A review by ACBO's newest Fellow, Evan Brown

The Australasian College of Behavioural Optometrists National Annual Conference provides an outstanding opportunity to gather great clinical pearls and this year was no exception.

NACBO DCThis year’s speaker, Dr David Cook, is a pioneer in using 3D movies in strabismus treatment and a 35-year veteran of vision therapy from the US. David discussed his experience and methodology, what works consistently for him in the non-surgical management of strabismus and amblyopia, the importance of prescribing lenses and individualised vision therapy programmes.

David had been to Auckland with much of this programme in April 2013, but like most learning opportunities, you get more the second time around; previous experience allowing more insight and understanding about the message being conveyed. If you are interested in strabismus and amblyopia treatment and have not had an opportunity to listen to David, I recommend you line up for one of his seminar’s in the USA, which he holds on a regular basis.

ACBO’s National Annual Conference is also a celebration, ending a two to three-year process for those vision therapists and optometrists who have chosen to extend their skills and knowledge base by becoming Certified in Vision Therapy and/or becoming a certified Fellow of the College.

Nine vision therapists completed their comprehensive practical vision therapy course journey, begun in February 2015, this year including Kiwi optometrists Noel Templeton, Sally Blohm and Cindy Tsai.

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The ACBO Practical Vision Therapy programme is designed to meet the needs of vision therapists and optometrists looking to diversify and meet the needs of more patients by providing gold-standard, office-based vision therapy. The programme provides relevant theory and understanding on the development of vision problems and options for management. This is balanced with a strong practical experience, which focuses on delivering therapy techniques to maximise results. ACBO now offers the programme in New Zealand and the first group of 16 optometrists and therapist began in February this year in Auckland. The second workshop is scheduled for October.  More information on the ACBO Practical Vision Therapy programme can be found on the ACBO website.

*Evan Brown is a certified behavioural optometrist with specific interest in visual dysfunctions related to learning and paediatric optometry. He is co-lecturer for the ACBO Practical Vision Therapy Programme and clinical co-director for the NZ Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Opening Eyes Programme.

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