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Photograph of Maria Wheeler- owner of ABC Vision Therapy

Welcome to ABC VT

Hello! I am Maria Wheeler. I am founder of ABC Vision Therapy. 

I am based just outside of Bournemouth, Dorset, South England.

I am so happy to tell you about neurodevelopmental optometry and vision therapy and what we can do to help you and your family.

I primarily set up ABC VT to help those children that are under-achieving in school due to underlying vision problems. I love my job and want to help anyone. Young or old, if you have a concern about your vision then please do reach out. 

I am also a wife and Mum to my beautiful son. I understand the importance of knowing your child can reach their maximum potential

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We are born with 2 fully developed eyes but we do not have vision. Vision is learned and developed. As a baby moves through the milestones; first smile, sitting, crawling, walking; the visual system is developing rapidly.

The eyes simply detect light that comes to focus on the retina. The picture that you see is actually built up by pathways in the brain. The neurology of vision is complex.

Neurodevelopmental optometrists understand  that first you need two healthy eyes that correctly focus light to the retina. You then need functional visual skill to build the foundations of good visual processing. Also known as behavioural optometrists, neuro-developmental optometrists observe how a person interacts with the world. Analyzing how a person's visual system could make them walk or stand the way they do, why they read or write a certain way, why they act out in class or avoid reading

An efficient visual system requires less effort to perform visual tasks such as reading and enhances sporting performance. 

Poor visual function occurs because something disrupts the normal pattern of visual development or because of injury within the visual brain. 

We now understand that many visual conditions can be treated by training the brain to make new connections and more efficient visual pathways (neuroplasticity).

Functional Vision

  • Focus/Attention

  • Accommodation flexibility

  • Teaming/vergence

  • Tracking

  • Peripheral awareness

  • Hand-eye coordination

  • Sensory integration

  • Laterality and directionality

  • Gross and fine motor control.

  • Homeostasis of the central nervous system

Vision Therapy

Vision therapy is a non-invasive, personalised program designed to teach a person how their brain controls their eyes and directs visual behaviours and how to improve that connection. 

It is not a routine set of simple eye exercises. It is a highly individualised program harnessing the science of neuroplasticity to retrain the visual system within the brain. 

Vision Therapy aims to improve and strengthen functional visual skills such as tracking, focusing, convergence, eye-hand coordination and visual processing efficiency.

It is done under the direct supervision of a qualified neurodevelopmental optometrist utilizing lenses, prisms, filters, patches and other equipment to provide fun and engaging sessions.

Maria Wheeler Bsc (hons) MCOptom, DipSV

Born and bred in Bournemouth, I knew I wanted to be an optometrist from a very early age. I wanted to help people to see. I think this stems from having regular trips to the optician and wearing glasses from the age of 10 and contact lenses as a teenager.

I studied Optometry at Cardiff University and graduated in 2007. I worked for a chain for a few years until I discovered the British Association of Behavioural Optometrists ( now known as ANBO). It was then that I realised that there is more to learn and I am still learning to this day and will never stop. The visual system is mysterious and we are learning more and more about it all the time. 

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