Thursday, April 21

The G-Files - the day we had our kid's vision checked...

Eloise who is a fabulous and enthusiastic reader has been somewhat stagnant lately in the reading department - I noticed when she was reading to me she would skip over words and I didn't think much of it other than her rushing until we spoke to her teacher at end-of-term parent teacher meeting.  It seems she has also been getting distracted at tasks where she has to focus.  It made me wonder if it was her eyesight... so this holidays I vowed to have all the girls' eyes tested.

Well it seems my instincts were correct.  She has stigmatisms in both eyes - in fact she's long sighted in one eye and short sighted in another - no wonder she's been struggling and come to think of it considering she's still doing really well!

And she was fabulous at the optometrist too.  Gone are the days of wicked eye-drops that I remember from my optometrist visits as a child - it's now all computerised - fab equipment too.  

So after we established Eloise needed glasses - Laura decided she needed a test too.  So off she went.  The optometrist lined her up and he asked me if she knew her alphabet to work out how to select what chart to look at. She sat there dutifully and the optometrist told her to call out the sounds of the letters on the chart - they where H K N L - and she said 'I can see an A and T'.

I look at the chart and look at her.  I mean how could she have forgotten her letters in one week of school holidays?  Surely she can make something out?  How could I have not have noticed her eyesight was so bad?  I start to feel guilty.

 The optometrist looks a bit bewildered too and takes the eye contraption away.  I ask her if she's forgotten her alphabet and then I start to smell a rat... the optometrist giggles and puts up the shapes, and when she can't make out (apparently) the big plane on the top line the rouse is up.

We leave the room and Laura is a little upset - I ask her why 'I really like those pink sparkly glasses'.  Turns out this is not unusual - apparently since Harry Potter has been on the scene explains the optometrist - glasses are cool.  Many kids get tested because their best friends have just been prescribed glasses.

You're not a dork if you wear glasses anymore it seems.   We tell Olivia that we'll book her with Daddy who also needs an eye test (Up until this point I am the only person in my family who wears glasses) when we go to pick up Eloise's glasses next week.  

We then proceed to go to Big W - and I'm not joking here, there's an optometrist there!  I mean when did this happen?  The girls went crazy trying on glasses and Daddy had his eye test.

Seriously this child is my clone.  She chose glasses even the same shape - spooky. (Olivia)

My little model - though these are quite different to the ones we bought for her - she has the right face I think!

Laura after her earth-shattering realisation reading glasses weren't in her future moved on... to balloons whilst her sisters read.

In the end - Olivia is slightly long sighted (as I am not-so-slightly now) but needs another eye test in a year and will probably need glasses then.  Daddy needs glasses for technical work (his focus is off) and well Eloise is going to be a full-time-glasses-wearer very soon.  Poor Laura is going to be the odd one out.  Poor thing with 20/20 vision that is.

Did you know that school aged children should have their eyes tested every year? 
I read here that undetected vision problems are estimated to affect 1 in 4 Australian children!

Five performance issues that may indicate your child has a vision problem:

  • Skipping or re-reading lines
  • Omitting or confusing words when reading
  • Poor comprehension when reading
  • Homework taking much longer than it should 
  • Short attention span with reading and school work.

Other signs to look out for include:

  •  One eye turns in or out while the other points straight ahead
  •  Frequent blinking
  •  Red or watery eyes
  •  Covering or closing one eye
  •  Holding a book very close to read
  •  Squinting or sitting very close when watching television
  •  Complaints of headaches
  •  Complaints of blurred or double vision

I'm so relieved I trusted my instincts and went along to have Eloise tested! Do you or will you have your child's eyesight tested regularly?  

(Please show this post to a friend or friends/share on facebook - where ever you can - I think this message is really important to address with all parents - don't you?)
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5 lovely comments:

Lucy@DiminishingLucy on April 21, 2011 at 7:23 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

She is the IMAGE of you!

I need to get this sorted for my Olivia....I have similar worries...

i-mumma on April 21, 2011 at 8:17 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

My daughter's school thankfully arranged for all of the pre-school kids, aged 4 (it is a pre-school to Year 12 school) to have their eyes tested in Term 1. Much to my relief, my daughter has great eyesight! Unlike me who had to start wearing glasses at age 5.

TatumW on April 21, 2011 at 9:08 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Our eldest started wearing glasses before her 3rd birthday, the major turn in one eye when she was tired kinda gave her away! She is severely long sighted. We have 6 monthly opthamology appointments for her, she's had alot of patching over the years to try and strengthen the 'dodgy' eye.

The middle two have always been fine but I hadn't thought to get them routinely checked though.

Jury is still out on Miss J, we think we are starting to detect a bit of turn in one of her eyes, but we are also hypersensitive to it.

Given that she will be wearing them full time it is worth investing in good anti reflective coating otherwise it is impossible to get a good photo with glasses on. Drove me bonkers with Charlotte's first pair before I knew better!

Tatum xx

(and you are right about the popularity...last time we got C a new pair the optical technician said that alot of mums bring their kids in and inisit on glasses for even the most minor of corrections so their kids can be 'cool'!!)

Anonymous said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I took my 4 year old for her 3.5year MCHN check last year and the nurse told me I would need to get her checked by an optometrist, so I made the appointment.
We went in and she is short sighted (just like her dad), she went back for another check up 6 months later to see if there was any change, there was none. She will be getting glasses in August to get her used to them before school.
We also had our 20 month old checked and she too is short sighted, so will need glasses when she starts school, but will also be monitored in that time in case she needs them earlier.

MANDI on April 24, 2011 at 11:22 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I stated wearing glasses at 4 and took my boy for an eye check in year 1 when I was flipping through photos and realised he had a droopy eye/squint. Turned out his vision was perfect but he was colour blind. Went back this year to confirm it and his colour blindness has been upgraded to 'severe' but vision is still perfecto!


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