He systematized the evaluation of visual information processing. We have multiple visual skills, yet visual abilities have been boiled down to 20/20. He said 'This is not so,' and brought about a method of evaluation based on 21 different findings. These are evaluated not on the strength of one or another, but rather on the relationships among them.
- J. Baxter Swartwout, O.D.
Vision is motor.
- AM Skeffington, O.D.
He always came up with the right questions that provided insight both for himself and for his colleagues.
- Robert Kraskin, O.D.
Founder of the Skeffington Invitational Symposium on Vision (at which I have had the pleasure to attend multiple times, as well as to present my own model of sensory-motor integration while I was serving as founder of the Optometric Center of Tokyo)
Arthur Marten Skeffington, known lovingly as "Skeff" cofounded the Optometric Extension Program in 1928 with E.B. Alexander.
Skeffington is known as the father of Behavioral Optometry, and is remebered for his "Four Circles" model of vision.
The four circles consist of a Venn diagram Skeffington used to illustrate the integrative nature of the visual process...
The circles are:
1. Vestibular/Anti-gravity (where am I?)
2. Centering (where is it?)
3. Identification (what is it?)
4. Speech/Auditory (What do I call it, or how can I describe what it means to me?)
The area in the center where all four circles overlap, he identified as the emergent we call vision.
Skeffington developed a comprehensive 21 Point Eye Exam using the newly developed instrument called a Phoropter.
His unique method of analysis looked at the relationships between the findings to discover the patterns of visual function, and it is called Checking, Chaining and Typing.
Skeffington had a way of saying things that broke the listener out of the customary way of thinking... opening the minds of thousands of doctors over multiple generations.
OEP became and still is the largest postgraduate continuing education program for Doctors of Optometry.
When Skeff passed away in 1976 at the age of 86, my father was selected to take on the role of President of the OEP Foundation.