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Success Stories

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Ella N.

Aug 12, 2021

I had trouble reading and writing. When I would read the words on the page would swim around and they would also get blurry and I hated reading. When I would write my hand would hurt and my writing was messy and sloppy and my writing was really big. After a few months of vision therapy my writing was better and I didn’t hate reading as much as I used to and the words no longer swim on the page. After another five months I got better and better my scores were better than ever before.

During the process eventually I stopped getting so car sick and I got fewer headaches after doing my HTS. A month or two later I heard I might be graduating soon, it made me work harder and eventually I graduated all things to Dr. Alyssa, Miss Kathy and my family. I graduated from vision therapy.

Ella

Stephanie K.

Aug 18, 2021

We are so thankful for everyone that Vision development from Dr. O’Connor to Miss Kathy to Miss Kelly. Each and every person you interact with is helpful and kind. We are astounded by Megan’s results here and are excited for her future! When her 2020 sophomore school year began, Megan started saying she hated school. She mentioned being tired all the time and having trouble focusing. It took hours every night to finish homework. We thought it was the result of the change of education due to the pandemic. When she started complaining of double vision and headaches it was time to get help. After multiple visits to the eye doctor and two new pairs of glasses she had no improvement.

We came to Vision development in early 2021. After her evaluation I will never forget the feeling of relief when Dr. O’Connor said “… this is exactly why you’re struggling and we can help you. It will get better.” After five months of therapy Megan has just finished reading her first book for pleasure! She is still working to build stamina when focusing but Miss Kathy has given her strategies to refocus your eyes as they grow stronger. I would highly recommend Dr. O’Connor and this office to any family with a child struggling like Megan did.

Stephanie

Meet Emma & Read Her Optometric Vision Therapy Story from Struggling Reader to Better Student

Emma Golembieski started off sad and confused. She didn't understand why she couldn't keep up with her classmates. Emma has always tried her best and would work extra hard at everything she did. Emma never gives up. Our hearts broke for her always struggling to keep up. When Emma had her eye exam to only find out she did have nerve weakness in her eyes.

But to find out she could strengthen her eyes was a blessing. Emma was so happy and very determined to fix her eyes. As always she did everything she was told, and worked hard to strengthen her eyes. Now Emma is more confident in herself. Interacts with her peers more. Emma's grades also went up! She is at a higher reading level!

Emma is loving life more and more! We are so thankful for what vision therapy has done for our baby girl. We absolutely love what Miss Kathy has done for her she has gone above and beyond for our Emma Sue.

Emma

Josiah

Dear Dr. O’Connor, Kathy and friends,

My son Josiah went through Optometric Vision Therapy to potentially help him with reading and overall comprehension. When we began therapy, we were skeptical but, short of medicine, didn’t know what else to try. During three years o homeschooling we tried different techniques to help right brain dominant learners: arching and yoga exercises, essential oil’s for focus, different vitamins and supplements, a clean diet and lots of prayer. My in-laws are friends with Dr. O’Connor and, as they described t e work he was doing, we got the sense that this could help Josiah. At first, we didn’t see a while lot of improvement, but then suddenly Josiah jumped forward in reading ability and comprehension.

A strange phenomenon with Josiah was that he would almost always get hit in the face with a ball while playing any type of sport. Since finishing his therapy nearly 2 years ago, Josiah never gets hit by the ball, because guess what? He sees it coming! We had no idea his vision had such obstacles.

Josiah is a much more confident kid now that then he ever was before. It must have been hard living life in the box his vision had put him in. I thank God for his time at Vision Development of Western New York and I hope this treatment becomes more widely accepted in the ophthalmologic community. I know there are more kids like Josiah who need help out of their own boxes.
Thank you for all you did for my son.
Sincerely, Stephanie
Josiahs Success Story 1

Olivia

Thank you so much for your time you spent on me.

Thank you for how fun you were to be around.

I am sad that I have to end vision (therapy),

but I am excited to start a new vision life on my own.

Thank you.

With love,
Olivia.
Olivias Success Story 1

Sams Success Story 1

Sam

Sam has suffered from chronic migraines for at least 3 years. After going down all sorts of treatment avenues, Dr. O’Connor was recommended to us by various people. We put off taking Sam to see Dr. O’Connor because a previous optometrist found nothing wrong with Sam’s eyes. Though Sam had struggled with reading in first grade, he always did well in school and in sports, but often did not feel well after school , his games or any activity/trip that had a lot of visual stimuli. We brought him to Vision Development of WNY just to rule anything out.

We were shocked by what Sam’s evaluation revealed. We were told his eyes did not work together to converge & focus, he could not track properly, he had a very small field of vision and an enlarged blind spot. Sam then mentioned that he thought it was normal to skip lines and lose your place when reading or to have eyeball pain after reading anything. We were sent home with instructions for the infinity walk and light therapy. The light therapy helped to reduce his headache pain. He then started in-office therapy twice a week.

After completing the infinity walk at home, h is field of vision is normal as is his blind spot. The in-office and at-home therapies have helped tremendously. Even though Sam’s headaches have not disappeared (due to other contributing factors), the time it takes for his headache to worsen while reading has greatly extended. His fatigue and car sickness are virtually non-existent. He is able to work longer on computer screens and on paper. It is much easier to read now. He no longer skips lines or loses his place. His eyeballs no longer hurt after reading or doing schoolwork. His confidence level has improved as well.

While it was a long process, it has been well worth the time and money. Dr. O’Connor, Dr. Fortuna, Penny, Kelly and other staff members have been nothing but kind and supportive, especially since Sam’s therapy was stalled by the Covid shutdown in 2020.

Willems Success Story 1

Willem

Willem was having trouble copying from the board and copying from text. He was also skipping words and sentences (sometimes even paragraphs) when reading. He didn’t seem to have much self-esteem or confidence. He put forth his best effort but reading and writing were always so challenging for him. He saw others excel and he felt inferior. He avoided more common sports (which mostly contain balls). He would focus for a short time, but then needed a quick outlet of energy. He wouldn’t give me details about school or his day.

Organizing his thoughts was challenging. Since therapy, we have noticed a significant change in Willem’s self-esteem and confidence. He is attempting to play sports containing balls, which expands the friends he can relate to. He is copying from the board and text with minimal error. After school, he is able to talk to me about his say and gives me details. His thoughts are better organized. During reading, he doesn’t skip around. His fluency needs improvement still, but he is able to express what he comprehended and understands deeper meaning of text. We are so grateful that his confidence, expression, and ability to maintain his place while reading and copying have improved. This wouldn’t have been possible without the caring doctors, therapists, and staff at Vision Development.

Sias Success Story 2

Sia

Sias Success Story 1

Sia’s Mom

success stories wall

5-Star Google Reviews

Thank you to Dr. O and Miss Kathy for all of your work with our son Vincent! The progress he has made since last year is amazing. He is now reading, enjoying school more and homework is no longer such a struggle (for our whole family!). We love listening to him read and seeing the smile on his face when he's reading is the sweetest. Thank you again!
- Jenna L.
Like all the other reviews, Vision Development of Western New York, is the best. My daughter no longer sees double and her eye doesn't wander any more. (Which is amazing!) My daughter feels like she is THE FAVORITE patient. The way she has been loved and cared on by Dr. O'Connor, Dr. Alyssa and the rest of the staff has really made all the difference. My daughter insisted that we make the whole office cupcakes for her birthday.
- Emily H.
Being a patient at Vision Development of WNY changed my life! Having Dr. O’Connor and Dr. Alyssa work with me personally based on my own personal visual needs was such a neat experience. I can say that I feel so much better and am more confident in myself because of working with them! Thankful for their impact they had in my life and the time they invested in me!
- Leah U.
My daughter absolutely loved going to Vision Therapy! They make it fun and exciting , and she grew so much more confidence with all the positive compliments she was giving! We are so thankful for Dr O’conner and his team. My daughter is thriving after her experience at Vision Therapy!
- Amanda G.
We're very happy with the help our child received! Dr. O'Conner and Dr. Fortuna were able to not only give insight as to why our child struggled with headaches/reading/comprehension - they also gave a plan of action to correct and bring hope to the situation. Our vision therapist, Kathy, implemented techniques and visual exercises (in fun, energetic ways) that brought our child up to reading grade level and stopped the headaches and eye pains. We are now looking forward to moving forward with our child's academics.
- Meagan M.
As both a father and a teacher, I can not speak highly enough of Dr. O'Connor, Dr. Alyssa and the entire staff at Vision Development. My son is now reading and comprehending at a much higher level, which as a teacher of 20 years is extremely important to me. However, even more important to me as a father, he is so much more confident and self assured now that he has completed his eye therapy. He notices the difference both in school as well as in sports. Completing the therapy twice a week as well as doing the exercises at home was a commitment for sure, but one that was well worth it. I also wanted to note that they were very conscientious and diligent about instituting the necessary COVID protocols to keep my son safe during his therapy sessions. They even did online therapy when necessary in order to keep him on track. Overall, we are beyond satisfied with the entire process and staff at Vision Development. We consider ourselves fortunate to have been able to go to them for treatment and for the positive change in our son's life.
- Neal M.

Nora

When we first came to Dr. O’Connor Nora was a 6-year-old, 1st-grade student who didn’t like school. It took us all night to do homework with lots of tears and yelling. Every night she would say “I can’t do it!”. She was “stuck” at the same reading level for 10 months with no improvement. Within 2 months of Nora starting vision therapy, she jumped up 2 reading levels at school. The tears were less and less and Nora wouldn’t argue every night doing homework. She started to want to read and we could tell she was trying. When Nora would read to us she started to sound out the letters in the words, blending them together, which she previously struggled with.

Now Nora loves school and doesn’t give us a hard time about going anymore or doing her homework. She has just entered 2nd grade and while still behind every day seems to be improving more and more. We can’t wait to see the progress she continues to make.

Brody

Brody started falling while walking, falling out of the car, tripping going upstairs or falling down them. He also started standing while doing school work and was not able to sit. He would also sleep 12+ hours a day. His self-esteem was very poor. This was all the first part of 2019. Fast forward to March- we met Dr. O and found out Brody had a few eye issues. We traveled 2x a week, 3 hours round trip and every therapy session was worth it!

Brody can now catch a baseball, run freely without falling, ride a bike without training wheels, go upstairs without holding on to a rail and without falling. He is reading at a 3rd-grade level, smoothly, and is sitting while doing so. He sleeps 8 hours and has wonderful self-esteem- believes in himself and always asks for home therapy. He tried karate and now wants to play basketball.

Vision therapy has given my son back to me. Brody is a new kid who is now happy and excited to do new things.

Be dedicated to the process, ask questions, and trust those you work with. They have given my boy a new life and a chance that I never thought could be. We love Dr. O and everyone at Vision Development!

Brandon

Before going to vision therapy I suffered from convergence insufficiency, meaning I would see double unless I focused hard on an object. I went to an eye doctor in the past and they simply prescribed me with glasses, that did not help. When I got to college the problem became too much for me to handle and I had extreme difficulties getting through the semester. When I went to vision therapy, Dr. O’Connor understood my problem right away and I started doing my therapy. Now that I am all done I would consider the difference in my vision life changing. I no longer see double, have trouble reading, have headaches or other symptoms I used to experience on a daily basis. I now feel like I can move forward in my life and pursue whatever it is I choose to pursue to the best of my ability. On top of all this, they had a very friendly, welcoming environment because they truly cared about me. I am very thankful and I would highly recommend Vision Development of WNY to anybody with vision issues.

Wesley

Our Story begins as Wesley was finishing first grade and was complaining about his vision. We checked with his teacher and she hadn’t noticed anything out of the normal within the classroom and Wesley had made no complaints to her about his vision. We visited our family eye doctor and Wesley’s eyesight was 20/20. From the other tests conducted, the doctor thought Wesley may have a vision processing issue based on his answers and suggested, a visit to Dr. O’Connor.

We made our first visit to Dr. O’Connor in July 2018 for Wesley’s evaluation. We learned that Wesley did have vision processing concerns. After a lot of information from Dr. O’Connor and knowing how Wesley struggled at school, we committed as a family to the vision therapy program, 2 times a week. It was a 140-mile round trip each visit from our home to Dr. O’Connor’s office!

As we completed our visits to Miss Jen and Dr. O’Connor and worked on home-based therapy, we started to see Wesley improve academically. Wesley’s beginning of the year test scores jumped significantly by mid-year – Wesley went from being behind a 1 to 2-grade levels in math and reading to being on par with his current grade level and excelling. Wesley went from not wanting to read in August to a serious book worm by March! Wesley also graduated from Physical Therapy after being in a program for 4 years. We are so excited for ALL the goals Wesley has achieved and we believe that vision therapy is made the BIGGEST difference in achieving these goals.

To say that the staff of Vision Development of WNY are caring, loving and supportive, is an understatement! They were not just Wesley’s biggest cheerleaders but cheerleaders to our entire family. The positive enthusiastic atmosphere never wavered at any of our visits, ever.

If you are thinking of vision therapy for your child, don’t wait, it could make the biggest difference in your child’s life!

The Maras Family 4/2019

Steven

My son Steven was diagnosed with Central Auditory Processing Disorder(CAPD). He was classified as “borderline” by the Niagara Falls Public School District and not entitled to any help whatsoever. His CAPD therapist recommended he see Dr. O’Connor because she believed Steven also had vision problems – which he did.

He got reading glasses and started Vision Therapy once a week. It took a few visits but we started to notice an improvement in the way he was reading. He actually looked forward to his therapy and would practice while at home or riding in the car. After about two months we noticed a change in his attitude about reading; he had developed more confidence in himself so therefore we did not have such a struggle to try to get him to pick up a book and read.

Before Vision Therapy he would actually cry if he had to read because he just couldn’t do it. None of us had any idea he had such extensive vision problems. Steven would hit himself and say how stupid he was and run away crying.

It was hard on our whole family. In school he was on the verge of being held back a year; even the teachers thought he was lazy. We were all exhausted and didn’t know which way to turn.

Thank God for Vision Therapy! There are doctors that don’t believe in it, but it did wonders for our son. Steven is now in 5th grade and while he still only reads at a 3rd grade, 6-month level it is such an improvement from one year ago. His attitude about school and reading has changed quite a bit. He likes school.

Reading isn’t his favorite subject. I doubt it ever will be, but he’s on his way. He has confidence and a positive attitude. It was a long drive from Niagara Falls and quite a bit of money because insurance won’t pay for Vision Therapy, but it was worth every mile and penny. Steven still practices his therapy because he believes it works.

He is living proof.

Steven

Sarah

I first discovered I had a vision problem when I was beginning 4th grade and was seeing double. My ophthalmologist referred me to an eye surgeon and I had surgery in November of 2003 for a “Lazy Eye.” The surgery did not work. In fact, my vision got worse. That was when an occupational therapist my mom works with suggested we try Dr. O’Connor.

Dr. O’Connor believed I could be helped by Vision Therapy. I started with strong prisms in my glasses and phototherapy. It made a huge difference right away. For the first time I was only seeing one image. My field of vision improved so I could see all of my homework at one time. I worked with Kathy and Joann two to three times a week to complete different exercises and tasks to strengthen my eye muscles and get my eyes working together. I hated figure eight pattern walking, but it worked. The Brock String and computer programs were fun, but you better keep up with the homework Joann gives you. It seems like a lot but my vision was worth it.

Eventually, after working in Vision Therapy for more than a year I did not need prisms at all and my eyes worked together. I have been back to see Dr. O’Connor every six months and my eyes are still doing great.

I’m very thankful my parents brought me to see Dr. O’Connor. I can’t image what my life would be like if I had to see double all the time. I certainly would not be on high honor roll or be able to competitively swim!

I love Vision Therapy and would strongly recommend it to everyone with vision problems!

Sarah

Nicholas

Eight years ago my son, Nicholas, was in elementary school and struggling with reading and writing. His teachers always commented to me that, “there was something there” preventing him from progressing. Verbally, at 10-years-old, he scored at the level of a 20-year-old and he was always very willing to read but it was just one word at a time. Then we were referred to Dr. O’Connor.

Recently, Nicholas graduated from Niagara Wheatfield High School. In the beginning of his senior year, he was ranked 40 out of 302 students! He is a member of the National Honor Society, received four scholarships and a Certificate of Excellence/Outstanding Student from BOCES. He was accepted at every college to which he applied and will be attending Paul Smith College in the Adirondacks for Environmental/Wildlife Science.

I share this with you because Dr. O’Connor changed his life! He went from a struggling elementary school student to a successful and exceling high school student.

Occasionally, Nicholas will explain to someone how I put him in a closet and he stared at a green light. It definitely raises some eyebrows, but what a difference it has made!

We can’t thank Dr. O’Connor enough for providing your services. We are extremely grateful.

Nicholas

Debbie

When I started Phototherapy, I had limited peripheral vision. The treatment was not easy for me because many times I was dizzy and nauseous afterward. Dr. O’Connor and the staff were very encouraging. Sharon & Kristi were patient and helpful. Now, after 20 sessions of Phototherapy and almost a year of Vision Therapy, I can drive again without having someone with me and I am enrolled fulltime in college.

I have had an extremely positive experience (with Dr. O’Connor). I didn’t know where to turn a year ago. I pretty much thought that I would have to learn to live with being dizzy, having headaches, poor memory and concentration, problems focusing, blurred vision, etc.

Now, I have my life back!

Debbie

Alan

Before Vision Therapy, 5-year-old Alan was unable to run without constantly looking at the ground, was unable to descend stairs using alternating feet, and avoided typical childhood activities like climbing, jumping, swinging, and riding a bike. He also avoided fine motor skills activities such as drawing, coloring, and printing.

Thanks to Vision Therapy with Dr. O’Connor, Alan now runs full speed with his eyes looking forward, handles stairs without hesitation, and no longer avoids any fine or gross motor skills activities. His self-esteem has soared because his sense of safety and spatial confidence is more prevalent than the fear of falling or getting hurt.

Vision Therapy with Dr. O’Connor helped to improve his balance and depth perception; because of this Alan is a happier little boy. His whole life changed because of Vision Therapy. His risk taking, endurance, and confidence have grown and, most importantly, he is so much happier!

Alan

David

As a result of a stroke with traumatic brain injury that I suffered in March, 2016, I was left blind on the right side of my field of vision.

I completed the months of rehabilitation, including Vision Therapy, but I felt that there must be something else I could do to improve. Most of my doctors indicated there was nothing else that could be done.

Finally, I was referred to Dr. Richard O’Connor. Before Vision Therapy with him, I was very hesitant to walk in a public place such as a store due to the fact that I thought I would run into people or trip over unseen objects. I was virtually a shut-in and very depressed. I felt I had lost all my independence.

After completing initial testing and evaluation, I began my Vision Therapy. Dr. O’Connor gave me the confidence to return to most of my normal activities like shopping, running errands, meeting friends, going to the gym, etc. With his recommended techniques and special equipment, I can safely drive my car on a limited basis. This has made a huge improvement in my quality of life and morale.

In summation, I feel the Vision Therapy I received was one of the most beneficial and worthwhile treatments that I have ever experienced. I would like to thank Dr. O’Connor and his entire excellent professional staff for helping me return to my daily activites.

David