Interviewer-What are your interests?
Stephen Yednock- I enjoy comics, having fun with my dog, Mugsy, watching classic movies and singing and performing in Theater.
Interviewer-What are your outside interests and how do they shape you in your job?
SY-What are my outside interests? Well I'm very much interested in Theater I've done community theater for the last 20 years so I do a lot of musicals and just theater in general- acting and singing. I get a lot of enjoyment out of that. I'm also interested in movies, comic books, things of that sort, general kind of trivia. So I'm a nerdy kind of guy. I like Doctor Who. But as far as Theater, I feel like that as a hobby kind of serves me as a therapist. I'm able to take those kind of theatrical techniques- the way to draw in an audience and be able to apply that to my work with patients. In general, I work with a lot of younger patients, school age patients and I'm able to use those theater skills to engage with the patient. It's really important to make that kind of connection with the patient. To engage with the patient. And once you've made that connection- therapist to patient, it makes the process of therapy run so much smoother. The patient is more engaged. And that makes for a better experience.
Interviewer- What has your academic professional journey been like?
SY- I went to the University of Maryland and I graduated with a degree in Secondary Education and Theater and for a long while I was working in a more traditional “education” role. I worked as a paraprofessional in Prince Georges County Public Schools for a number of years. I also, for short time, worked as a clinician for a private tutoring company. So I have a background working with special education students, students that might be on the spectrum, students that might have various learning deficiencies/learning disabilities. I wanted to open up a little bit. I wanted to get out of the traditional “in the classroom” kind of role. So I looked into getting into Vision Therapy. I looked into the Vision and Conceptual Development Center. I actually had a friend of mine who I did Theater with who worked at the Vision and Conceptual Development Center and he gave me a little bit more background about what Vision Therapy is. The whole concept of it really interested me and I decided this is the thing for me. I'm going to go into this. In 2013, I started working for the Vision and Conceptual Development Center And I've been working there since then. Just last year, I received my certification from COVD [the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, the non-profit, international membership association of eye care professionals that includes optometrists, optometry students, and vision therapists] in Kansas City during their big yearly convention and I'm really proud to now be able to call myself a Certified Vision Therapist.
Interviewer- What compels you as a vision therapist?
SY-The thing that really compels me about my work and makes me want to be a Vision Therapist Is the fact that I come into work every day working with different ages, different kinds of difficulties and what I do makes a difference in a patient's life. It's really rewarding to me. To see that what I do is helping to make them a better person- that's really rewarding.