5/24/2018

The Eyes Have It

Last year, around this time, we trucked off to the eye doctor. As you do. Ended up leaving with prescriptions for both boys. Younger boy's eyes were, in particular, quite bad and not able to be corrected much better than 20/50. This was, as you might imagine, cause for concern and so I've been fretting about it, off and on, for the last year.

Tuesday, we made our trip for this year. I was hopeful that, with a year of Kindergarten under his belt, younger boy would do better at the eye test simply because he knows his letters so much better. (He reads fairly well, when push comes to shove.) Alas, not so.

In fact, the doctor was concerned enough that he referred us off to a pediatric ophthalmologist. When we got home, I gave them a call and was thrilled to get a cancellation for today (because otherwise the next appointment was September). Even if that appointment was at 8 a.m. (Seriously, homeschoolers just aren't up and at 'em at 8 in the morning unless there's a darn good reason.)

So we motivated ourselves out of the house, got there, spent two hours in a very thorough exam and...younger boy had no issues reading at 20/25. He doesn't really need glasses.

The difference? At the ped ophthalmologist, when he started stumbling a bit on the letters after getting the first one fine, they narrowed it down to show just one and led him along the line of letters that way. He nailed it with ease.

The problem? His ocular motor skills are weak (I knew this, it being part of the OT eval that we got in January/February timeframe) -- it never occurred to me that it would impact his eye testing. Except OF COURSE it does. Because when he reads, he has a very hard time keeping his place, even using his finger along the bottom of the words. He reads best when *I* move my finger along the words for him. Then he's much more able to track. So obviously, when presented with a long line of letters to read at the eye doctor, he would get confused and that provokes the "I don't know" response. The eye doctor, of course, hears that as "it's too blurry to tell" not "I don't know where I'm supposed to be looking."

And that, my friends, is how you end up making your kid wear glasses they don't need.

I'm so grateful our eye doc referred us. And youngest is reasonably happy not to have to wear his glasses anymore (although I know I'm going to end up getting him sunglasses, because he had the transitions in his glasses and he DID love that.) I'm okay with that.

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