By Eleanor Skale Lowenstein (parent)

I suspected that my daughter Shari was a perfectionist when she was around 5 years old.  Not that perfectionism is necessarily a bad thing; I just didn’t like watching the frustration level arise in her every time she sat at the kitchen table and tried to write or do a craft project.  Sometimes her frustration would escalate to the point that she would hit her forehead a couple of times with her fist, and cry out “I can’t get it right!” Interestingly, these were self-initiated projects, with no external pressure to perform. As a parent, I was concerned for her physical and emotional well being. I hated seeing her so upset.  Reassuring her that her work was all right never had any effect; she insisted that it wasn’t.

Because I suspected a possible visual problem with her older sister, Joanna, I made an appointment at the Vision Development Center. My friend, who was a specialist in education, had recommended them.  While I was there, both children had routine visual screenings.  I had been correct to suspect a problem with Joanna’s vision, and she underwent vision therapy for a short period of time and later had eye surgery to complete the correction.

The surprise was that Shari also had a problem.  Although she didn’t have significant physiological vision problems, her visual-perceptual abilities were only at the 10th percentile. Now I could understand.  She had a conception in her mind about what she wanted to produce, and she couldn’t produce it!  That would be exceedingly frustrating, indeed.

She underwent therapy and her perception improved to the 40th percentile, which was considered sufficient for her to function successfully. I also noticed that, thankfully, Shari no longer got frustrated when doing close, detailed work and no longer hit herself on the head.

Well, my little girl has grown up.  To my surprise, a few art and design courses taken in college and an enjoyment of doing crafts has led to her having her own business.  She has been creating hand painted glassware, gift items and baby clothes, which she sells to stores and directly to consumers. (You can check this out at her website: www.shariz.com, if interested.)

The best thing is that she is happy.  She left the frustration behind at the Vision Development Center.

At the Vision Development Center we take pride in our reputation for seeing each child as a unique individual with special talents and gifts.  We work with many children who face a variety of challenges from Developmental Delays to Learning Disabilities, ADD/ADHD etc.  All of these children have expressed how much they enjoy their time here because they are appreciated for their individuality and not viewed as a “diagnosis”.  Unfortunately, all too often this is not a common experience for many of them in their daily lives.  It is truly a joy to see these children explore and expand their abilities as they develop the skills whose absence had made efficient learning and adequate attention so difficult for them.

For more information, additional locations, or to make an appointment at the Vision Development Center to have your child evaluated, phone 610-783-1331

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