the biggest losers…
Had to make a mid-afternoon trip across Austin yesterday to retrieve my daughter from school, and predictably hit every traffic snag on wheels. During one particular stagnate moment, I noticed a bumper sticker on an older model pickup truck which read:
Guns are about as responsible for killing people as pencils are for misspelled words.
Without claiming any political prowess, or stating a definitive personal position on gun control, I was struck at the power this message carries in identifying an often over looked concept. Intention. While sitting on a shelf, both a gun and a pencil are innocuous and at the mercy those who may pick them up. Ever heard the phrase poison pen? More importantly, both item’s value and effectiveness are defined by the intentions of those who may handle them. We often hear the message of those on both sides of the gun debate, while perhaps failing to recognize the importance of intention, as it gets completely buried under jargon.
Vision therapy can, at times, suffer the same fate. On one side there are Developmental Optometrists describing the benefits, and on the other side we find those who choose to describe it as a farce, or a waste of time and money. I recently read, and reread, the five part tour de force written by Dr. Leonard Press, which detailed an interesting perspective on the relationship between Developmental Optometry and Pediatric Ophthalmology. Following Part 5 of the entry, a particular comment caught my eye. The comment ended with the words the child loses. A pretty powerful statement. A simultaneous analysis of the gun idea and the blog comment led me to ask a question of myself that I have yet to answer:
What is the intention of those who unilaterally decide against offering, or referring to, Vision Therapy a possible solution?
Are they really that concerned about their patient’s wallet? Considering most office fee structures, protecting patients from the fees of others would seem to lean towards a bit of hypocrisy, wouldn’t it? Could it be that they feel they are saving the patient some further struggle or heartache because the benefits of Vision Therapy are being oversold? Could it be that the whatever it takes mentality to improve a life is not as important as their own patient retention? Is the patient losing in life just considered collateral damage which does not warrant the exploration of all available treatment options? Does the importance of the patient outcome take a backseat to who provides it the service? Is improving a child’s life not worth trying everything?
Intentions can be misleading – both when cast in the best and cruelest light. Wrap it up or package it how you will, but the message inside is what’s important. I wish more people would ask these naysayers, who seemingly have a child’s best interests at heart, why Vision Therapy isn’t at least worth a try?
In the final analysis, perhaps understanding the intentions of VT opponents will help to shed some light on their message. For now, I remain in the dark.