Dr. Ruggiero Speaks at Podiatry Conference
Dr. Ruggiero recently spoke at the annual meeting of The American College of Foot and Ankle Pediatrics in Jackson Hole, Wyoming about the relationship between vision and idiopathic toe walking. She was invited to speak at the event by her colleague, and the president of the organization, Dr. Louis Decaro. The pair have worked closely together many times to help patients who are toe walkers address their visual needs.
In her presentation, Dr. Ruggiero reviewed the intimate relationship between vision and all movement – including walking. She had the group on their feet experiencing the complexity of vision as a brain process and the reality that vision provides 70 percent of our sensory input. When our visual systems are efficient and accurate in their ability to gather and process visual input, walking is supported and enhanced. When vision is inaccurate and unreliable, walking is interfered with and maladaptations can occur. One such maladaptation is toe walking.
It is estimated that 5 percent of all children are diagnosed with idiopathic toe walking, which occurs when a child continues to walk on their toes beyond the age of 3 or 4 without a structural explanation for it. For children who have autism, the prevalence is as high as 20 percent. An examination at Northampton Vision Specialists can identify visual and sensory integration dysfunctions that result in toe walking. Through the use of special prism eyeglasses and/or optometric vision therapy, toe walking can be eliminated.