The ground-breaking work by behavioural optometrist Melvin Kaplan, Seeing Through New Eyes, describes how children with autism who have visited Dr. Kaplan’s Center for Visual Management in New York frequently exhibit visual impairments. He describes how many of them have made improvements through the selective use of yoked prism lenses which can either correct the child’s view of the world, or disrupt it in order to make the visual processing part of the brain work harder. These lenses plus a suitable set of vision exercises has resulted in many classing autistic behaviours such as toe-walking and arm-flapping being eliminated. In some cases, non-verbal children have even started to develop language shortly after vision therapy! This suggests a coupling between the visual and auditory processing parts of the brain.

In the UK, general information on vision therapy can be obtained from the British Association of Behavioural Optometrists. Practitioners in the UK with a known reputation for treating ASD children are:

  1. South-East:    Paul Adler at Eyezone

  2. East:                D. A. Seaman Optometrist

  3. South-West:   Shaylers Vision Centre

  4. Scotland:        Aberdeen Vision Therapy Centre