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Why does Eye Skills exist?

Eye Skills was founded by myself, Ben Senior, a Doctor of Software Engineering and a parent of a child (Arthur) with intermittent exotropic strabismus. This means that, occasionally, one of Arthur’s eyes (always his right eye) falls outward to the side.

As is common for many children with strabismus, his eyes are not of an excessively different strength - they are not different to one another at all. He is only very slightly long-sighted. There is nothing wrong with the surface of either lens, and there is nothing wrong with the muscles which control his eyes - so what is going wrong and what can I do about it?

The problem with my son lies in his brain. By the time he was almost two, his brain was still struggling to easily combine (fuse) the different images from each eye into one “view” of the world.

When the brain struggles to fuse the images from each eye into one, it sometimes chooses to shut-down (suppress) one or the other eye. That eye then drifts to the side as it is no longer being controlled by the mind.

This is happening to my son. Does one or both of your child’s eyes fall to the side? Occasionally or all the time? There is a significant probability that your child may be experiencing something similar.

The more I researched this topic, the more I discovered that there was hope for my son, and the more I learnt how few parents in the world are aware of what the science of strabismus is telling us.

What does Eye Skills want to achieve?

Eye Skills is working to promote awareness of Vision Therapy techniques world-wide. We are working to classify affordable and useful diagnosis and treatment techniques which can be applied at home by parents to help their children and measure their progress.

Five percent of all the children in the world are born with strabismus. That means just over 400,000 children are struggling to use both eyes each year. For many this will hinder their ability to perceive the space around them, to read and write, and to interact socially with confidence.

There are a wide range of tried and tested techniques which are proven to help recover a child’s ability to see with both eyes (stereovision). These fall under the banner of vision therapy, but unfortunately, there are only two thousand therapists who practice this art across the world. Half of these therapists are located in the U.S.A. How can only two thousand therapists help the millions of children with strabismus around the world? They can’t. They are too few.

Many severe cases of strabismus can only be treated with the help of professional experts, as there are sometimes very complex underlying issues which need tackling first. We cannot and do not attempt to help in these cases (at least, not yet). If your child has a severe form of strabismus but you cannot help them because there are no professionals within reach of you, or you cannot afford to pay them, that is a scandal and a tragedy.

If your child has a mild form of strabismus, but you have no access to a professional, why should you be denied access to the techniques with which you can help your child?

Eye Skills believes you should not be denied. We are here to tell you that your child is the person who can heal themselves by learning how to - and you can help them learn. To do this we are building a socially sustainable business to promote and distribute appropriate vision therapy techniques to parents of children where they may be effective. Long-term, we hope to help establish an interest which will result in an ever-increasing number of local professionals being trained in the art and science of vision therapy.