Visual Processing Deficits In Adults

by Hope
(Huntington, NY)

Are any of them successfully employed and, if so, what do they do for a living?

I have visual processing issues. I am almost 50 years old and know that I have problems with visual processing and visual perception. I took a cognitive test over the summer at my neurologists office and I had trouble with basically all of the visual tasks on the computerized test. I could not do simple math easily coming at me quickly where I had to tell whether the total of two numbers was four or less or greater than four and based on that press the appropriate mouse button. It got even harder when they added a second step to the problem.

I am good in math and actually passed the CPA exam 12 years ago after going back to school. I never became certified because I did not know that I have these issues and had problems in the work place.

I am way slower than I should be with my education. I am the only person that I know whose eyes take forever to see what they have to see and then send the signal to my hand to click on the mouse. I have to read things several times to get them.

I am taking the H & R Block tax class now and hopefully I will do okay with it. It is now taught on computer. I got through the first part okay, but don't know if I will be too slow in the next part.

I am also trying to find a job where I will be comfortable and not stick out like a sore thumb because of my disability. I take 20 mg of Adderall XR because I cannot focus my eyes at all without medication. I would stare into space all day without it.

I have had vision therapy in the past and would consider it again, same with OT. I did not have the best attitude towards it. I had alot of anger about my condition and how it has affected my life in terms of employment and life style.

I cannot afford therapy right now, I need a job beyond my part time retail one and an insurance plan that covers this stuff and mine does not. And my family does not have any understanding about my disability. Everyone always wants to know how I could pass the CPA exam and not be working as an accountant. To be honest neither did the parents of the children who were going for OT and vision therapy at the places I went.

Are there any adults out there like me who are successful in employment and what are they doing for a living? My training is all business oriented and working in an office.

I cannot go back to school full time now or even part time unless I make the money to pay for it. My family does not care if I live at the poverty level but I do. I didn't study accounting to live this way. Yes it would have been far easier for me to be in a disability field but I am not and that is reality.

I'd rather not have to disclose my disability because it is embarrassing and I don't think that people understand, especially employers. I don't even think that the employment counselors who work with people with disabilities understand or want to. They definitely do not care about whether you work at a level beyond minimum wage.

Hi Hope,

Oh, what a great name... I love it! Let's see if we can give you some "hope", ok?

It sure sounds like it has been a tough road for you, but I am encouraged that you seem willing to work on the issues, and fight the disability to maintain a job, whatever way you can. Surely you

have been through some significant challenges!

As for vision therapy and OT? YES, I would indeed get involved in them again for so many reasons! I understand that you need a job and insurance to pay for this, and it may seem like a catch 22... need a job and insurance to pay for therapy but need therapy to successfully get the career you want. But, there may be things you can do, through public resources and therapies at home, that would lead you into the right therapies and/or job.

At this point, it sounds like you need to make therapy a priority, so you can be successful at your job. I do hope the rest of the H & R Block course goes well and that will give you some options. Also, I want you to know, that I am very familiar with vocational rehabilitation programs regarding disabilities. I know you don't currently have a good opinion about them, but I want you to seriously consider a few things.

Vocational Rehabilitation is truly a great gift in many ways. First, they DO understand how a disability affects you and DO care about you finding the career you are passionate about, not just working at a hamburger joint. Not only that, but it is a FREE program and they will help you pay for ANYTHING you need to get to work and be successful at it. They will work with you individually to find your goals, wishes, limitations, abilities, etc. and YOU create your plan. If it includes needing certain software, transportation, job development services, or even going back to school, possible even vision therapy or programs that may help you... they will pay for all of this (and more) for you!! Their goal is your goal! They will also keep your case open for as long as you need help and support to be successful. Even if you try something, and it clearly doesn't work for you, etc.

I would HIGHLY suggest contacting your local Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation/Training within your county. Every county should have one. Ours is called BVR for example. They can be your lifeline to success... really they can! If you had a bad experience in the past, I suggest you give it a shot again, ok? Please? Financial resources will not be a stumbling block, and your abilities and interests should become the guiding force towards finding a career for you. (Just be open to the fact that you may need to use your talents... numbers/math... in a different way that your "disability" does not get in the way). They will work within your limitations and abilities, as well as desires. They will help you in ways only those trained to do so can. They will get you the resources you need and get you where you want to go, for FREE. They ARE good!

Also, I have some additional information and resources for you at the following links:

  • All About Visual Processing Issues... Understanding, Suggestions, Resources and Answers! (make sure you read the featured story of the month in that newsletter; you'll see a link for it... The Jess Oppenheimer Story)

  • Using SI Theory To Help SPD Adults At Home And Work

  • SPD Adult SHARE... online adult support group who can give you some additional ideas, resources, validation, and support! It's a fast growing group and should be quite helpful to you if you get involved!

  • Captains Log Program (can do at home)

  • EyeQ Program Information and the EyeQ Program Features.

  • There are important links in the newsletter article I referred you to above... make sure to click on them, ok?

    I hope this information is helpful! After you read all of it, let me know if we can help you further, ok?

    Does anyone else have any suggestions for Hope? Any thoughts? Solutions? A similar story? Let her know!

    Take care.

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    Jun 20, 2022
    Can I change
    by: Anonymous

    I've not been officially diagnosed with visual processing disorder.Im 72 yrs old.

    In a therapy session, I was upset that I can't do anything right, like what she asked. I knock over things, I can't park or back up, I'm anxious riding a bicycle, not knowing how to start or stop.. properly, some examples. She said I believe you have VPD. My husband thinks I should be able to overcome it.

    Is it possible? Who is one to diagnose. Also seem to display dyspraxia.

    Jul 29, 2018
    Embrace your disability
    by: Regina

    I was diagnosed with visual processing disorder by Johns Hopkins in Baltimore approximately 25 years ago. I worked as a secretary at a local university and always worried that I would make a mistake or would be slow at visually processing something in front of my peers.

    I discovered that reading a few pages of a book that I liked helped me to focus better at work. To this day (I am retired) when I lack focus, I grab a book and read 5-6 pages and, for some reason, I get back on track visually and mentally.

    Also, there is a motivational quote that says to embrace your disability for therein is your strength. When I followed this advice, I accepted that I was visually slower than my peers, had to concentrate extra hard and, in the end, delivered the work assignment in good order.

    Don't give up; just keep going!!!

    May 26, 2018
    I'm not the only one?
    by: Anonymous

    Thank you all for your utmost truth and willingness to share. I thought I was the only one with depth perception,I can read clearly the classic eye chart... 20/20..its colors,depth,3d life movement etc.

    Nov 22, 2015
    You Are Not Alone
    by: Lori Wiest

    Despite having an above average IQ, I have struggled with issues of visual processing speed and accuracy all of my life I also have bipolar disorder,obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post=traumatic stress disorder.

    In addition to having to deal with an abusive brother all of my life, I have always had trouble fitting in socially. Although much more outgoing now than as a child, i still have trouble with social cues and often have bloopers.

    I attended the University of South Florida, where i got notetakers and extended test time - I also have dysgraphia - irregular, slow writing. At the junior college level, I was LD tested. I joined an honor society at USF thanks to accommodations and received As and Bs. I just became an online tutor for psychology and may get English teacher certified in April.

    I am working with Vocational Rehabilitation, which had me retested, and am hoping they may fund the teacher test. I've always been slow on jobs and can't see stuff right away that other people see right away. So keep up hope...perhaps you can get accommodations for the CPA test.

    Apr 01, 2008
    Using my head
    by: Anonymous

    I have this problem also. My hearing processing has made up for any visual processing problems. Right now I am working as a telephone operator at a hospital even though I am trained to be an architect. If you are good at using math and at doing problems in your head, perhaps a career where you could help people over the phone with their money problems may be worth considering.

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