“Would I?” “Big Nose!”

by statia on November 4, 2009

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?


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.


Julie November 4, 2009 at 7:21 pm

Whoa, this brings back memories! I have the same eye problem (among others) — no binocular vision. As a kid I HATED those vision tests. There was one where they show you a picture of a fly and the wings are supposed to look 3-D. “Is there anything UNUSUAL about this fly?” they’d ask me hopefully. And I’d say, “No, it SEEMS to have the usual 4 pairs of chromosomes…” And we’d all be disappointed in the end.

To this day I can’t catch a ball to save my life; no depth perception. Maybe you and I can be on the same softball team, picked LAST. And the Mini’s team can wipe the floor with us.

statia November 4, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Seriously! And the worst thing is that I startle really easily as a result. It drives the person that waxes my eyebrows nuts. And it’s horrible when I drive. It’s a wonder I haven’t sent the car careening off the road as a result of oncoming cars flying AT MY FACE.

jesser November 4, 2009 at 10:05 pm

That’s very interesting because my coworker and her daughter suffer from what I think is the same thing! The daughter was struggling thru nursing school when she was diagnosed and they were able to help her with therapy and my coworker they think is a bit too old (she’s in her 50s) to be helped by therapy. Apparently part of her symptoms include extreme fatigue from reading.

Shelly November 5, 2009 at 10:12 am

I am a developmental optometrist practicing at SUNY Optometry (in NYC). Statia, I am so pleased that you took your son for the developmental evaluation and that his visual development is right on track. Certainly, the sooner we identify the problems, the better. Jesser and Julie, please please don’t think that we can’t help older children and adults! Our brains are amazing and we are just beginning to understand how much neuroplasticity we have throughout our lives. Check out this blog written by Dr. Sue Barry.
After a program of vision therapy (at the age 0f 50), she developed 3-D vision and her whole world “popped out.”
You can also get more information about vision therapy at covd.org
Good luck with your son. Life with a precocious toddler is sure to be a great adventure.

divrchk November 7, 2009 at 9:35 am

How do I get the password?

statia November 7, 2009 at 2:13 pm

email me ( i couldn’t figure out how to excerpt it to give you my email address). statia at this domain.

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