Developmental optometrist hopes to help eyes in need with new business in Windsor
March 4, 2017
Performance Vision and Learning
Where: 400 Main St., Suite D, Windsor
Appointments: To schedule an appointment, inquire about a screening or seek a phone consultation, call (970) 460-0836.
For more information go online to http://performancevisionlearning.com.
Dr. Louis Spinozzi struggled with math in third grade.
He'd learned addition and subtraction the year before and done fine with it, but when his teacher started giving him story questions, he had a problem: he struggled to read and understand the questions.
"I had a hard time with language, getting the meanings from things," he said.
He had 20/20 vision, but he couldn't process the questions. His classmates would finish their work and head outside to play, and he'd still be inside, just trying to comprehend the words and understand what the assignment asked of him.
"I thought I was stupid," he said. "I just remember trying harder and harder."
Eventually Spinozzi decided to play the role of class clown. He thought he would rather have his classmates and friends think he wasn't trying than have them know he struggled with the work, he said.
Spinozzi learned to work around his visual struggles, finishing high school and earning a bachelor's degree. In grad school, a fellow student examined his vision in-depth. That's when Spinozzi found out he had vision development issues, specifically efficiency and processing problems. With training and eye exercises, he managed to fix them.
Spinozzi had found ways to work around his vision issues for years, but once he started training and rehabilitating his eyes, he found things such as homework took half the time they had before.
Many people might be able to focus on an object, letter or shape but still have problems processing what they see, Spinozzi explained. It's those sorts of problems he wants to help fix.
Spinozzi, a developmental optometrist, opened Performance Vision and Learning this past week at 400 Main St., Suite D, in Windsor. He worked as an optometrist for 42 years and formally retired about six weeks ago, but Spinozzi decided he didn't want to give it all up quite yet. He opened a practice focused on his passion of developmental optometry.
A specialty of optometry, developmental optometry concentrates on the ability to not only see something, but take away the intended meaning from it — and be able to do that repeatedly over time.
When someone needs to read or look at something, Spinozzi said 12 muscles — six for each eye — have to move together in unison. For many people, that happens naturally. But for some people, that isn't the case, he said. The goal is to help those people see and process visuals simply, clearly and correctly, Spinozzi said.
"These are learned skills," he said. "People can be taught to avoid these problems."
It's basically vision therapy to strengthen and improve eye muscles, he said. With practice and training, people can overcome these problems. When they do, it can change their outlook on life.
For example, when kids struggles because of these vision issues, they often get frustrated and act out. Once he's been able to help them train their ability to visually process information, it can result in a big change in the child's attitude, Spinozzi said.
Sometimes after just a couple weeks of work, a kids goes from irritated or angry to happily bouncing into his office.
"It gives me a lot of enjoyment helping people," he said.