- ABOUT US
- VISION DEVELOPMENT
- VISION DYSFUNCTIONS
- VISION THERAPY
- BRAIN INJURIES & VISION
About Hope Clinic and Vision Therapy
Meet Dr Kadet, Optometric Physician
FCOVD, FELLOW, COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRISTS IN VISION DEVELOPMENT
After many years of specialty Optometry practice, Dr. Kadet continues to be energized by his work at Hope Clinic. His commitments to helping children and adults gain confidence and self-esteem with reading efficiency and his work with Traumatic Brain Injury survivors recovering useful vision distinguishes Dr. Kadet in the eye care community.
For Dr. Kadet, retirement is out of the question. "Too many people need Developmental and Neuro-Optometry guidance in moving through life’s journey."
Dr. Kadet earned his Doctor of Optometry degree from Pacific University, located in Forest Grove, Oregon
He began his Optometry practice in Issaquah, WA . He became the charter Optometric Physician in the founding of Hope Clinic in 1983 and continues practice as the Director of Optometry and Neuro-Optometry. Professionally, Dr. Kadet is a charter Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (FCOVD), the certification body for Developmental Optometry and Neuro-Optometry. He is a member of the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA) and a Clinical Associate of the Optometric Extension Program Foundation (OEPF). He holds membership in the Washington Association of Optometric Physicians and the American Optometric Association.
Dr. Kadet has been involved in nine publications concerning all aspects of Vision Therapy and Development
The subjects published are Vision Rehabilitation in Brain Trauma Injury, Vision and Learning, Optometry and Vision Development and a publication on Vision Development Optometric Vision Therapy, which was presented to the International Conference Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities. Dr. Kadet has focused a large amount of his time toward the special needs community
Dr. Kadet has enjoyed being the Scoutmaster for a Special Needs Boy Scout Troop he orginated 11 years ago. One of his favorite scouting times is the one week of summer camp he spends with his 'special scouts' and his ukulele.
Dr. Kadet is a volunteer coach for the Special Olympics ski racing team and supports the Special Olympic Winter Games. He serves as a volunteer Doctor for the Special Olympics and the Healthy Eyes Program sponsored by the Lions Club. He provides vision exams and eyeglasses to Special Olympics athletes.
Dr. Kadet was nominated in 2002, for the Washington State Jefferson Awards for community service.
Dr. Kadet is married, has raised three children, and resides in Seattle WA.
Discovering Vision Therapy Blog
Lisa Livieri was at the end of her rope. She was receiving daily calls about her son Brent’s behavior issues. She was also frustrated as her son struggled in school. In this latest Vision Therapy Success Story, she describes how vision therapy has helped Brent make a remarkable transformation.
I had been running into a wall as to what I was dealing with, with my 6 year-old son. Day in and day out there were behavioral issues and calls home from his teachers. We tried different disciplines and nothing seemed to change his ways.
Then one day I ran across information regarding some vision exercises and learned that behaviors could stem from vision issues. I was not sold at the first thought of this. I talked to his teachers and they started to relay stories to me about his writing and reading abilities.
I had taken him to a neuropsychologist before this and he told me there was nothing wrong with my son. In fact, he said that I should stop with all this and just get him some reading help as he was “frustrated” as a reader. I laughed and thought, “I bet he is, as he is 6 years old.”
My gut instinct told me to disregard this doctor and move on. I did.
I took Brent to the vision therapy appointment to have some
tests done on him. He failed most, if not all, of them miserably.
Guess what? The little boy that was this handful of a child had
many things that needed fixing with his vision. He was seeing
double. He had convergence issues, meaning he could not make one
view out of what he was seeing; he was making two.
Brent’s developmental optometrist, Dr. Heather Navarro, explains further: “Brent had convergence insufficiency: His eyes couldn’t converge onto a single object. He also had a pretty severe ocular motor dysfunction. This means whenever he was looking at a moving object that was slightly outside his field of vision, he had to move his head and body. Basically, he used his whole body to get his information. He also had sensory processing issues. Any sound would affect him and distract him.”
I felt horrible. Hindsight made me think back to about the age of 3 with him. That is when all the problems started with him. Is that how long he had been seeing the world through “double eyes?” My heart sank.
I sat with the therapist and the doctor to find out what the test showed and also what I can expect to do for him. The discussion led to a 36-week program which would take us to the Brookfield office every week for that duration. We live 1 hour from there. Sigh. What to do.
The next obstacle was the cost. This therapy is not covered by insurance. I ended up fighting with the insurance company, which resulted in three denials. They would prefer eye surgery on a 6-year-old than therapy that would help strengthen the muscles of his eyes. We would struggle to make ends meet.
The third obstacle was myself. I did not really have buy-in with regards to this whole method. Lots of research discussed how people did not believe there were real results from such therapy. So what is a mom to do when faced with being her son’s advocate and also faced with so many obstacles?
One thing I was given was my gut instinct when I became a mom, and my gut said there was something wrong with my son besides him being a naughty little boy and a “frustrated” reader. If I was going to be his advocate I thought I better find a way and stick to it.
So for 36 weeks, once a week, we drove to The Vision Therapy Center.
Dr. Navarro describes Brent’s therapy: “We had him at
5:15 pm on Tuesday night, which was a busy time. With his
sensory integration problems, I had to do a lot of give and take,
and work within the environment we have.
“Brent was sensitive to sound and easily distracted, but the biggest problem was he didn't trust what his eyes were seeing. He acted out to avoid doing anything with his eyes - either said it's too hard, or got distracted and did something else.
“So we tried to do as much as we could in a private room, so he wasn't distracted. I worked with games that interested him. He liked throwing balls. I used a game called Elefun that blows butterflies up in the air, and he had to look to find the butterflies. The big thing was to get him to look, instead of him just guessing where to look. We also worked on tracking.”
The weeks passed slowly, Week 1… Week 24… Week 36… I can’t believe we got to graduation of the program. Now do I believe? Yes. What were my son’s outcomes? He does not see double anymore. He writes legible letters. He can draw recognizable shapes. His behaviors have simmered down at school.
Dr. Navarro added: “Although he still struggles with left and right and alphabets, we've got him with better skills so he can progress on to more concentrated activities.”
Brent is enjoying life and I love being his mom. There is something to be said to a mother who doesn’t know if she can afford groceries one week so she can pay for therapy for her son’s eyes. You just do it.
My son told me a story that made me realize this therapy, dedication and sacrifice worked. He would go fishing with his dad and would never pull the fishing line when the bobber would go under the water level. My husband usually had to sacrifice the fish as the hook was almost always in the belly.
My son told me that now he can see the bobber go down and
therefore he can catch bigger fish. My husband and I had never put
two and two together. My son also told me that he can see bugs'
wings move now. He could not before.
When I sit back and wonder if I would do it all over again. I shout "YES" because a mom will do anything for her children, even if it involves many sacrifices.
Lisa Livieri AKA Vision Therapy Firm Believer
12/04/13 6:00 am
Reading, writing and arithmetic. They’re the foundation of our educational system, and the basis for what your child needs to succeed in school. And Functional Vision Problems can affects them all.
Here is a breakdown of just how functional vision problems can impact your child’s performance in the 3Rs:
Why Your Child May Be Struggling in Reading
Functional vision problems affect reading in two significant ways:
- When a student is learning to read , a serious vision problem could reduce their ability to know what they are looking at and impact their ability to remember numbers and letters. An aspiring reader will struggle to keep pace with fellow classmates as they acquire this new skill.
- When a student is reading to learn and has blurry or double vision, their ability to read for long periods of time and comprehend what they are reading can be severely reduced. They won’t be able to process information as quickly as their fellow students and will fall behind.
It’s important that you don’t confuse “learning to read” with “reading to learn”.
“Reading to learn” requires comprehension, and comprehending often requires functioning visual skills. It can be affected when the visual system is not working correctly. For example, if a student sees words on the page as blurry or double, he or she has to use extra effort to keep the words single and clear and this can negatively impact comprehension.
In both cases, students with vision problems spend the majority of their time decoding words. Instead of reading fluidly and visualizing the words and the message as a whole, they focus on each specific word. This is a struggle, making it difficult to quickly process sections of text.
Why Your Child May Be Struggling in Math (arithmetic)
If a student has difficulty seeing things clear and single, they may have trouble seeing decimals and/or signs. An important skill in math is to organize what is being written and the student may have trouble lining things up and keeping their place if their visual skills are poor.
Laterality and directionality are also important concepts in math. If a student sees the orientation of numbers incorrectly, they will have difficulty completing the problem.
Students who lack visualization skills can often be found counting on their fingers or verbalizing sequences. They can’t think things through in their head. Given enough time, they can generally compute an answer, but they tend to do poorly on timed tests.
Awareness of numbers and what they mean as well as being able to visualize numbers and quantities are critical to success in math and can be impacted if a child has a vision problem.
It should be noted that a child with vision problems may do well in math, but may be a poor reader primarily because math doesn’t require as much sustained visual attention as reading.
Why Your Child May Be Struggling in Writing (including spelling)
Writing involves both handwriting and composition skills. It is necessary for vision to lead the hand for handwriting and this can be very difficult if the student cannot see well. In fact, often you can see in the handwriting where the student stopped looking or became fatigued.
There are several vision-related skills that are critical to good handwriting that may be underdeveloped in a student with vision problems.
- Poor peripheral awareness may cause difficulty writing straight on a page.
- Visualization is also important in handwriting because the student needs to remember what different words look like in order to reproduce them on the page.
- Spatial concepts are important in handwriting to know and plan how words will go together.
- Good laterality and directionality are important to differentiate similarly-shaped letters in different orientations (e.g. b, d, p, q).
- Visualization is also critical for writing composition because the student needs to be able to organize and re-organize the composition in his or her head.
- Visual recall, the ability to create a visual image based on past visual experience, is a visualization skill that is critical for spelling. In spelling, it is the ability to create a mental image of a word without being able to look at the word.
How Do You Pinpoint a Functional Vision Problem?
Reading through these issues, you can see that there may be overlap in some areas. Your child may have a number of different functional vision problems, and the ripple effect can be felt throughout their studies.
To pinpoint exactly what types of vision problems your child may have, consult a developmental optometrist for a functional vision test. It’s the first step toward getting those 3Rs to come out As.
11/26/13 7:26 am
There comes a time when you need to be bold, even audacious, to get your point across. For Dr. Kellye Knueppel and The Vision Therapy Center, that time is now.
For years, we’ve been patiently reaching out to local educators, media, and parents, trying to explain why functional vision problems are a critical issue to the learning community. Some have listened and worked hard to help us spread the word. But the message doesn’t seem to be reaching the influencers.
Every teacher, every administrator, every parent should understand how and why functional vision impacts learning, and why problems with a child’s functional vision evades typical vision screening. But they don’t. As a result, far too many kids struggle in school.
That’s why the time has come for us to make a big, bold, audacious statement with the Atonement Project. This is one of the most ambitious things we’ve ever done, and we’re going to need your help to truly make it work. Watch this video to learn what it’s all about.
The Who, What and Why of the Atonement Project
If you didn’t catch it from the video, Dr. Kellye Knueppel and her team of vision therapists will test, diagnose, and, if needed, perform vision therapy on the entire third grade class of Atonement Lutheran School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
We will also do the same with at least 10 children from each of the other classes, with a goal of eventually examining the entire school. The Vision Therapy Center will also provide functional lenses (glasses) to any children who need them, and perform on-site vision therapy and syntonics treatment (colored-light therapy).
Why Atonement? Why an entire school? And why are we asking you for help?
For the answers, let’s take a closer look at Atonement Lutheran School and the scope of the project.
Atonement Lutheran School is located on the north side of Milwaukee, in an area that's underserved with high quality schools. Milwaukee is desperately seeking to improve its educational system , which ranks among the poorest in reading comprehension.
Principal Shaun Luehring has been with Atonement for three years, and has worked diligently to reverse this trend. Over the last few years, the school has tremendously improved reading scores and enrollment has grown from 200 to 300. The school currently has a waiting list of 150 students, and the admissions process is not selective. “We do no testing beforehand,” Principal Luehring said.
Dr. Kellye Knueppel approached Principal Luehring this summer and discussed how functional vision problems can impede learning. She asked him if he’d like to improve the school’s test scores as a whole, and proposed this project as a method to make it happen.
The more Dr. Knueppel described the profound impact functional vision has on learning, the more Principal Luehring realized that her proposal wasn’t just an option – it was a necessity.
Disproportionate Number of Vision Problems
This is not the first time Dr. Knueppel has tested student challenges in schools in the Milwaukee area. In 2004, she tested the 9 th grade at another Milwaukee school for vision problems and found the incidence of functional vision issues among the student population to be staggering.
According to the American Optometric Association, one in four children has a vision problem that affects their ability to learn. But the number of vision problems she found at the other Milwaukee school far outpaced those numbers: 70-95% of students had functional vision problems. (After conducting the first round of testing, this statistic is holding true for Atonement.)
This project is be different. At Atonement, Dr. Knueppel and her team will not only conduct eye examinations, they will also fully treat the affected students.
The barometer of success for the program will be measured in terms of academics and behavior. Test scores and behavioral incidents will be monitored throughout the process, and we hope (and know) that these students will show dramatic improvements across the board.
If vision therapy can significantly improve test scores and behavior, the quantifiable results should serve as a wake-up call to schools. Before spending countless dollars on curriculum and teachers, you must address functional vision problems. Vision comes first!
The scope of the project should also generate greater public awareness and publicity within the Milwaukee area, if not nationwide. Imagine the reaction if CNN were to do a story on how a third grade, cured of its functional vision problems, raised its collective test scores in a dramatic fashion?
Parents would take note. They’d begin to ask about functional vision, and wonder why their children aren’t being tested for these issues. After all, this isn’t just an education issue. It’s a public health issue, and it’s one that can be improved immediately.
Over 2,000 Hours of Vision Therapy Needed
The biggest problem, as you would imagine, is time and money. Time in terms of staffing hours from The Vision Therapy Center, and money in terms of how to pay for those hours as well as the syntonics kits many of the children will need.
As Dr. Knueppel and her team considered the project and its scope, they determined that staff hours would be needed in several areas:
- Testing and diagnosis
- Vision therapy and re-evaluation
A typical vision therapy case involves having a patient visit the office for testing and weekly in-office vision therapy. In addition, the patient performs vision activities five days a week at home, usually under the supervision of a parent.
For the Atonement Project, Dr. Knueppel’s team wanted to ensure the therapy will be consistent and won’t be missed. She has committed her staff to administering therapy on site, every day.
In its entirety, we estimate nearly 2,000 hours of vision therapy is needed. When Dr. Knueppel and her team saw the numbers, we didn’t blink. It was decided that somehow, we would find a way to raise funds for this project, and we began the project at the beginning of the school year.
We’ve already examined 80 students, and have begun syntonics treatments. Cherry Optical of Green Bay has graciously agreed to donate glasses. We’re off to a good start.
But we have a long road ahead of us, which is why we need your help.
How You Can Help
In the coming weeks and months, we will be sharing videos and posts about the progress of the children and this remarkable story. You’ll meet all the players – administration, students, teachers – and see how vision therapy is making an impact.
But we’d like you to do more than just watch our progress. We’d like you to be a part of our progress.
You can ensure that this project has enough funding by contributing to the Atonement Project. Just click this link, and you’ll be directed straight to their donation site. Click on “Other” under the Donation heading, and be sure to include the words “Vision therapy.” That assures your donation will help pay for this project. (See graphic below)
A donation of any size would be appreciated. Please note that
because Atonement School is a non-profit organization, this
donation is tax-deductible.
If you have any questions about the program or need more specific information, please let us know. In the meantime, we’ll keep you updated on this program, which we hope will be as groundbreaking for education as a whole as it is helpful to the children at Atonement Lutheran.
11/21/13 6:00 am
As long as jolly old Santa keeps coming back every year, we’ll keep producing our annual Vision-Friendly Holiday Gift List. This year the list includes 96 toys and games that promote visual skills such as hand-eye coordination, visualization, and space perception.
Part of the tradition surrounding the Vision-Friendly Holiday Gift List is to feature toys and games apart from hand-held video devices and home gaming systems, which can increase the risk of computer eye-strain.
We know we’re swimming against the stream on this one, but these alternatives to the electronic games can enhance a child’s visual skills, contributing to improvements in hand-eye coordination, depth perception, visualization, fine motors skills and other visual skills.
Excessive amounts of time on hand-held video devices and home gaming systems could potentially contribute to worsening functional vision problems such as focusing issues, poor eye teaming and even nearsightedness. (Be sure to download our Preventing Computer Vision Syndrome download at the end of this post for tips on how to use these devices safely!)
In particular, we want people who have a child with an existing functional vision problem to give wisely this year.
Choose toys geared to a child’s developmental age, rather than their actual age. Learning and enjoyment is usually best when the child can accomplish the activity relatively easily about 80-90% of the time, and is therefore challenged 10-20% of the time. Consider playing without being competitive.
Once again, the 2013 Vision-Friendly Gift List is arranged by visual skill and includes ideas for pre-schoolers through adults. New additions are in bold.
Building toys – Develop eye-hand coordination and visualization/imagination.
1. Kreo Sets
4. Building Blocks
6. Lincoln Logs
7. Tinker Toys
8. Erector Set
Fine motor skill toys – Develop fine motor skills including visual skills and manual eye-hand coordination.
9. Origami Sets
10. Rainbow Loom
11. Light Bright
12. Pegboard and Pegs
13. Coloring Books and Crayons
14. Dot-to-Dot Activity Books
15. Finger Paints
16. Playdough/Silly Putty/Modeling Clay
17. Chalkboard (24” x 36”)/Easel
18. Bead Stringing
19. Sewing Cards (craft)
20. Paint or Color By Numbers
21. Sand Art
23. Bead Craft Kits
24. Models (car, airplane, ships, etc.)
Space perception toys – Develop depth perception and eye-hand coordination.
Within arm’s length:
26. Egg and Spoon Race
27. Jumpin’ Monkeys
28. Flippin’ Frogs
29. Ants in the Pants
30. Fishin’ Around
32. Pick-up Sticks
35. Don’t Break the Ice
Beyond arm’s length:
37. Bowling Zombies
38. Oball (good for kids who aren’t very good at catching)
39. Ball (any kind!)
41. Toss Across (tic-tac-toe)
42. Ring Toss
43. Nerf Basketball
44. Dart Games (velcro)
45. Ping Pong
Visual thinking toys and games - Develop visual thinking including visualization, visual memory, form perception, pattern recognition, sequencing and eye tracking skills. These skills are important basics for academics including mathematics, reading and spelling.
48. Color Code
49. Math Dice, Math Dice Jr.
50. Rory’s Story Cubes
52. Color Blocks and 1” Cubes
53. Bejeweled Board Game
54. Tetris Bop it
55. Parquetry Blocks
56. Attribute Blocks
57. Make N Break Game
58. Jigsaw Puzzles
59. Rory’s Story Cubes
60. Card Games (Old Maid, Go Fish, etc.)
62. ThinkFun Bug Trails
64. Chinese Checkers
70. Connect Four
71. Rush Hour/Rush Hour Jr.
76. Memory Games
77. Chicken Cha-Cha-Cha
78. Simon Flash
79. Bop It
85. Sort it Out
Balance and Coordination toys and games – Develop large motor skills.
89. Heads Up
90. Hoppity Hop
91. Jump Ropes
92. Sit and Spin
93. Slip ’n Slide
11/13/13 6:00 am
Add another feather to the cap of The Vision Therapy Center’s team of developmental optometrists. Dr. Brandon Begotka was recently certified as a Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (FCOVD). It’s an accomplishment that reflects the quality of care and level of expertise at The Vision Therapy Center.
The Fellowship is a certification, which is issued by the International Examination and Certification Board (IECB) of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD).
According to COVD, it’s designed “to identify individuals who are prepared to offer state-of-the-art clinical services in behavioral and developmental vision care, optometric vision therapy and vision rehabilitation.”
If you’re not familiar with COVD, it’s an international, non-profit optometric membership organization that provides education and board certification in behavioral and developmental vision care, optometric vision therapy and visual rehabilitation. The organization is comprised of doctors of optometry, vision therapists, and other vision specialists.
COVD’s group of fellows includes Dr. Kellye Knueppel of The Vision Therapy Center and many other developmental optometrists throughout the world. These are some of the finest eye care specialists in the profession, and joining this elite group was no easy task.
Dr. Begotka described the Fellowship process as one of the most “challenging” of his academic career. The year-long process includes six open-book questions, three case reports, a written test and an oral examination.
It’s an indication of the level of expertise at The Vision Therapy Center. “Everyone who goes through optometry school has a basic understanding of vision therapy,” Dr. Begotka said. “But to be certified as a Fellow, you really have to have seen a lot of cases and truly understand the developmental model of vision.”
Under the mentorship of Dr. Kellye Knueppel, Dr. Begotka completed the certification in 2013, and was one of fourteen optometrists awarded Fellow status by the IECB in October.
This is the latest in a list of accomplishments for Dr. Begotka. Since joining The Vision Therapy Center, he’s served as President of the Milwaukee Optometric Society and Program Director for the Optometric Extension Program’s Great Lakes Congress. He was named the 2012 Wisconsin Optometric Association Young Optometrist of the Year and serves on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Optometric Association.
Dr. Begotka received his undergraduate degree from Carthage College in Kenosha, WI in 2005 and graduated with honors from Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago, Illinois in 2009.
“We’re very proud of Dr. Begotka’s Fellowship,” said Dr. Knueppel. “It’s a testament to his dedication to developmental optometry, and it reflects the level of expertise we expect and deliver at The Vision Therapy Center. A Fellowship certification from the COVD is a rigorous process.”
Congratulations to Dr. Begotka!
10/30/13 6:00 am