Understanding learning difficulties in the Queenstown Lakes District with OCULA

Understanding learning difficulties in the Queenstown Lakes District with OCULA

July 31, 2018. For immediate release


Queenstown Lakes District parents and educators wanting to find out more about children’s learning difficulties have the opportunity to hear from experts at two events next month.

Otago’s first-ever Learning About Learning Difficulties seminars are being held in Queenstown on August 16 and in Wanaka on August 22. Organised by local optometry practice OCULA, speakers include a paediatric speech language therapist, an occupational therapist and a behavioural optometrist.

The seminar will delve into how people use their brains to learn and how to tell if a child or student is affected by a vision, language or sensory processing disorder – and what to do about it. Attendees will also learn how a vision, language or sensory-processing disorder is relating to learning difficulties like dyslexia.

OCULA principal optometrist Danielle Ross – the district’s first qualified Behavioural Optometrist – will talk about how vision affects the learning process, and explore how the brain uses the senses to learn. She’ll touch on how to tell if your child is affected by a vision or sensory processing disorder – as well as how it related to dyslexia.

A highly qualified optometrist, Ross specialises in primary eye care from vision testing and therapy to detecting eye abnormalities and the diagnosis, treatment and management of vision changes and certain eye diseases.

She helps many children in Wanaka, Queenstown and Central Otago with learning and behavioural difficulties improve with vision therapy treatment. Vision therapy helps re-wire and re-teach visual pathways and visual patterns, as well as the foundational skills required to read (not how to read) plus other techniques to manage and adapt to challenges with learning.

“A child with learning difficulties can often be ‘pigeon-holed’ into a specific bracket. But many signs and symptoms of a visual, language or sensory processing disorder are similar, and can be confused if not properly diagnosed,” Ross explains. “The Learning About Learning Difficulties seminar will provide compelling, up-to-date, research-based information to help guide parents and teachers through what can be a challenging time in a child’s life.”

Ross will be joined by paediatric occupational therapist Fiona Brown and paediatric speech language therapist Hallie Pearson. Brown specialises in sensory integration, primitive reflexes, visual perception, fine and gross motor skills and emotional regulation. She supports a range of young people to develop important foundational skills required for learning, social interaction and motor skill development.

Pearson is highly experienced working with children on the Autism Spectrum and children with complex communication needs. She enjoys working alongside teachers and within an inter-disciplinary team to develop children’s language skills, and to foster positive learning outcomes.

The Queenstown seminar will be held at the Queenstown Memorial Hall at 4pm (for educators) and 7pm (for parents and caregivers) on August 16. The Wanaka event will take place at the Lake Wanaka Centre on August 22, at 4pm (for educators) and 7pm (for parents and caregivers). Entry is by gold coin donation, with all proceeds going to local charities, including the Upper Clutha Children’s Medical Trust. Tea, coffee and cake will be provided after the seminar. More information can be found at https://www.ocula.co.nz/EVENTS.


Photo caption:
OCULA principal optometrist Danielle Ross

For more information, please contact:
OCULA principal optometrist Danielle Ross
(03) 443 5103   wanaka@ocula.co.nz

OCULA is a leading optometry practice based in Wanaka and Queenstown. Owned by principal optometrist Danielle Ross, OCULA specialises in leading clinical eyecare and selling unique, high quality, fashion-forward eyewear. OCULA is focused on providing the highest possible standard of care to ensure people’s eyes maintain optimal health, and to identify and treat avoidable blindness. The practice also offers IPL therapy for the treatment of dry eyes and has a state-of-the-art Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) machine – enabling patients to receive advanced preventative examinations and allowing the opportunity for specialist outpatient services to be accessed in the resort. OCULA (formerly Eyes on Ardmore) won the Outstanding in Professional Services category at the inaugural Ignite Wanaka Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, in November 2016.

Written by Celia Crosbie

Celia is an award-winning journalist who has worked for newspapers and radio stations in New Zealand and magazines in the United Kingdom. She has worked in public relations in both NZ and London. Celia also specialises in digital media strategy and website copywriting for SEO.