Susan Barry is a neuroscientist born with strabismus. In her first book, “Fixing My Gaze,” she recounts her personal journey through vision therapy and what it was like to gain 3D vision after having a life in just two dimensions. I love that she approaches the topic through the lens of a scientist, helping the reader to understand the mechanics of how the brain functions, but she also helps the reader see into the heart of the journey.
In “Coming to Our Senses,” she uses the same unique writing style to tell two incredible stories. One of Liam who was blind throughout childhood and had surgery to restore his sight when he was 15. We learn that his vision didn’t simply turn on like a light switch, he had to learn to interpret and use the information coming to his brain through his eyes and organize it into sight. Through therapy and practice he learned to play sports and traverse the world as a seeing person.
Similarly, we learn about Zohra who was deaf throughout childhood and received a cochlear implant at age 12. The sound waves coming to her ears were confusing, disturbing and unrecognizable at first and she had to undergo extensive therapy to learn to make sense of what she was hearing. She eventually overcame the obstacles and learned to thrive with her new found ability to hear.
Learning about these unique stories gives us a window into understanding how each of our senses develops from birth. We can recognize that it is a process, not something that happens automatically at first.
Reading about these stories has helped me recognize that learning to see with both eyes is a process and something I must learn to do. It will take practice, but it is worth it.
I recommend this book to any person who has a deficiency with one of their senses. Understanding how vision or hearing develop, can help us understand the process for overcoming deficiencies and retraining our brains to use our senses to their fullest. There were so many epiphanies that I had while reading that have helped me improve the way I approach learning to see in 3D!