VISION THERAPY OF SAN ANTONIO
BECOMING A BEHAVIORAL OPTOMETRIST
Finding and Heeding My Purpose When I graduated high school and started at Texas Tech University, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. My dad
After nearly 10 years of practicing in Houston, I needed a change, and I moved to New Hampshire. While this move gave me the change I wanted, it also meant I had to start all over. I didn’t have a lot of patients at first, but I got an opportunity to relearn different practice methods that would greatly benefit my patients. It opened my eyes to a new way of practicing called Behavioral Optometry. Instead of the routine of prescribing glasses, I started to address visual discomfort by paying more attention to how well a person’s eyes focused together. Feedback from my patients was unbelievable. People started telling me that they weren’t experiencing heavy migraine headaches anymore and that they could read and comprehend a lot easier. I knew I was onto something and decided to concentrate more heavily on eye coordination problems. While working in New Hampshire, I teamed up with an occupational therapist, who wanted to learn more about helping children who were having a difficult time reading in school. If any patients I saw were having coordination problems with their eyes, I would send them her way. By combining occupational therapy with optometric vision therapy, we saw tremendous improvement in reading and learning. Even though I, and all optometry students, learned about this during training, I didn’t know its effectiveness. It was the first time I saw just what vision therapy could do for people, and I felt compelled to pursue it.
encouraged me to go for a degree in business management, but at the end of school, I felt like I wasn’t prepared for anything. That’s when I started looking for something else and began to think about my options in health care. Neither medical nor dental felt like my true calling, but one day it just hit me: vision. This career path meant adding two more years to my undergrad and four more in optometry school, but it was well worth it. I received my optometry degree in July 2000 and leaped into my career as an optometrist. In my first practice, I did what many optometrists do: prescribe glasses and contacts all day long. This routine had its issues, though; often, the limited exam time allotted for each patient wasn’t long enough to discover other vision problems that might have been more subtle. Prescribing glasses did help them see, but there was something more that kept them from seeing as well as I knew they could.
I moved to San Antonio in 2012, and I joined a practice that gave me further opportunities to grow as a behavioral optometrist. I bought my own private practice in 2015, then purchased another doctor’s vision therapy practice a year later. I renamed it Vision Therapy of San Antonio, or VTSA. Shortly into my ownership of VTSA, I was approached by an experienced vision therapist, Melody Lay, who asked to join my team. At the time, business was slow. I was worried I couldn’t afford to hire her, but I knew I needed Melody on my team. Together, with my other therapists, Wendy and Jessica, we have worked tirelessly to spread the word about the effectiveness of vision therapy in the San Antonio community and beyond. Our practice has grown by leaps and bounds in the last three years, and we hope this newsletter helps you learn more about helping someone you know!
“IT WAS THE FIRST TIME I SAW JUST WHAT VISION THERAPY COULD DO FOR PEOPLE, AND I FELT COMPELLED TO PURSUE IT.”
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