Meet Alison Bent Our Vision Therapist
Outgoing, but love a good quiet spot along the River to walk. I am the mother of a toddler and have 2 small dogs that keep me very busy. My husband and I are sports fans and go to the Blue Jackets games frequently and love to tailgate for OSU Football. I am originally from the Dayton area and grew up a Dayton basketball fan. Weird fact! I got married at UD Arena.
I am learning a lot about myself from my patients and their families. When you are assisting someone through a challenging situation is when you see people rise to their best. I love seeing my patients and their families overcome. You create a bond and sometimes remain friends with many of the people you meet and get excited for them when they excel or stand by them when things are tough. Being a Vision Therapist has allowed me to see a different side of people. Not many like to show their vulnerability and I appreciate that I get to see that and help.
How did you decide to become a vision therapist?
After spending 20 plus years working as an Occupational Therapy Assistant, I became for focused on my special interests within the field. Working in Adult rehabilitation and geriatrics for many years, I would see patients that had difficulty with their vision. Visual deficits can be very common after a stroke or traumatic brain injury and I saw many in the nursing facilities that would hide their visual deficits to go be able to go back home. When I worked in Dayton, the hospital I worked for had us learn to be visual screeners for Prevent Blindness, Ohio and after that I became fascinated with the idea of working in the field, somehow. I am excited to take this new journey and learn more about Vision Therapy.
Do you have some tips/suggestions for encouraging VT patients when they are feeling uncommitted/frustrated?
I always told my patients “ If you were not struggling, you would have never have met me. “ I am usually met with a positive comment. It is okay to be frustrated and for many they grew up knowing differently. I give that space and that ear for my patients to let me know how they feel. Sometimes we don’t always have to like the situation, but perseverance can take us much farther than we dreamed. As a Vision Therapist, helping others learn what is holding them back, can be the biggest hurdle. Once that is identified, the sky is the limit.
What is your favorite vision therapy exercise to teach to patients?
It is hard to pinpoint a certain exercise, I am still learning everything. Yet, I find myself fascinated with the Eyetracker. This is because, not only does the therapist see how the patient’s eye movements are progressing, but the patient and their family. When I think of this tool, it brings me back to working with spinal cord patients. Sometimes, the eyes were one of the few movements they had. I could just imagine the excitement when people learn they move their eyes through a maze or blow up an asteroid. The kids I have met, always look forward to the task. A happy patient is a compliant patient.