Saturday, June 5, 2010

Vision, Hyperactivity, Impulsivity, and Disorganization

Many children who are too visually active rely too much on touch as their main means of gathering information from their surroundings. In normal development, "visual touch" eventually replaces actual touch when the child is exploring their world. When good eye movement skills are present, visual perception matches tactile (touch) perception so vision can be substituted for touch experiences. So vision becomes an extension or replacement of the hand as the primary way of getting information from their world. Since visual exploration is much more efficient, it becomes the dominant mode of exploration. Children who do not have good eye movement skills do not have a perceptual match between vision and touch, and this is the major cause of persistent physical exploration.
 As vision improves, you rely less on touch and more on your eyes and you develop a more reflective style of thinking.  I think that, in the course of therapy, I am following a similar course of development as children.  Maybe what has happened to me is that I got stuck in the verbal stage because my senses just didn't work properly (I have a plethora of problems with my senses including vision, hearing, balance, and motor skills).   So talk, talk, talk, talk has been my way of relating to the world. This includes talking in situations where other people can look and see what is going on.  Whereas, I have tended to talk and ask questions to figure out what is going on around me.  A lot of my problems are similar to those with ADHD  or ADD, even though I don't suffer from ADD.

Better vision helps the brain centers that organize and predict future activity. An individual plans future activity through time and space by "seeing" the future through visualization. Those with poor visual skills have difficulty organizing their activity, they predict time poorly, and they often forget routine or sequential tasks to the point that it seems incredible to people with normal visual abilities. People with poor visual skills seem to live in the here and now whereas people with good visual skills spend much of their attention imaging past and future events. Seeing the future consequences of current actions is obviously important in reducing impulsivity and character development.

That living in the present describes me pretty well.  I do tend to "live in the present"... As a side note, I think that it is rather funny that I do yoga to "live in the moment" to reduce stress!   I do feel that as a result of better vision that I am getting better organized and less forgetful.  I am starting to try to use more planning but it is on and off again process and not one that is completely ingrained.

 Additionally, I think the Interactive Metronome (IM) Therapy has been helping to calm down the impulsivity.  Interactive Metronome helps to adjust the timing in the brain.

I can't say which therapy, Tomatis, Balametrics, vision or IM has helped the most in higher order functionality because I haven't had a neuropsych exam between each therapy-- there's a limit as to how much insurance companies will pay for therapy and I don't want to push it.  Unfortunately, the Neuropsychiatrists who specialize in my kind of problems are generally not accepting any insurance.  Neuropsychiatric exams are very expensive-- $2500 a pop.   So, what to do?   Neuropsychiatrists are supposed to set the general direction of therapy.  If you go to people who don't know your problem, you can waste a lot of time.  After I finish IM (I have 1 or 2 more bouts of therapy to do) and I have a followup visit with my audiologist to see if we want to do FastForward for Auditory Processing Disorder or not, and then, I think I may do another neuropsych exam as a followup.   Also, I need to look at who handles higher order functioning problems for adults.  It is very difficult.  In school, there are counselors who help children.  There really isn't anything that helps adults except for 'job coaches' that seem to have no certification requirements and are not covered by insurance.  Maybe there is something more in the medical model that would be covered by insurance. 

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