My son is in grade 1. He told me that sometimes the words on the page are “fuzzy.” When I was listening to his readers I would notice he skipped words or would miss a word and then read the words out of sequence. I was thinking that maybe he was dyslexic but had no idea how to go about getting him assessed.
I spoke to his teacher and she suggested to start by getting his eyes checked. I took him to one of the big chain optometrists and was told he had perfect vision. I was relieved that his vision was fine but still had a gut feeling that something was wrong.
I then started googling and stumbled across a site about developmental optometrists they assess more than just eyesight, they specialise in vision based learning problems. There was a checklist on the website, it was as if the list was written specifically about my son -head aches, day dreaming, blurred vision, hard to do set tasks in a certain time frame -just to name a few. I found a local developmental optometrist and made an appointment.
We went along and the optometrist was very thorough. It turns out that my son has no depth perception, so whilst his vision is perfect he hasn’t developed the perceptual skills he needs to understand and analyze what he sees. Basically his eyes and brain aren’t working in sync, the optometrist explained that as the messages get mixed up he gets overwhelmed and shuts down.
We were given three options to try to fix it:
1) wait and see if it fixes itself.
2) vision therapy -4 weeks of weekly appointments and 10 minutes morning and night of homework exercises
3) wearing glasses full time for three months.
We chose the vision therapy as this was the option that I felt like we were doing something.
My son finally enjoys his homework and as I have three other children it also gave us some lovely 1 on 1 time together.
The change in him is amazing. His reading is fantastic and he can do a set task. He has so much more confidence.
Basically my story is rather long winded but my point is trust your gut, seek answers and get your children checked by someone if you are concerned. I am so glad that I listened to my gut and found an issue before it became a problem and his schooling began to suffer.
The optometrist said ideally they see children before they start school. It amazes me that I never knew that developmental optometrists existed and hope that by telling my son’s story, we will help another mum and child.
Submitted by A School Mum