Monday, January 12, 2009

Tracing Teacups

Last week in Vision Therapy they had me look into the Stereoscope machine at a piece of paper with two circles on either side.  One side had an object in the circle and the other was just a circle with nothing in it.  
The therapist asked me to trace the object.

At first I did not really understand.  So I said, "I don't see anything on this side that I am supposed to trace."   They tried having me tap the area with my pencil, (tapping the area where you are supposed to see something will often make it magically appear...I have no idea why, but it does work!) but even tapping failed to make the image appear.  
After a few attempts at having me trace over pictures I could not see, the therapist loaded this last sheet into the machine. In the middle was a simple drawing of a tea cup, which he asked me to trace. I did not see a teacup in the circle, only a teacup to the left.  So I decided to try just copying the teacup, but as I put the pencil on the blank area the teacup suddenly appeared.  I screamed, "I SEE THE TEACUP!" I didn't want to lift my pencil for fear the image would go away, so I traced it, and this is what I came up with (see the faint tracing of the teacup to the right in photo above).  The tiny writing to the right of the test is where the therapist wrote that I did it successfully!   

Being able to see the teacup in the area that was blank and then trace over it is a very good thing.  Technically, I believe it means I fused the image of the teacup onto the image of the circle, rather than seeing just the circle and the teacup separately.   YAHOO! 


  1. Hi Heather,
    Your blog is wonderfully written and I can relate to many things you are saying.
    I am excited to have run across your story. I am a 41 year old wife and mother of three. I was born cross-eyed and I too had three surgeries on my eyes when I was young. Therefore, I have see in monovision my whole life. I honestly thought I was the only one who alternated seeing out one eye or the other until I read your blog. It wasn't until I was 10 that a doctor every noticed or mentioned that I could not see out of both eyes together. I have not had another doctor since recommend any sort of action to take until this week. I am so grateful for my new doctor noticing that one of my eyes is higher that the other. He tried some prisms lenses in his office and has recommend a specialist in binocular vision. I hope to start vision therapy in the near future.

    Your story is very inspirational in the fact that you that you have been able to change the way you see. I am so glad it is not too late for me to learn. Most of the articles I had run across talked about children and what their parents can do. I am so glad you have taken the time to tell about your life experiences.

    I was wondering if you ever have any trouble with your depth perception. The worst problem I have is driving. I drive but I have had a few minor scrapes and dings with my car over the years. For example, I have hit the rear view mirror three time when backing out of the garage. I also have trouble with sports like tennis. I look like a klutz but I have always thought it was my eyes. I would love to hear if you had any similar problems and if they are getting better with the vision therapy.

    I look forward to reading more about you.

    Regal Green

  2. Dear Regal:
    Thank you so much for your email. Glad that you like my blog!

    It certainly sounds like we have very similar stories. As far as driving, I have trouble with parallel parking or anything that involves judging distance from the far right front bumper. I have compensated for years relying on other cues that help judge distance, (shape, size, etc.)but I have never had stereo-vision.

    I suggest looking for a optometrist who is certified by the COVD which stands for College of Optometrists in Vision Development. You can go to their website at to see more and perhaps find a referral.

    Please stay in touch and let me know how you are progressing and thank you again for your wonderful email.

    PS: I am a pretty good tennis player! But cycling in a pace line, where you have to get your front wheel very close to someone's back wheel is a real challenge for me!

    Best wishes,



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