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01 Meet Douglas W. Stephey, O.D., M.S

Move Look & Listen Podcast with Dr. Douglas Stephey

Release Date: 07/27/2019

27 What is the Where Visual Pathway (Magnocellular)? show art 27 What is the Where Visual Pathway (Magnocellular)?

Move Look & Listen Podcast with Dr. Douglas Stephey

Dr. Stephey is joined by Dr. Teri Lawton, an experimental psychologist, who has been studying the magnocellular visual pathway for over 35 years and holds a patent on both measuring and treating this part of the visual pathway.

44 Dyscalculia: Things Just Don't Add Up show art 44 Dyscalculia: Things Just Don't Add Up

Move Look & Listen Podcast with Dr. Douglas Stephey

Dr. Doug Stephey welcomes back Neurologist, John Stein, MD, to discuss definitively what this diagnosis is and how it relates to our ancient estimating counting system known as subitizing.

43 Gorillas in Our Midst- Inattentional Blindness show art 43 Gorillas in Our Midst- Inattentional Blindness

Move Look & Listen Podcast with Dr. Douglas Stephey

Dr. Stephey and Dr Chabris will be discussing the topic of in-attentional blindness and how our intuitions deceive us.

43 Gorillas in Our Midst- Inattentional Blindness show art 43 Gorillas in Our Midst- Inattentional Blindness

Move Look & Listen Podcast with Dr. Douglas Stephey

Dr. Stephey and Dr Chabris will be discussing the topic of in-attentional blindness and how our intuitions deceive us.

42 The Bonnie Prudden Way of Myotherapy show art 42 The Bonnie Prudden Way of Myotherapy

Move Look & Listen Podcast with Dr. Douglas Stephey

Enid Whittaker of the Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy Institute to discuss the Kraus Weber tests of minimum fitness, trigger points, and myotherapy techniques.

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Move Look & Listen Podcast with Dr. Douglas Stephey

Developmental Optometrist Dr. Doug Stephey welcomes Dr. Michael Lewis, the author of the book titled When Brains Collide, for a discussion regarding how a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is defined. 

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Move Look & Listen Podcast with Dr. Douglas Stephey

Oxford University Professor and Neurologist, Dr. John Stein, joins Dr. Stephey to continue a discussion regarding the genetics of the magnocellular system and dyslexia and the advantages of being dyslexic.

39 Magnocellular Vision- Visual Aspects of Dyslexia with Oxford University Neurologist Dr. John Stein, Part 2 show art 39 Magnocellular Vision- Visual Aspects of Dyslexia with Oxford University Neurologist Dr. John Stein, Part 2

Move Look & Listen Podcast with Dr. Douglas Stephey

Professor John Stein, a neurologist, from Oxford University re-joins Developmental Optometrist Dr. Doug Stephey for part 2 of a comprehensive discussion regarding the role of the magnocellular visual system as it relates to, not only dyslexia but,  a number of other diagnoses as well.  Additional topics include how the magnocellular system is not limited to the visual system but a number of other systems as well such as  auditory, motor, cerebellar, kinesthetic, and proprioceptive.

38 Magnocellular Vision- Visual Aspects of Dyslexia with Oxford University Neurologist Dr. John Stein, Part 1 show art 38 Magnocellular Vision- Visual Aspects of Dyslexia with Oxford University Neurologist Dr. John Stein, Part 1

Move Look & Listen Podcast with Dr. Douglas Stephey

Professor John Stein, a neurologist, from Oxford University joins Developmental Optometrist Dr. Doug Stephey for a comprehensive discussion regarding the role of the magnocellular visual system as it relates to, not only dyslexia but,  a number of other diagnoses as well.  Additional topics include how the magnocellular system is not limited to the visual system but a number of other systems as well such as  auditory, motor, cerebellar, kinesthetic, and proprioceptive.

37 Visual Stress - Why Does My Head Hurt When I Look at Stripes or Flicker show art 37 Visual Stress - Why Does My Head Hurt When I Look at Stripes or Flicker

Move Look & Listen Podcast with Dr. Douglas Stephey

Dr. Stephey welcomes Dr. Arnold Wilkins, the worldwide pre-eminent author and creator of the Intuitive Colorimeter to discuss visual stress / visual aliasing and their relation to epilepsy, migraine, chronic headaches, and reading discomfort. Dr. Wilkins has written two books and several articles on the subject.

More Episodes

Tim Edwards of The InBound Podcasting Network joins Douglas W. Stephey, O.D., M.S., for Episode One of the Move Look & Listen Podcast.  

Douglas W. Stephey, O.D., M.S. is a full-service eye and vision care provider in Southern California and is a sought-after conference speaker, educator, and passionate advocate for patients diagnosed with dyslexia, specific learning disability, ADHD, autism, and any other qualifying diagnosis for an IEP or 504 plan.

Douglas W. Stephey, O.D., M.S.

208 West Badillo St. Covina, CA 91723

Phone: 626-332-4510

Website: http://bit.ly/DouglasWStepheyWebsite

Videos: http://bit.ly/DrStepheyOptometryVideos

The Move Look & Listen Podcast is brought to you in part, by Audible - get a FREE audiobook download and 30-day free trial at www.audibletrial.com/InBound

If interested in producing a podcast of your own, like the Move Look & Listen Podcast, contact Tim Edwards at [email protected] or visit www.InBoundPodcasting.com

Transcription Below: 

Tim Edwards: The Move Look & Listen Podcast with Dr. Doug Stephey is brought to you by Audible. Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial Audible membership at audibletrial.com/inbound. You'll find over 180,000 titles to choose from, including several books mentioned here in the podcast. Support the Move Look & Listen Podcast by visiting www.audibletrial.com/inbound. 

Dr. Stephey: If our two eyes are not working together well as a fast synchronized team, our internal mapquest continues to be off. It's consistently inconsistent with our ability to judge time and space. Those that don't feel well-grounded, those that have some measure of anxiety, oftentimes it starts in the visual system. If you can't move, look and listen in a fast, accurate, effortless, sustainable, age appropriate, meaningful way, you're in a world of hurt. There's a whole world in vision and how it affects brain function that no one's ever shared with you. 20/20 is perceived as a holy grail of going to the eye doctor. Well, I'm here to change that paradigm. 

Tim Edwards: Hello and welcome to the very first episode of the Move Look & Listen podcast with optometrist, Dr. Doug Stephey. My name is Tim Edwards and I'm the founder of the Inbound Podcasting Network. Amongst our roster of shows, we cover topics such as nutrition, high intensity strength training, celebrity interviews, wellness, family law, and many others. But the topic of this show is more than what meets the eye, so to speak. You might be thinking, why in the world is an optometrist doing a podcast? Well, that is because Dr. Stephey is much more than your everyday eye doctor. As you heard in the opening of the podcast, Dr. Stephey mentions that vision directly relates to one's ability to function in life and that one is very obvious. But vision also affects the development of your sense of self, your place in the world, how you socially engage with others, your ability over your lifetime to receive further education, to live independently and have gainful employment. 

Tim Edwards: Now, most of what I just mentioned may seem easy for most, but in reality it's definitely not for some. Dr. Stephey not only has a thriving optometry practice in southern California, but he is also here on the Move Look & Listen podcast to educate how vision therapy combined with specific lenses or prisms can greatly benefit those who might be diagnosed with ADHD. Or for parents who have children that land somewhere on the autistic spectrum. Or maybe even has a student in special education. In this podcast, Dr. Stephey will also educate us regarding common eye problems. How nutrition plays a key role in your vision health, and what exactly is 20/20 vision and why seeing 20/20 is not enough to move, look and listen through your life with ease. Our sister company to the Inbound Podcasting Network is Inbound Films and as you are about to hear, we produced a series of videos for Dr. Stephey's practice a couple of years ago. I was so impressed with Dr. Stephey and his amazing staff that he became our family optometrist and has also become a good friend. So it gives me great pleasure to kick off the maiden voyage of the Move Look & Listen podcast with Dr. Doug Stephey. 

Dr. Stephey: Well, thank you and I'm excited to be here. Since we met and you talked about the things that I should be doing, like the videos that are on my website and the podcasting, and at one point in time I said, so let me get this right. I should just listen to you and get out of my own way.

Tim Edwards: Yes, you did. And I think it's taken us a couple of years and we're here. And your passion and the message that you have to share is one that our audience needs because you're a nonconventional optometrist. And I hope that you take pride in that and not offended by that. Because you're very different and I believe that the world needs you, not just so that they can have some really cool looking glasses sitting on their nose. 

Dr. Stephey: Well, you know, what's interesting about that is no, I did not take offense to it and because many times when I do the weird stuff in my office, people will tell me that I'm a voodoo doctor, or that I'm a witch doctor. And you know what? 

Dr. Stephey: I can live with that. I'm okay with that. 

Tim Edwards: You know why there's results, right? You're seeing results. I've seen the results myself and with what you've shown me on video. 

Dr. Stephey: What's really interesting about that is if I take somebody who has postural issues, right? And most people would not associate posture problems with vision problems. And certainly not in their understanding of that the holy grail of going to the optometrist is to see 20/20. And that's important, but it's not the most important piece. I don't think. So, if I'm going to assess somebody's posture and their response to changes in posture through their visual system, I will often preface our conversation with, I don't know if this is going to work with you or not, but I'm willing to take the chance because if it doesn't work, you're just gonna think I'm crazy. And if it does work, you're going to think I can walk on water. Because how could I change the way your knee hurts or the way your hip hurt or the way your back hurts or the way your neck hurts by putting on a pair of glasses with prism or color. You don't believe it until you've experienced it. 

Tim Edwards: That's true and I've experienced it for myself than just a personal story. My wife is experiencing it as we speak. She had the opportunity to see you a couple of weeks ago. She's now wearing her lenses that you prescribed for her, her colored lenses and we'll get into more of that a little bit later. But she is around fluorescent light all the time. That used to bother her and now it doesn't, as a result of these lenses. And that's the first time I've told you that is right here in the recording. So, you know, like I said in the lead into the episode, I told the story of how this podcast came to be Dr. Stephey. We don't want to scare people away when you say the word witch doctor because that might make people freak out a little bit, but give us a rundown of your optometry practice because it's not your run of the mill optometry practice where you're in and out in an hour with a pair of glasses. 

Dr. Stephey: Early on in my career when I first bought this practice in 1988 and I was reading practice management tools, one of the fundamental questions that has to be asked and answered is, do you want to be a quantity practice or do you want to be a quality practice? Quantity practice is just that. It's about. It's about crunching the numbers, how many people you can get through your exam in an hour, and I chose not to do that. I wanted to be a quality practice and I see less patients per hour, but I think I spend much more quality time. I actually listen to patients. I've gotten much better over the years about watching patients. It's not uncommon that I'll notice that somebody taps their leg or wiggles a foot or drums their fingers or chews their lip or other quirky behaviors that they oftentimes know they have, but nobody's explained why they have and that's not ADHD. 

Dr. Stephey: Most of the time that's an undiagnosed and untreated vision problem and that they need that kind of movement in order to shower up thier otherwise poor vision skills. So I decided to be a quality practice and when somebody comes to see me for an exam, I want them to learn how the eyes and brain have to work together as an integrated team and that in order to function appropriately in life, you've got to have eyes that see fast, that see accurately, that see effortlessly and sustainably over the course of the entire day. And if you can't do those things, there's going to be behavioral consequences to it. Either you're going to be pushed to be in fight or flight or you're going to learn how not to pay attention, right? That's the group that describes themselves or others describe them as daydreamers or spacey or staring out the window or absent-minded professor. 

Dr. Stephey: That's an adaptation to typically not being in fight or flight. High fear, high anxiety, high distractibility. And then the third way some people adapt is they're chronically fatigued and they feel like over the course of the whole day they end up walking around on their last nerve. And oftentimes that's one of these undiagnosed underassessed, and undertreated vision problems. So that's really why I have practiced the way I do. 

Tim Edwards: And it's evident from the moment that you walk into your practice, again, referring back to the intro to this podcast, I was able to meet you on a video project. And I won't go into too much into it right now because I talked it about earlier. But when I met with you to prepare and plan the video, the very first thing you did was stick me in your chair and go, all right, here's what I do. 

Tim Edwards: I mean, I've been wearing glasses and contacts for over 25 years. Even had LASIK surgery back in the early 2000s. And I mentioned earlier that I've filmed dozens of marketing videos for optometrists throughout southern California. So I can say with great confidence that your methods that a patient experiences in your initial exam are slightly unconventional, which is a word that you embrace with your practice. They go way beyond the typical, you know, which lens looks better, one or two. And it's truly Dr. Stephey not hyperbole when I say that you blew my mind when I produced that first video, which of course, again, we'll have links to in the show notes. So you can see Dr. Stephey for yourself, for those that are listening while you're driving to work or walking the dog or on the treadmill or something. But please share, if you don't mind with our audience, some of the things that a new patient can expect when they see you for the first time, for that consultation, that same consultation that blew my mind. 

Tim Edwards: How you're able to assess what you just spoke about. How we can, how you can determine whether or not someone is in constant fatigue or feeling anxiety or lack of concentration. 

Dr. Stephey: You Bet. So first thing I want to say is there is great value in the part of the exam about which one is better, choice one or choice two. But what's interesting is that oftentimes patients will stress out about picking an answer. And if I ever get the feeling or somebody voices that concern to me, I remind them or tell them maybe for the first time after years of being stressed out with other exams, I remind them that I'm trying to get them to a point where the differences between the choices are so small that they can't pick a right answer because they're both right. So the little secret is we should get you to the point where you can't tell the difference between one or two. So stop stressing out about the choices. 

Tim Edwards: There's always anxiety associated with that because you know that you're going to be committing to some lenses and so you want it to be right and perfect. So that anxiety that I've always felt, you know, like I said, wearing glasses for a quarter of a century and going and seeing different optometrists throughout the country, that the anxiety of picking one or two, you alleviate that. Just by how you worded it. And that is the very first thing that I noticed was, oh, that, that was easier than I thought. And that's just step one. That's foundation.

Dr. Stephey: That's foundation. And the other thing to consider is a two circle venn diagram. So if we take two circles and partially overlap them those two circles are where most eye doctors practice. And one circle is can you see 20/20 and the other circle is related to eye health and/or eye disease. And again, those two circles have great value but they're insufficient. So there's a third circle that we're going to add into the venn diagram. And that third circle is really in my estimation, where all the magic happens. In that third circle, there is eye taming, eye focusing, eye tracking, visual attention, visual-auditory skills, visual-spatial skills, visual auditory, visual motor. And on and on it goes. Most eye doctors pretend like that third circle doesn't exist. So even if you've got major problems in the third circle..

Dr. Stephey: It's probably gone undiagnosed and untreated. Whether you had an exam the day before you came to see me or whether you've been going to the eye doctor like you have for 25 years. If you don't measure components in the third circle, if you don't ask questions in your history about the symptoms typically experienced by somebody having third circle problems, then you're never going to find those problems. 

Tim Edwards: That's pretty clear. 

Dr. Stephey: It's pretty simple. So I think one of the fundamental differences in my practice is when you walk in my exam room, well you know what, that's not even really true because it could be outside of my exam room. If I go to a bank and strike up a conversation with the teller about what I do, it's not unusual for me to ask them if they have a history of migraines or headaches. 

Dr. Stephey: That's a simple question and a lot of people have those problems. So if I get a yes answer to that, it's already opened the door for us to have a conversation about me asking some other questions and then the patient looks at me like, what? What is going on? Because I'm answering yes to everything that you're asking me. And it's just that easy. So when you walk in my exam room, I am assuming that you have a third circle problem until you prove to me that you don't. And what I mean by prove to me it's either going to be the questions I asked you during the course of the exam or the questions that I hand to you at the end of the exam and have you go home and think about for a few days or during the course of my exam itself where I measure some things. 

Dr. Stephey: For example, how easily or how difficult it is for you to cross your two eyes. Because that allows us to strike up a conversation about the way your two eyes work together as a team. How, if we think about the two eyes is being global positioning satellites that have to be in synchronous orbit and if your two global positioning satellites are not in synchronous orbit, then your internal map quest is off. A couple of the other quick assessments that I do in my office, I've got a couple of devices that allow you to see, let's say a vertical line through your rigght eye and a horizontal line through your left eye. And if your brain is using your two eyes together as an integrated team, you should see a plus sign. Well some people look at these targets and only see one line. 

Dr. Stephey: So that gives me an opportunity to demonstrate to them that that they weren't looking through one of their two eyes and that is a concept, I think you used the phrase earlier that blows their mind. 

Tim Edwards: That was the first thing that blew my mind was, oh my gosh, how did that happen? How was it that I had been seeing this one line and not the other? 

Dr. Stephey: Right. And what exactly do you mean that my brain isn't looking through my left eye? I thought our eyes just looked out in space, picked up information and filter it back to the brain that we then processed. Well, that is how most people think about vision, but remember the retina, which everybody's heard of, right? The retina is specialized brain tissue that's pushed out into the eyeball. And the optic nerve is one of the 12 cranial nerves that is a direct branch off of the brain. 

Dr. Stephey: So to be very clear, the brain does the scene, not the eyes. And in this context, the brain has to pick up data from the right eye, has to correlate it with the data in the left eye and then combine the two in order to use the two eyes together as a well integrated team. But if there's too much conflict. And now that happens, oftentimes in fact I would argue that the smartest of brains, will figure it out how to turn one eye off because if you can't use your two eyes together as a well-integrated team, your brain's either going to use your two eyes together as a poorly integrated team and lend itself to you being physically clumsy or to have a lot of fatigue or get tired or sleepy when you're read or be prone to headaches or migraines. So the brain's thinking, well, I can use the two eyes together that way, but be miserable doing it. 

Dr. Stephey: Or I can shut one eye off and test drive what's life like if I do that. And then what's really the most, I think one of the most fun things about that whole discussion is when I point out to the patient about their wiggley left foot or they're chewing on their lip and we'll do that same assessment again and I'll have them do whatever they're quirky behavior was and probably 95, 97, 99 times out of 100, when they do that kind of movement, their brain will turn that eye on and tend to keep it on. So then we have another blow my mind moment because you know, I convey to them it's like, are you beginning to understand that all that motor overflow that  you've been doing is actually trying to solve the vision problem you didn't know you had. I'm like, how smart is your brain that it has figured that out and you don't even know it. 

Dr. Stephey: So I think in part that's how my practice is different. I'm assuming that you have this problem until you prove to me that you don't. 

Tim Edwards: And I would venture to guess that the majority, if not every single person who's listening to this has never experienced that at their optometrist, unless of course they're already listening and they're clients of yours. Is this done elsewhere? The way you set up your practice. 

Dr. Stephey: Interesting thing about that, Tim, is that optometrists, at least part of us have been doing this kind of work since the 1930s and it was likely more common in the 50s and 60s maybe up even until the mid to late 70s. And then optometry as a profession started to increase it's scope of practice and started to do more medical things, which is fine. I think we should be able to practice within our scope so we should embrace the things that we're trained to know how to do, but not abandon the things that have made optometry so unique in its history. 

Dr. Stephey: And as more optometrists adopted the medical model, they moved away from this behavioral or this neuro-developmental model. So I would venture to say that there's maybe 10 or 15 percent of optometrists in practice today that practice in this way. But I wouldn't change it for the world. I've said this in other venues, being able to practice this way and change people's lives in the manner in which we can do this. It's chicken soup for my soul, so I get to feel great everyday about what I do because it is life changing. You bet, Tim. So as an example, you're going to learn in the future why 20/20 is not enough. It's important. But remember that third circle part of the venn diagram, 20/20 is not enough. There's a whole lot more going on. You're going to learn about a concept you've never heard before. 

Dr. Stephey: Called the magnocellular visual system, which is about seeing fast. 

Tim Edwards: Seeing fast. 

Dr. Stephey: Seeing fast. People know that when they go to the eye doctor, it's about seeing 20/ 20, right? 

Tim Edwards: That's what we're told. 

Dr. Stephey: Well that's not enough. We also have to account for how fast or how slow we see. Because there are a number of patients, kids and adults alike who have been defined as having slow processing speed. What typically isn't getting discussed is what exactly are we referring to when kids have slow processing speeds. While invariably it's tied in to vision. Even though most psychologists and cognitive psychologists don't describe processing speed in vision terms in most cases, there is a tie into these visual skills. So we're going to talk about seeing fast or slow. We're going to talk about the volume of space that you can see. That's something else that doesn't get talked about a whole lot. 

Dr. Stephey: Some people who exhibit inattentive tendencies essentially have tunnel vision. So imagine the cardboard tubes at the end of the paper towel roll, and if we took the two of those and glued them to the front of your eyes, and that's the volume of space you could see. Well your head's going to be on a swivel top because you only see that big volume of space. So in order to capture your environment, you have to look and take a snapshot of each picture. That's that tiny, and you effectively have to build a collage and your mind of all the snapshots that you've just taken in order to try to image then the volume of space that you're supposed to see. And similarly, in terms of the tunnel vision, oftentimes people do the same thing with auditory and touch. These are the kids as an example where you might say, Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, because they have learned how to be auditory and attentive. 

Dr. Stephey: They have hyperfocused to a task and tuned everything else out in order to be able to try and do the task at hand. 

Tim Edwards: There is the listen part of Move Look Listen. 

Dr. Stephey: Yup. And similarly, if you're somebody in their 60s and 70s, this becomes an issue when you drive. Because if you imagine again the paper towel tubes and you're looking straight ahead and that's the volume of space that you see and some kids playing in the yard and his ball rolls out in the street and you don't see them until he's right in front of you, that's not good. And when you can only function with a small volume of space, it also contributes to your clumsiness. These are the patients that have bruises from hip to ankle, from running into the corners of tables or chairs, they run into the edge of a door frame, they don't like driving in the car pool lane because the whizzing pass to their peripheral vision of the concrete dividers is too upsetting. So we're going to be talking about those things. 

Tim Edwards: Boy, these are every day run of the mill tasks that we all have and without thinking of that volume. It's almost like tunnel vision and it just inhibits how we function. 

Dr. Stephey: Yes, because your brain has to make a decision about the volume of space that you're going to attend to or can attend to, and the speed with which you do it. So you can either see big and slow, smaller and faster. And one patient said, well, what if I want to see big and fast anyway, even if I don't have the skills to do it?  

Dr. Stephey: I said, well, you can force yourself to do that but then you will be tired and cranky at the end of the day. 

Tim Edwards: It's exhausting, right. 

Dr. Stephey: It is exhausting. You can do it, but there's going to be a price to pay and it's going to be exhausting. And when you're that exhausted, it's going to wear out your adrenal glands. It's going to have some role to play in chronic gut dysfunction and it's likely to play a role in headaches and that you're just fatigued all the time. 

Tim Edwards: My gosh, it's foundational. It's just foundational and everything is connected. If you think about all of the different ailments and problems or struggles or anxiety or stress that can be a result of not seeing fast or having great volume with your vision. 

Dr. Stephey: Well, what's interesting about that, Tim, because that ties right into the next topics which has to do with nutrition and fish oil. And I was just at a nutrition conference yesterday all day and during one of the breaks, one of the other attendees, we introduced ourselves and she's a chiropractor. And most people in this group, there were a number of chiropractors, some acupuncturists, there was one M.D., there was one pharmacist and me. And when I told her I was an optometrist, reflexively, she said, what are you doing here? 

Tim Edwards: Yeah, why are you here? 

Dr. Stephey: And we didn't have much time to talk about it, but clearly she had fallen into the trap of, well all someone would come to see you for is to be able to see 20/20. And then I just said, you know.. 

Tim Edwards: Send her a link to the podcast and then let her subscribe and then she'll understand. 

Dr. Stephey: Yes. That's excellent. Well, you know, she did want my contact information. So I texted her. 

Tim Edwards: Wonderful. 

Dr. Stephey: I may follow up with her and say, hey, what's your email because I need to send you some stuff. And where are you located? Because you're an 818 area code. So you're, within striking distance to my office, you need to know what I know. 

Tim Edwards: That's right. 

Dr. Stephey: So further episodes we are going to talk about nutrition and vision because we cannot parse out our brain functioning abilities and the way our GI tract functions from these visual skills that are all happening in that third circle. 

Dr. Stephey: So nutrition is a critical part of the way I practice this kind of optometry. It has to be. 

Tim Edwards: And again, have never heard an optometrist say that, and it's foundational. I mean, it comes down to what we put in our body, how it affects everything, not just our weight. 

Dr. Stephey: No. Every cell membrane in your body has a component of fatty acids to it as an example. And your body and brain is going to make those cell membranes out of good fats or bad fats. And the problem is that we're exposed to way too many bad fats. People have heard something about omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 as well. We're going to talk about in more detail the differences between those two and the consequences to your brain and your visual skills and you're learning and attention. So those will be coming in future episodes. 

Dr. Stephey: I'm going to be talking about something called retained primitive reflexes. Retained primitive reflexes have a foundational role to play in our abilities to develop our move, looking and listening abilities. So I've seen kids as an example who've done six, seven, 800 hours of occupational therapy and speech therapy and adaptive physical education services. They've been to reading tutors six to 800 hours. 

Tim Edwards: My goodness. And I didn't hear vision therapy in there at all. 

Dr. Stephey: No. And and they still have tremendously poor outcomes because I think most cases the visual skills are never assessed. So they're being jumped over and if you don't have these visual skills, you can't do those other outcomes in a way that you should be able to. 

Tim Edwards: It's that key missing component. 

Dr. Stephey: It's a key missing component. You know, at the bottom of my learning ladder, there's genetics and epigenetics, there's nutrition, then there's primitive reflexes. So it is really low down on the ladder and if you tried to jump over that and do things that are three or four rungs up the ladder, you're not going to have great outcomes. 

Tim Edwards: Perfect example. 

Dr. Stephey: And the sad thing about that discussion, which happens all too often, it's pretty much universal, is that you contribute to these kids misery because now there are six to seven out of eight hours in and not really getting better and it snuffs the spark of their really being interested in getting better because they increasingly don't believe they can. Because their life experiences would tell them, hey look, you're 700 hours into doing therapy, you're really not better than when we started. That is really sad. 

Tim Edwards: It is very sad and expensive. I mean, of course it's more important that it's sad. But it's also quite expensive too. 

Dr. Stephey: It is very expensive and it could be that the school district is paying for it. And in one of the upcoming episodes, we're going to talk about educational rights as it relates to your move, look and listening abilities. 

Dr. Stephey: And you're going to learn a lot about what your rights really are as a parent. And how likely those rights have been violated even as we speak. So I think that's going to be one of the most exciting episodes for parents to hear. Parents, grandparents, and even some educators because if you're a classroom teacher who's, in the front lines, teaching these kids, those kids and their behaviors are disrupting the flow of your classroom. So you really want to know this information because it's going to make your life easier in the classroom. And ultimately it's going to affect that child's life who's in your classroom. If not during the year that you have them, certainly for the future. 

Tim Edwards: And perhaps these educators with that knowledge can look upon those children with a lot more grace than they would before, knowing what they're going through. 

Dr. Stephey: Well, I think they will. And another example of that, this past week I've had an opportunity to assess a 16-year-old. She's had an IEP for a number of years, has never had this vision assessment as is pretty much universally true. Let's be real. It's universally true. And she's currently kicked out of school because she's gotten in one too many fights at school. She's fairly disconnected when she's in class and I believe that it's primarily related to the problems that we're going to be talking about in these future episodes. It is a combination of nutrition and this vision piece. So she is perpetually in a constant state of fear that is beyond her control. I mean it's not surprising or would not be surprising to me that somebody brushes up against her in the hallway and she's ready to punch him in the face because she perceives that as a threat. 

Dr. Stephey: And when, when you're pushed to be in survival based behavior, it's survival at all cost. So if somebody invades your personal space and touches you and you perceive it as a threat, you're going to fight back. So I think she's oftentimes swinging the first punch and doesn't even know it until after it's happened. 

Tim Edwards: And others might look upon that as an offensive, aggressive behavior and it is. But the root of it is it's really defensive because of what's going on in her mind being in fear all the time. 

Dr. Stephey: Absolutely. That's what's happening and I think that is in great part why she throws her hood up. When she's in class because she's trying to withdraw into her shell and not feel that miserable and not feel that anxious, not feel like I want to run out of the room screaming. I'm forced to be here, but the only way I can really survive this is to learn how not to pay attention.  

Dr. Stephey: It is really sad and I was talking to her mom about this and you never know when you're going to strike the right chord because I was having a discussion with her mom about about this. Her being pushed to be in constant fear and I made the comment about how if you're in this state, if your autonomic nervous system is so dysregulated that you are in a constant state of fear that you could make eye contact with somebody across the room and be ready to go over and punch him because you perceive them looking at you as a glare. Right. It's like, why are you looking at me that way? Really? I'm just looking at you and then that turns into a confrontation and so her mom had mentioned to me that, that is exactly what happens to her. She misinterprets facial cues and that's going to tie into one of the future episodes as well. We're going to talk about something called the polyvagal theory of affect, emotion and self-regulation. And that if your autonomic nervous system is dysregulated that you are precluded or prevented from engaging in social behavior or at least positive social behavior. You may be engaged in negative social behavior and that's what's gotten her kicked out of school right now. So we're also going to be talking about learning disabilities and dyslexia because as an example, in my estimation, those are just labels. 

Dr. Stephey: They don't really tell us anything. And when, when I meet somebody in my office and if it's a parent and they say, oh, my child has a learning disability or my child's dyslexic. I usually say, what do you mean by that? 

Dr. Stephey: And then they look at me like, what do you mean, what do I mean? And I said, well, you're the one that threw out the term, I want to know what your understanding of that term actually means. And that's when they pause and they're like, I guess I don't really know what it means. I said, okay, well amuse me for a second. I'm going to rattle off some terms you tell me which of these terms you know could define and specifically how they apply to your child. Phonological processing, rapid naming speed, working memory, convergence insufficiency, vergence facility, accommodative facility, ocular motor skills, retained primitive reflexes, millisecond timing clock deficits, and your child's AA-EPA ratio as measured in their blood. And then I get that blank stare. 

Dr. Stephey: They typically don't know any of these answers because nobody's sharing the information with them. 

Tim Edwards: They were just labeled. 

Dr. Stephey: They were just labeled. So you know, that's really the purpose of this first series of podcasts is that I want to broaden people's knowledge about what is out there. The labels don't mean anything, not really. Learning disability, dyslexia, reading disorder, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADHD, inattentive ADD. Those are just labels. They recognize the behaviors, but I want to go back to my holy bucket analogy, and assess why are you ending up with those behaviors. And how again, that ties into your abilities to move, look and listen. And shouldn't we be assessing for those skills and treating those skills because I don't care what your chronological age is. If there's a big gap between your developmental age and your chronological age related to your abilities to move, look and listen you're going to struggle. 

Dr. Stephey: And that ties also into kids on the spectrum because you know when we go from however we define normal and we slide down the scale of behaviors while there is normal and then there's ADDness and ADHDness and then there's high functioning autism and asperger's, and nonverbal learning disabilities, and then there's more traditional spectrum kids that are not as high functioning and then there's kids who are nonverbal. All of this is on a continuum. So when I assess even a nonverbal child, I'm looking at their abilities to move, look and listen, and how those skills allow them to regulate their autonomic nervous system and engage their social behaviors to facilitate their ability to read gestural language and body language and facial expressions and think about that for a minute. Gestural language, body language and facial expressions all read through the visual system. 

Tim Edwards: That's true. It's all absorbed through their eyes. 

Dr. Stephey: It is, and most social psychologists would tell you that 80 percent of what somebody is telling you is through their body language, not the words coming out of their mouth. Because there's more messaging in the nonverbal cues. We're going to wrap up the first series with two different episodes. One is going to talk about brain injuries and alzheimer's and one is going to talk about headaches and migraines because both of those things have a tremendous visual overlay. For example, there's estimated to be 3 million sensory neurons that feed information to the brain through vision, auditory, taste, touch and smell. And of that 3 million nerve fibers, there's roughly 30,000 auditory nerve fibers per ear and roughly 1.2 million per eye. Almost two and a half of the 3 million sensory inputs to our brain and our brain's ability to experience our environment, are tied up in the visual system. And that goes directly in to the third circle of the venn diagram. 

Tim Edwards: Wow, that's it. Move Look Listen with Dr. Stephey. You know you mentioned, you alluded to it earlier when we were going through some of the topics we're gonna cover in season one of the podcast, but I'd like for you to dive down just a little bit more to Dr. Stephey if you don't mind, into what it is in one statement, what it is you want to accomplish by producing and distributing this content through your Move Look Listen podcast. 

Dr. Stephey: The purpose of my doing this podcast and how it relates to one's ability to move, look and listen, relates to your ability to function in life, your development of your sense of self, your place in this world, how you socially engage with others, your ability over your lifetime to receive further education, live independently, and have gainful employment. That's the purpose of Move Look & Listen. 

Tim Edwards: Well, I can't wait to delve into season one with you, Dr. Stephey. This has been a long time coming and I do believe much needed information for anybody struggling with any of those issues that we've talked about here in our inaugural maiden voyage of the podcast. Thank you for your time and looking forward to season one with you Dr. Stephey. 

Dr. Stephey: Thank you. 

Tim Edwards: Thank you for listening to the Move Look & Listen Podcast with Dr. Doug Stephey brought to you by audible. Get a free audio book download and a 30 day free trial of audible membership at audibletrial.com/inbound. You'll find over 180,000 titles to choose from, including books mentioned here in the Move Look & Listen podcast. You can listen to these books through your iphone, your android, your kindle, your computer, or even an MP3 player. And if for any reason and at any time you choose to cancel your membership, you keep all of your audio book, downloads. Give it a shot for 30 days. You got nothing to lose. Support the Move Look & Listen podcast by visiting audibletrial.com/inbound. We will include a link for your convenience, in the show notes of this and every episode of the podcast. And of course if you like some more information regarding Dr. Stephey's practice or to make an appointment, we will include links in the show notes to Dr. Stephey's website and his youtube channel. 

Tim Edwards: Dr. Stephey's website is stepheyoptometry.com. That's s t e p h e y optometry.com. You can also call the office at 626-332-4510. Again, all of Dr. Stephey's contact information will be included in the show notes of each and every episode. One last request before we let you go on to the next episode, please subscribe to the podcast from whichever platform you might be listening in. Of course, it is free to subscribe and it ensures that every time we post a new episode, you'll find it right there waiting for you to listen in your podcast app of choice. We really do appreciate your listening and until next time for Dr. Stephey of the Move Look & Listen podcast. I'm Tim Edwards with the Inbound Podcasting Network.