About ten years or so ago, I had gone in for a routine eye exam. I had just moved to the area and had a dreaded HMO, (although, don’t get me started on healthcare. Does it even matter anymore? I think my PPO, today, sucks as much, if not, more than my HMO did ten years ago), so I had to find someone that took my insurance, or pay out of pocket. What was to be a routine eye exam to get new glasses, turned into this fuck all rigmarole, complete with bi weekly “vision therapy.” They noticed that my eyes didn’t work together properly, and therefore, I required “strengthening exercises”, to fix the problem. This was to the tune of a $15-$20 copay each visit, which back in the 90′s was the equivalent of $1,000,000 today. Money I didn’t really have back then, being in my early 20′s and just having moved out on my own recently. I quickly got annoyed and never finished this so-called “snake oil-salesman” therapy, because after all, I could see just fine, thank you. I only needed glasses to drive. And I needed every last bit of extra money to support my happy hour habit.
You see where this is going, don’t you?
Throughout the course of the Mini’s therapy, one thing I’ve noticed was his inability to scan a room, or to follow a simple direction to bring me something I was pointing to, even if I had my hand ON THE OBJECT AND SAID: Please bring me that white remote control that my hand is resting on. He would turn around in circles, looking briefly before giving up, laughing, and going on his merry way. His therapists noticed this too, and had asked if I had gotten his eyes checked. And then proceeded to tell me about this whole underground world of vision therapy, complete with spectrum glasses and had I heard about it?
DING DING DING DING DING!
Also? DUR. Why did I not even remember this until now? I firmly believe that I went through this back then, for this exact reason today.
Given his age, I held off on making the appointment for as long as I could. I called the same place I had dealt with, because it was close to me, and because I was familiar with it. We went in for a regular vision test, and he was diagnosed slightly farsighted, but not enough to be prescribed glasses. We did the vision processing testing yesterday. That room brought back memories. It was largely unchanged after more than ten years.
The gist of it is that your eyes have a hard time forming a “team” and working together, making it very difficult to finish a task or absorb words on a page. You can read more about it here, and I’d go into it, but that information is hard for me to absorb. Too many words on a page.
Anyway, they went through and did some basic testing. Giving him puzzles that were all the same color, so that the pieces would blend in, and he of course looked at them, insulted as he quickly put the pieces back in their places. Once we got to the prism glasses, I was really intrigued to see if this was something that would help the Mini with some of his minor processing and sensory issues. The Mini is going through a glasses phase. He will steal anyone’s glasses if they aren’t nailed down or put away. So they put these specialized prism glasses on, which if you’re needing the glasses to compensate for a processing disorder, will actually help you, but they really mess with your proprioceptive senses until your brain can adjust to where your body is in space. It was quite comical to watch him try to find a mirror and then watch as his body adjusted back each time they took the glasses off. He always ran for me afterwards, because he had a really hard time not falling over, or not running into things.
In the end, they decided that corrective lenses weren’t really going to help him out, and to bring him back in a few years. They deemed him “one of the smartest 2.5 year olds they had ever seen.” These are some very observant people, I’ll tell you that.
I was actually a bit surprised that he wouldn’t need lenses. I’m relieved that he doesn’t, but surprised. Lately, I’ve been wondering if I might actually benefit from resuming vision therapy. I thought for sure, that he would probably take after me in that regard. Thankfully he doesn’t.
I guess this means that he hears and sees me just fine, and that he’s just ignoring me.
I don’t know why I don’t get this by now.