LOVI forecasts a critical need among child protective service employees, foster parents, parents, educators, and local optometrists in identifying and gaining awareness of vision processing disorders. Many children with vision processing impairments exhibit behavioral issues, focusing and reading hindrances, and other classroom-related issues, with the ultimate result of misdiagnosis or non-diagnosis. It is very important to note here that glasses alone are unable to remedy this disorder. Through raising community awareness and understanding of vision processing impairments, LOVI will educate critical personnel interfacing with underserved children so potential vision processing impairments in local youth can be better identified. Information sessions, regular workshops, and interactive lessons will be hosted by the staff, volunteers, and board of LOVI. Key components of the workshops will include: defining vision processing disorders and distinguishing them from other common issues, educating how to identify vision processing disorders, targeting the types of therapeutic solutions available, identifying the benefits of vision therapy for the child, the family, and the classroom, and discussing LOVI’s role in providing financing and encouragement for the vision therapy for underserved children. These free sessions will be held at community facilities (such as public libraries or community centers), local child protective service offices, or local optometry practices, all with the intent to maximize convenience and limit the cost burdens of transportation among the attendees. Initially, sessions will be held quarterly with the intention of expanding sessions as demand increases.
As parents, foster parents and other care-takers take on a more hands-on role in the healthcare of their children, it is important to ensure that families are aware of vision processing disorders to prevent unnecessary and often costly treatment for a misdiagnosed condition. To better educate families, guardians, and the local community about vision processing disorders, LOVI will create a public presence through information sessions and outreach opportunities at health fairs, conferences, and other community events. The ultimate goal of the sessions will be to establish a foundation of awareness and understanding among the community about vision processing disorders so they can better identify an impairment, understand the therapy process, feel comfortable with the available community resources, and understand both the benefits of vision therapy and the role LOVI can play in making the therapy process an easier transition for both the child and the family. Prepared with information packets that will be distributed (example enclosed), LOVI will engage community members individually and in groups at these events, which will take place at the convenience of the event facilitators.
VISION THERAPY FINANCING
Underserved children with vision processing disorders are more often than not misdiagnosed or never receive treatment. Nonexistent medical insurance coverage present cost barriers to treatment and essential vision therapy. Once a child is properly diagnosed, LOVI will pay for the diagnosis and recommended treatment schedule of these children whose families would otherwise not be able to pay for such services. LOVI will coordinate with the child’s caregiver to ensure that therapy is beneficial and all tasks assigned for home therapy are being performed. LOVI will leverage relationships with local optometrists for below market rates to ensure that the nonprofit resources are utilized in the most judicious manner as possible. Therapy sessions and medical treatment will remain confidential, and will take place at the optometrist’s office (optometrist will be certified in vision therapy). Therapy will be provided by technicians and medical professionals based upon the schedule prescribed by the optometrist. LOVI will coordinate follow up interviews with patient and guardian to ensure that proactive measures and additional support is/isn’t necessary. Duration will be based upon diagnosis from the certified medial professional prescribing the necessary therapy.