Mary Megson and The Autism's Visual System

>> Sunday, March 8, 2009

I came across a quote in the book called," Envisioning A Bright Future" and I wanted to share it with you and use it in the future. Mary Megson M.D. is a pediatrician in Richmond, Virginia. She became interested in the fact that many act as an "off switch" to genetically weakened receptors for the processing of language, vision and perception. She has found that Vitamin A switches these receptors back on in many children. Since she was seeing children regressing after vaccinations. Megson's findings are vitally important to the optometrist, as she sees autism as a biological , perception-deficit problem. Many of the visual issues in autism improve with Vitamin A supplements. This is what she had to say about autism and the visual system.

Probably one of the most profound things i have discovered is how children with autism "see" their world. Once you understand it, then you begin to realize that the way the children look at you and the world around them makes perfect sense, given the way their eyes function. These children live in a "magic-eye puzzle."

A blocked pathway has caused the rods in their eyes not to function correctly thus affecting their vision, so they can't see like most people do. They must compensate for the rod dysfunction the best way they can. They "see" the world around them as though it's in a 3-D box. They have such a limited visual field that everything that doesn't fit in their box blurs and is perceived as color and shape alone. And, the most incredible thing is that they actually have to piece together each "box" that they see in order to see a complete shape.

So in order to live and perceive the world outside of their limited "box", they have to organize it according to color and shape. That is why children "melt down" when objects are moved or when you clean up their lines or piles of toys sorted by color. They have to work so hard to perceive their world that it frightens and overwhelms them when the world as they are able to see it changes. It also explains why the children are known to organize things so carefully. It's the only way they can "see" their world. This is a visual perception problem! When you say, " look at me, look at me," they really are. When you force their pupil to appear to focus on you, you are actually forcing them to look away from you because their "best vision" is off to the side.

When taking Vitamin A as cod liver oil rid function improves. One of the first effects we see is the disappearance of the "sideways glance" that the children are known for. The sideways glance is a biological adaptation, given how their vision pathway has been blocked. The body always tries to adapt the best way it can. So, this way of looking at things is "normal" for the child with autism. As rod function improves, they look right at you and can really see you! They move back from and become less interested in TV and videos. Until "the box" expands, the only place they always hear the right language for what they are looking at is to set "the box" (i.e. TV, video, computer). As vision improve their ability to see and hear the right language for what they are looking to improves.

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