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A lifechanging, true story of young girl, Meghan, who discovered a hidden world of vision.

Dear Dr. Margolis-

Meghan was a little gun-shy writing a testimonial but she shared her ideas and here it is. She asked me to write it.:

When Meghan was 18 months old she began her journey wearing glasses. It was hard to keep glasses on a busy active toddler but she wore them to help correct her then diagnosed "lazy eye." She was always a bit "clumsy" and the only one of the 3 kids who landed in the ER for her scrapes, and falls. In the confines of the ophthalmologist office she always scored a 20/25 with her glasses on and we lived our lives knowing we had an impulsive, excited little kid who loved to jump from high places, had no fear and loved to draw.

We found it odd that she kept her face so close to the table when drawing and really- Meghan lived her life in your face. Her brightly drawn pictures, her up in your face hugs and interactions and her loud voice were just part of her awesome personality.

As Meghan grew older- her penmanship was still really large, she continued to be loud and she had zero fear when riding her bike, or jumping off the playground and she bumped through her life quite literally off our walls, off the counter edges and she sort of always walked with a mission to get from here to there but she always bumped or fell along the way.

Fast forward to Jr. High School. Things were more difficult. We told the ophthalmologist that she fell often, and bumped into kids walking in the narrow school hallways but again she passed 20/25 with her glasses on. It was all so confusing. Meghan was working with an OT for fine motor skill issues as her penmanship never really got as small as her age range and Ms. Rebecca Dahm from Arlington Heights Pediatric Therapy recommended we go see Dr. Neil Margolis, Developmental Optometrist. We were skeptical at first simply because we didn't understand what could be when we first walked into his office.

It was the summer before 9th grade and we found out that changing districts from K-8 to 9-12 was not automatically going to include all the things her teachers offered her in Jr. High. It was obvious to everyone that Meghan had some difficulty seeing. She got enlarged texts, audio books and her tests were enlarged. We needed help to figure out what was going on for Meghan and how we could transition to high school.  We needed help.

Meanwhile over the summer while waiting for the appointment to see Dr. Margolis, our OT thought Meghan could benefit from a walking stick since she fell often and came home bumped and bruised from falling in the school hallways. We walked into Dr. Margolis's office with her walking stick. He went straight to work.

Why did she need a walking stick? What could she see? What was going on with Meghan? Meghan was scared and confused by all of the questions. She wasn't sure what to make of Dr. Margolis but she was reassured by staff that he was going to help her. He did examinations, tests that we'd never seen before. Field of vision tests, depth perception tests, peripheral vision tests and so much more. At the end of the visit we had an answer. Although Meghan with glasses on could see straight ahead she was missing a lot of the world because she had limited peripheral vision and issues with depth perception and she couldn't see really far away. He also determined that in fact with glasses on she was only 20/40.

Holy smokes- we were shocked. Meghan asked us what even is peripheral vision. She had NO idea that people saw things coming from the sides or that there were even things on the sides and it all made sense. Meghan bumped along walls to get from point A to point B because she couldn't see the edges of the walkways. She fell because she was looking at her feet and not in front of her. She had such dynamic thick lines in her art work so she could see it for herself. She zoomed in and needed larger print and larger spaces to accommodate for her vision issues.

Dr. Margolis recommended vision therapy. We were assigned, Christine, and at first Meghan wasn't impressed. "Why do the other kids get to play games and SHE makes me work so hard!" But in time- as Meghan learned the skills to improve her vision she and Christine truly hit it off. Christine is like part of our family now as is Dr. Margolis, Jackie, Crystal and all the staff. Meghan saw Dr. Margolis for the first time in August of 2019 and by February of 2021, Meghan's vision is improving. She used to seem like one would hold up toilet paper tubes to each of your eyes- straight ahead, but little input from each side and little knowledge of depth perception. Now Meghan can see a lot better peripherally. The first time she saw me come into a room without moving her head she screamed. "MOM MOM- I see you!" Meghan transitioned from using a walking stick everywhere she went to only in crowded hallways like her high school and in new places.

Dr. Margolis is not only a smart and talented doctor, he's a magician of sorts. He is able to sift through the symptoms one presents, he is able to listen to your story, and he is able to swiftly and with concrete action step in and make your vision better. Vision therapy is hard work. Meghan worked really hard every single week for well over a year with Christine and in the end, she loved every single minute of it.

Our family is forever grateful to Dr. Margolis and his team. Investing in Meghan's vision recovery has been one of the best investments of our lives. It has truly changed her world and we will be forever grateful.

Allie Gillies

Palatine, IL

Supporter of Dr. Neil Margolis and the power of making your vision better!