Vision Therapy: Disproven Bunk in New Package; Credulous Reporting No Help
When you have a child who seems to be of normal intelligence, and has normal vision and hearing--when they don't do well in school, when the child is unhappy--I know first hand the confusion and despair that can arise in trying to get the kid's achievement in line with her abilities.
There are a plethora of useless and expensive therapies, most of them purporting to be "new" "revolutionary" or "new to science". It's a lot easier to find unproven treatments than things that actually work. And parents want a quick fix. Who wouldn't? And the fringe/controversial/unproven (FCU) therapies all have elements that make them popular with parents.
On the whole, the news media don't help parents sort out effective treatments from the pseudoscientific. The latest, "Therapy treats eye problems in children that cause some to be misdiagnosed with learning disabilities", from the not-too-well-educated Bill Hendrick, and published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, manages to fall for "vision therapy" AND "Irlen Syndrome." The "vision therapists" promise improvement in just 12 hours of treatment, for a mere $1,700 in treatment costs.