to depend on their own abilities and their teammates’ instructions to take down the enemies.

                  After they have successfully landed balls in the bucket, the other teammate can proceed. The first team where both members successfully throw three balls into buckets will win a prize like a Superhero Pez dispenser.

                  Alarm Clock Hunt:

                  A superhero is constantly pressed for time and needs to diffuse situations under intense pressure. In this activity, two teams must find a series of alarms, all before they go off.

                  Each team must choose a guide, who will be shown the locations of each alarm, but won’t be allowed to speak or move around the course. After making their choice, each team spends 5 minutes planning how they will communicate with their guide. When the time is up, the guide is separated from the team to watch the course as it is set up.

                  Next, depending on how many guests you have, hide 10-15 alarms throughout the playing field. If you don’t have enough alarm clocks, watches, old phone, egg timer, or anything else with an alarm can work well too. Set each alarm one minute apart to begin about 5 minutes after you have set them all up.

                  Because the guides cannot talk or walk, each team will need to find strategies that work best for both communicating with their guide and finding the alarms as quickly as possible.

                  By doing things like developing non-verbal signs for the guide, dividing up the area so one or two people can search each part, or spying on the other team’s guide, they can gain an edge. Remind them that because they may be spied on, they should make their signals with the guide secretive, not just things like pointing. The team that can collect the most alarms before they go off wins the game.

                  While most superheroes need to live secret lives and are often up against immense odds, this just means that they need to rely on trust, bravery and teamwork more than normal people. After a day filled with these exciting and character building games, your kids should have formed new bonds and learned a lot about communicating.

                  To cap the night off, they can all put on Spiderman pajamas or ones themed after their own favorite superhero, and watch a movie like Superman or Batman before bed.

                  Please share this article.

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                  Correcting Your Child’s Bad Behavior


                    Anthony Kane, MD
                      P S Please leave a comment because I would really like to get your reaction to this.

                        If you would like to have a quick step-by-step plan on how to end your child's difficult behavior forever and your child is between the ages of 2 and 11:

                          Please go to:

                          How to Improve Your Child's Behavior

                          Recently a very interesting pilot study was completed in Sweden. Researchers investigated the effects of dance therapy in two very different groups of children, young ADHD boys and depressed teenage girls.

                          The four year study was carried out at the Clinic for Child and Youth Psychiatry in Karlstad and was completed in 2005. The project, which was a collaborative effort involving the University College of Dance in Stockholm, the Department of Public Health Science at Karlstad University, and the Clinic for Child and Youth Psychiatry in Karlstad, involved children living in the province of Varmland, Sweden.

                          The ADHD Study

                          There were six boys in the ADHD study age 5-7. These children were considered hyperactive and unruly by their teachers and parents.

                          The therapy started with the children moving with all their energy. Then new components were added where the children needed to listen and mimic, play to music, play roles, and then perform slower and slower motions.

                          The results of the study in the ADHD boys were quite striking. The most dramatic effect of the dance therapy was that the boys calmed down. Their parents and teachers reported that they did their schoolwork better. One boy who could only sit in a classroom for ten minutes previously, after receiving dance therapy was able to attend an entire lesson.

                          These six boys also showed improvement in social skills. The boys were better able to play with other children without getting into conflict and fights.

                          It may seem surprising to encourage increased activity and movement for boys whose basic problem is that they move too much and have difficulty remaining calm. However, this initial study seems to indicate that dance therapy works.

                          The Depression Study

                          Adolescent depression, particularly bipolar depression is a growing problem in children. Adolescent bipolar depression is extremely difficult to treat, and when left untreated can have very serious consequences.

                          The depression study involved eleven teenage girls age 13-17, who suffered from depression and self-destructive tendencies. This type of child is particularly difficult to treat using normal therapeutic techniques. Since these teenagers usually prefer to remain silent and not express what is disturbing them, normal conversation based therapy does not work well.

                          The dance therapy proved to be a good way to increase their energy level and enhance their joy of living. Certain dance styles, flamenco for example, helped give the girls an increased sense of pride and improved their self-esteem. The overall effect was that the girls were happier and the depression was alleviated.


                          The research team investigating the effects of movement therapy concluded that dance therapy showed promise in both groups of children and can be very useful when other more traditional treatments fail or are insufficient.

                          However, although these studies are promising, the number of children in both of these groups was very small. Therefore, no sweeping conclusions should be drawn at this time. However, the fact that many of the families wished to continue with dance therapy after the conclusion of the study indicates that at least in their minds, the treatment program was a success.

                          Get ADHD and ODD
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                          for children 12 and older

                          Still much needs to be learned regarding dance as a therapeutic treatment in child and adolescent psychiatry. First of all, here is no proven explanation for why it is effective. Certainly, no one is suggesting that dance movement therapy does anything more than alleviate the symptoms of ADHD and adolescent depression.

                          The therapy does not address the root cause of these problems. Also, it is not clear from the study how long the effects of dance therapy last. Particularly in the ADHD group, the treatment had to be repeated often.

                          The success in this study suggests that movement based therapy may play a helpful role in treating certain psychiatric illnesses. It also suggests that other structured physical activity, such as sports may be an approach to helping ADHD and depressed children.

                          Many parents of ADHD children report that their children do much better when they participate in sports. Still as of yet, no studies have been done evaluating the role of sports involvement in ADHD children. In fact, this initial pilot study is the first attempt to investigate any form of physical activity in ADHD.

                          At present, dance therapy is not used as a form of treatment in child and youth psychiatry. This project was the first attempt to try and scientifically assess dance therapy as a form of treatment for ADHD and Depression.

                          Please share this article.

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                          4 Easy Child Raising Tips

                          1-Respect Your Child’s Appetite:
                          Don’t force a meal on a child who isn’t hungry. Also, don’t bribe your child to get him to eat. You don’t want to make food a power struggle issue.

                          2-Keep a Routine:
                          Serve meals and snacks the same time every day.

                          3-Don’t Expect Too Much:
                          Children don’t like to try new foods. You need to introduce them slowly. Most importantly, realize that this is normal for a child not to like or want to try something new. Don’t take it personally or get upset about it.

                          4-Make it Interesting:
                          Cut foods into interesting shapes. Use bright colors.

                          5-Involve Your Child:
                          At the store, have your child help you pick out fruits and vegetables and healthy snacks. At home, have your child get involved in the food preparation.

                          If you eat a wide variety of foods, your child will eventually do this, also.

                          7-Be Creative:
                          Use interesting combinations of foods.

                          8-Cut Out Distractions:
                          No television, ipods or ipads at the table.

                          9-Have a Designated Meal Time:
                          Have your child stay at the table even if he isn’t eating.

                          10-Don’t Be a Restaurant:
                          Don’t prepare another meal for your child if he doesn’t like the first.


                          Please share this article.

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                            Anthony Kane, MD
                              P S Please leave a comment because I would really like to get your reaction to this.

                                If you would like to have a quick step-by-step plan on how to end your child's difficult behavior forever and your child is between the ages of 2 and 11:

                                  Please go to:

                                  How to Improve Your Child's Behavior