Cognitive Skills Development as a Supplement to Vision Therapy
I am a graduate of vision therapy myself. And I will never forget the moment when my vision, which had been blurry my entire life, suddenly became clear, following many months of hard work with a vision therapist. At the time, I thought it was a miracle. Today, I know that the “miracle” is the ability of our brains to “rewire” themselves with the right kind of training. When our eyes work together, or when visual focus improves, it transforms our ability to function in the world.
For some individuals, vision therapy is a vital first step, but there may still be more work to be done to integrate stronger visual skills with other mental processes, such as selective attention, working memory, sequential processing, directionality and other foundational cognitive skills and executive functions. That integration is what enables the stronger visual skills to be used directly in reading and math and other academic and life tasks.
BrainWare SAFARI is a cognitive skills training program that evolved from multi-disciplinary clinical therapy. It is different from other cognitive training programs because it is both comprehensive and integrated. In peer-reviewed published research, gains of 2 to 4 years of cognitive growth, and 1 to 2 years of academic growth, have been shown when the program is used 3 to 5 times a week for 12 weeks.
Once someone has completed (or has made sufficient progress in) a course of vision therapy and it is time to integrate their stronger visual processing with other cognitive processes, BrainWare SAFARI can provide that additional boost towards strong academic performance and success with everyday tasks.
Clinicians have a variety of ways to work with clients using BrainWare SAFARI. While the recommended protocol is 3 to 5 times a week, that doesn’t always mean 3 to 5 office visits. Because it is a software program, clients can use the program from any computer that has the program installed. BrainWare captures and reports real-time data on progress in the program. That enables clinicians to check on compliance with the recommended protocol, and provide targeted coaching based on their expert insights into a client’s progress. In weekly or biweekly visits, the clinician can assess and reinforce progress and the application of newly developing skills.
Clinicians can learn more about using BrainWare SAFARI to extend the value of vision therapy in a recent webinar.