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Lynn Hellerstein
October 2010 Newsletter

They'll Laugh at Me. I Must Be Stupid!

FrustratedIn September’s newsletter, we discussed how to help your child master reading. In my vision therapy practice, we’ve observed hundreds of children improve their tracking, focusing, eye teaming and visual information processing skills.  Reading frequently improves throughout the vision therapy program.  Some children just take off with a huge boost in confidence and excitement.  Some may need additional reading tutoring.  However, some children, even with their increased abilities, still feel stupid (their label not mine!).  There is nothing worse than seeing your child feeling insecure and self-defeated. 

Here is an example of one of my patients, Jenny, and how she felt about the situation in her own words:
 
My life was getting harder and harder as I was going to higher grades. I started having trouble when I was in 2nd grade. In 3rd grade I had a tutor, but it really didn’t help much. But then I came to Vision Therapy. I got new glasses that helped me a lot. I used to see words as big blobs on a paper, but now I see them as real words! Then I had to go to vision therapy and what a success that was! I went from the smallest person in my classroom to the biggest. In other words, I used to be afraid to read in front of the class but now I feel more strong to do that. My mom says, (and she quotes her mom) “I feel Jenny has become more confident in reading and writing.”

The See It. Say It. Do It! Model was utilized in Jenny’s vision therapy to help her overcome her negative self-talk and imagery. After teaching her to relax and breathe, we asked Jenny about her visualization of what it was like when it was her turn to read in class. She reported seeing herself very small in a dark room with many larger children surrounding her. She saw and heard the other students laughing at her and calling her “stupid” if she made a mistake when reading aloud. No wonder she was a reluctant school reader—what kid wants her classmates to laugh at her and call her stupid? None!
 
This demonstrates the power of visualization, whether it be positive or negative. Jenny’s negative visualization fueled her fears. Her fears created a road block to reading.

ReadingWe asked her how she would like to change her visualization to help her feel safer and stronger. She imagined herself being larger and did this by “blowing” herself up, like blowing up a balloon (See It!). She started smiling and her body posture became more upright, as she pictured herself physically larger and more powerful. We asked her how the classroom looked in her visualization. She reported that the room automatically became lighter, the other students shrunk down in size. Her classmates stopped laughing at her. Jenny was now empowered and very excited about reading. Her job was to picture herself in the classroom as she did in her visualization, coming from a larger, more powerful place.

She really had fun moving through the classroom as a powerful student. She declared, “I’m the biggest person in my classroom. I’m a strong reader” (Say It!). The stress of reading aloud faded. She practiced seeing this visualization, especially before it was time for her to read (Do It!). She was excited about how much better she could now read in class.

 
Jenny demonstrates the power of the See It. Say It. Do It! Model. Her reading problem involved visual efficiency skills, visual information processing skills, as well as confidence. She experienced and greatly acknowledged her transformation into a strong reader. Jenny’s outcome is the perfect example of a Ta-Dah!
 
Albert Einstein sums it up well, “If I can’t picture it, I can’t understand it.” He certainly knew the power of visualization, and now, so do you!


Wait until you see how effective visualization strategies are for other academic subjects including spelling, math facts and creative writing ...coming up in future enewsletters!

If you are new to the newsletter, WELCOME. Please check out previous months newsletters here.


Feel free to send questions, comments or insights on your journey of transformation.

With love and gratitude,

Lynn Fishman Hellerstein, O.D., FCOVD, FAAO
 


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Tues., Oct. 26, 2010
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TOPIC: Questions & answers to discuss vision & learning

Register here so that we can send you the call-in information.  Please e-mail your questions to Dr. Hellerstein prior to the phone call, if possible, so that she is able to respond to the most frequently asked questions first.



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Contact Lynn:

Dr. Lynn F. Hellerstein
7180 E Orchard Road, Suite 103
Centennial, CO 80112
303-850-9499
DrH@LynnHellerstein.com

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