Before you grow concerned that I'm making fun of my child with the title of this post, rest assured, I've taken the name from a support group I found on Facebook for families with children who have vision problems. You can find the group here.
Now the story behind Josiah's glasses: Last month, I took Josiah to be evaluated through the local preschool screening department. I have been concerned about Josiah for a while due to his lack of writing and issues with his fine motor skills. I wrote a post about it last year here. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking it was more than just boys being boys, or Josiah just being quirky. While I have seen an improvement in the past year with some of his fine motor skills, he still wasn't writing or coloring. He became really agitated when I asked him to perform any writing or tracing task.
The preschool screening consisted of different therapist conducting tests in vision, hearing, speech, cognitive, fine and gross motor skills. While Josiah scored above average on most aspects of the test, the therapist couldn't get an accurate vision reading. He scored poorly in the fine motor section. Based on that information, I took him to our local optometrist to have him evaluated.
To say I was surprised by his results is an understatement. The Doctor explained that Josiah has very little vision in his right eye. He has a hard time seeing the big E at the top of a vision screen chart with his right eye. He was compensating by using his left eye to view everything. Even though his left eye has issues as well.
I called a friend who whose children have vision issues. She told me about Little Four Eyes. I spent the weekend researching Josiah's vision issues. I found a vision simulator and plugged in Josiah's prescription. I was in tears as I realized just how bad Josiah's vision is. I spent the weekend going through a range of emotions like guilt for not realizing that his vision was so bad, to concerns of how to treat him in the future. I convinced myself that the results were wrong, and that Josiah was in need of a second opinion.
The following Monday, I took him to another doctor in Greenville. After a 3 hour appointment with all three kids on an icy day, I was flabbergasted when the doctor confirmed that not only were the first results true, but that her screening showed that Josiah's vision was even worse than when he tested the first time. He understood the test and performed the test better, so his result were more accurate. She found that Josiah was nearsighted and farsighted, and warned that we might have to patch his strong eye to help strengthen the weak one.
So I returned to the guilt of not realizing that Josiah was even having vision issues. I kept up a heated discussion in my head trying to determine how he could do so much, all the while seeing so little and out of focus. Josiah taught himself to read at two. He plays like his siblings. He LOVES his tablet Yaya and PawPaw gave him for Christmas. He reads billboards as we drive down the road. For those of you around us, you know how active he can be! But then I thought, he's never pointed out a plane in the sky or ducks in the pond across the street. He doesn't ride a bike or write his name.
The doctor explained that Josiah has a sweet spot where his vision is best, that where he holds books and his tablet. It also explains why he has a hard time making eye contact. Josiah's bad vision was normal to him. He didn't know any different. Which just goes to show how amazing resilient children can be! He has accomplished so much with such bad vision.
I ordered glasses from the second doctor, which we're still waiting to be notified they are ready. I also ordered extra glasses from Zinnioptic.com. Zenni is such an amazing website. I ordered two pairs of prescription glasses for around $35. The glasses shipped to our house in about 7 days. I loved one pair, and didn't like the second. I was able to take the first pair to our local eye care center and they heated the ear pieces and bent them so they fit his face perfectly. I called Zenni about the second pair, and was able to return them for 100% refund towards another pair of glasses. We'll order the first frames in a different color. There is such a huge saving with Zenni, I'm sure we'll order from them in the future.
People have asked how he's doing in the glasses. We had a big learning curve, as far as him getting
used to wearing glasses. After a few trying days, he has adjusted to wearing the glasses. I gave him a few weeks to get adjusted to them, and we started working on tracing and writing his name. We were both so proud, when he was able to do it! He also climbed on Eden's scooter when we were out walking, and yelled, "Weeeeeeeeee!!!!" as he soared downhill. It was the first time he's tried to ride it. Now I realize he didn't have the depth perception to figure out how to ride a bike or scooter. His glasses are opening up a new world for him. For that, I am thrilled.
Here are some pictures of my little four eyes. I think he looks very cute in glasses. In fact, now his face looks funny to me without them.
A cute smile :)
Samson and Josiah checking each other out each other with the new glasses.
Josiah was not really thrilled to wear them at first.
My favorite part of this experience,
Josiah has a new found joy to being outside.
He has always loved the trampoline, now he want to be on it all the time. He has also played Frisbee with us and riding the scooter. He seems to be enjoying himself when we're outside in a way that he never has before.
I'm excited to see how the world opens up for Josiah in the days and weeks to come!