Behavioural Optometrists examine the entire visual process. The patient is asked to take in and to process visual information and the optometrist observes and records results to give a profile of their overall visual abilities. This profile reveals areas of good (sometimes exceptional) and inadequate (sometimes non-existent) abilities and enables the optometrist to recommend to the patient alternative treatment plans.
A typical Behavioural Optometric Vision Assessment can take up to two hours to complete. It covers all areas of vision including eye health, visual acuity, eye dominance, hand dominance, colour vision, eye movements, focusing skills, eye teaming ability, visual perception, visual integration with movement, perception, hearing and the other senses, left-right awareness and directionality, peripheral awareness, handwriting, tracking and more.
It is important to note that most of the visual difficulties discovered by the Behavioural Optometrist will not be due to the patient having hardware problems (i.e. with the brain or the eye, as structures these will be healthy) but with the lack of development in the software to perform the task being asked. Of course, the Behavioural Optometrist, like all optometrists, is responsible for recognising the existence of hardware problems (disease or injury to the eye) and making the appropriate diagnosis and treatment options available to the patient. However, it is understood that the vast majority of problems are software related. For example, eye turns (squints) are viewed by Behavioural Optometrists as a software problem that can be corrected and not a hardware (muscles) problem. In general a problem found does not imply a damaged person.
The brain will run on any programme it is given. It is the mind which makes decisions on what to do and the brain responds i.e. in learning a foreign language the mind may like to learn Chinese and the brain will do it. If this does not appeal the mind may switch to Italian and again the brain will learn it. It does not matter to the brain what is learned , it will proceed to do it. With vision, therefore, as it is a brain function and wholly trainable, we can programme it to run on a more efficient programme given the right circumstances.