BY LIZ WITBECK
With many children in the United States struggling
academically, parents are looking for answers
to help their children. Academic struggles and
learning disorders are frequently linked to vision
problems, according to Dr. Howard Kushner and
Sherry Sherlock, who operate Integrative Vision
Therapy in Saratoga Springs.
As vision therapists, they specialize in behavioral
optometry and how improved vision can
enhance a person’s abilities in the classroom,
workplace, and life.
“Eighty to 94 percent of students who struggle
have vision issues,” said Dr. Kushner. “Many
children receive occupational therapy, physical
therapy. But they won’t progress if there is a vision
Integrative Vision Therapy relocated in August
from offices in Clifton Park to Saratoga Springs.
They are now located at 3 Franklin Square, on
the first floor.
"We liked the community," said Sherlock, director
of services for the business. "It had more
of a family feel. We see so many kids, so that was
important. Being a resident of Saratoga, I wanted
to live where I worked."
Many of the patients who come to Integrative
Vision Therapy are children who are struggling
in school. ADD/ADHD, behavioral issues, autism,
non-verbal learning orders, dyslexia, and other
non-specified learning disabilities are just a few
of the reasons a person might seek out a vision
Other patients are older and may have had a
concussion, stroke, trauma, or other injury that is
affecting their vision. Patients are often referred to
vision therapists from a teacher, an occupational
therapist, a pediatrician or a family friend. Infants
as young as three months old have come in for an
During an initial visit, Kushner conducts an eye
assessment for the patient. He is able to check for
eye-hand coordination, focus, depth perception,
visual processing, visual memory and other skills
related to the eyes. He can also prescribe eyeglasses
He has a doctor of optometry degree from the
SUNY College of Optometry.
If vision therapy is needed, patients come in
once a week to receive therapy with Sherlock.
Described as "physical therapy for the eyes," vision
therapy is a personalized therapeutic program to
help a patient improve their vision and reach their
goals. Activities during therapy sessions may include
tapping a ball to a rhythm, or bouncing a ball
and trying to hit a target in the center of the room.
"A lot of kids don't know they are doing therapy,
because we just play games," said Sherlock.
Integrative Vision Therapy also offers a sports
vision integration class for children who compete
in athletics and have vision difficulties.
Kushner and Sherlock said in the course of
several weeks, patients are able to make significant
strides in their vision. Many students are able to
see their grades in school increase while doing a
vision therapy program.
"Our reputation and our results make us different,"
said Kushner. He said many people go to
different doctors looking for help but don't get
answers. "And they come to us, and we can give
"It's one of my passions to help human beings,"
Integrative Vision Therapy is dedicated to holistic
wellbeing, referring to themselves as a "wellness
center for children." Lectures are often held at the
office on various topics related to medicine, natural
health, and wellness.
On Friday, Feb. 6, Kushner will hold a lecture
about the relationship between concussion and
vision. The talk begins at 6 p.m. and is free and
open to the public.
People who are interested in finding out if
vision therapy is the right choice for them can
call to schedule an evaluation. Integrative Vision
Therapy accepts some insurance. To schedule an
appointment or find out more information, visit
integrativevisiontherapy.com or call 886-1710.