Grand Rapids business claims to cut down on ADHD diagnoses with vision therapy

Posted at 6:22 PM, Jun 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-15 18:22:17-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- A new business in Grand Rapids says it can help improve patients' ability to read and comprehend and cut down on the number of people diagnosed with ADD and ADHD.  Wow Vision Therapy opened at Knapp's Corner in Grand Rapids one year ago after running its office in St. Joseph for decades.

Dr. Dan Fortenbacher is the founder of Wow Vision Therapy and a Doctor of Optometry, and he says often times people's inability to learn and comprehend what they're reading can be fixed through vision therapy instead of medication for ADD or ADHD.  "They might be very smart and even know their words one at a time, but when you string it along in a sentence and they don't have good eye movement skills, they'll lose their place and have trouble with comprehension and their reading speed drops.  They'll look like they have a reading disability.  The best thing to do is rule out visual problems first before you start a child on medication.  That should be the last thing because there are complications (with medication)."

Dr. Fortenbacher says with the help of vision therapy, his business can correct three main problems, binocular vision, visual tracking skills and focusing.  "These children come to us with behaviors very much like ADD or ADHD and they are mainfesting the difficulty with attention and concentration that is due to a treatable vision problem."

Most patients go through vision therapy twice a week in the office for between three and six months and once the problem is corrected Dr. Fortenbacher says it'll last a lifetime.  "Once the visual skill is in place, then they own it.  They don't have to keep doing something to maintain that skill."  Most of the therapy is covered by insurance and for more information, go to or call (616) 447-1444 for the Grand Rapids office or (269) 983-3309 for the St. Joseph office.