In 2007 the principals of Cedar Rapids Vision In Motion were implemented. It was through our experiences working with individuals and families struggling with vision challenges that it became obvious that a service modality was not being fully explored in this community. Dr. DeAnn Fitzgerald, OD, with Therese Molloy, OT, began to develop a special niche service that bridges the gap between assessment and treatment for children and adults with visual processing dysfunction. The motto became, "It is a brain thing". Seventy percent of the brain is dedicated to vision in some fashion. When there are mismatches in sensory inputs the brain is not able to process effectively or efficiently. It was identified that in this gap lies an opportunity to be a proactive change agent in the support of cognitive ability, attention/concentration, problem solving, memory, visual processing abilities, mental health, and other functional aspects of daily living.
Due to the failure to adequately conceptualize the needs of the person as they present, precious windows of opportunity for treatment and intervention were being missed. Parents and caregivers should be given new information through neuropsychological assessments and consultations that can make a direct impact upon day-to-day interactions.
It was as a result of these observations of clinical efficacy and limited access that a group of medical experts began to conceptualize Cedar Rapids Vision In Motion.
Cedar Rapids Vision In Motion was born from these early discussions. Dr. DeAnn Fitzgerald, O.D. and Therese Molloy, OT established the clinical practice in January 2007, blending occupational therapy and optometry, while coordinating with other health care professionals to provide comprehensive vision care wellness and rehabilitation services.
When Vision In Motion began serving children and families in its new clinical environment, the service disparity between consumers with financial resources and those without became very obvious. This disparity was so stark that Dr. Fitzgerald began to think very seriously how to facilitate a service delivery model that would be able to include the under-insured and uninsured consumer. This strong commitment led to discussions for the establishment of a nonprofit entity known as Cedar Rapids Vision In Motion.
The Cedar Rapids Vision In Motion was founded in October 2008. The Cedar Rapids Vision In Motion is dedicated to raising and distributing funds to pay for services to uninsured or under-insured families. CR Vision In Motion hopes to develop innovative educational and treatment services while training professionals to serve this targeted population.
One cutting edge treatment that CR Vision In Motion is proud to offer is Sensory Integration Program, it is an immersion technique using 12 consecutive days in-office and 18 days of home therapy:
Sensory Integration Program
The body takes in information through (yes,seven) sensory systems. Five are commonly known: Sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. However, two senses are lesser known, but no less significant. These senses are: Vestibular, which tells us where our bodies are in space, and give us what is called "gravitational security", or the knowledge that we can move without falling, and Proprioceptive, which tells us where our body parts are in relation to one another. This sense gives us the ability to know where each part of our body starts and stops, and to coordinate how we move our body in order to accomplish tasks.
When a child's body and brain cannot communicate well about information coming from ANY of the seven senses, the input becomes confusing or meaningless to the child. this may lead to behavioral problems, delays in skill development, or a child's inability to function in every day roles and tasks.
A child who is struggling to process sensory information may:
- Move fast and often
- Have difficulty sitting still
- Avoid noise, touch, or movement
- Avoid, or become distressed by, busy environments
- Be sensitive to food or clothing textures (picky eater or dresser)
- Have difficulty listening
- Be frequently defiant, or like to be "in control"
- Appear clumsy or accident prone
- Tire more easily than others his/her age
After an evaluation of each child's specific sensory processing strengths and concerns, a treatment plan is developed to target those sensory areas where the child is either under- or over- sensitive. Sensory Integration teaches the child's body to better read, interpret, an use sensory information coming in from the environment. It also helps the child to learn what the body needs in order to function well. Improved sensory processing allows the child to interact with the environment more effectively and improve focus tasks.
The child/family will often see improvements in:
Independent and age-appropriate eating/dressing (less picky,dresses appropriate to weather)
Ability to interact appropriately with family members and peers
Ability to focus on tasks such as school work or chores
Decrease in hyperactivity
Every person is unique, including identical twins. So the list above is the universal changes we have recorded, but each individual because of internal biochemistry and environmental experiences can have infinite combinations of success.
Occupational Therapy Services
Cedar Rapids Vision In Motion is a unique clinic providing sensory and motor-based assessment and intervention. As part of the multidisciplinary team at Vision In Motion, we strive to gain a holistic (or whole person) view of each child. This means understanding how the child functions in a variety of environments such as home, school, with family, with peers, etc. All assessments and interventions are specifically tailored to the maximum benefit of each individual child.
We assist in providing differential diagnoses (for example, between Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder) in order to create a treatment approach that addresses the underlying cause of the child's behaviors/issues.
Issues that we address in the Optometric and Occupational Therapy Clinic include:
- Learning Disability
- Developmental Disability
- Motor Coordination
- Gross or Fine Motor Development
- Lazy Eye
- Sensory Processing
- Range of Motion
Concerns such as these are often seen in conjunction with several diagnoses,such as:
- Attention Deficit/hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD's)
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)
- Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
- Reactive Attachment disorder (RAD)
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
- Cerebral Palsy (CP)
- Regulatory Disorders
Cedar Rapids Vision In Motion a program of the nonprofit Spanda Inc.
Hours of Operation:
The Cedar Rapids Vision In Motion Clinic is open daily by appointment Monday through Friday with extended hours on Tuesday/Thursday evenings and every other Saturday starting January 12th, 2013 9:00-3:00pm by appointment only. The clinic also houses a low vision retail store with hours Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you would like to come tour our facility or are interested in our growing volunteer opportunities, please contact Gwen Garretson, Director, at 319-364-2311 or Dr. DeAnn Fitzgerald,OD, Founder, at 319-366-3500 email us.