Back in October of 2011, Amy F. shared her youngest daughter’s story about getting an eye exam for the first time and realizing that her performance issues in preschool were in large part to her not being able to see close up. We reached out to her for an update now that it’s been close to three years since her daughter received her glasses and even we were surprised at what we found out!
To quickly catch you up on my last blog, in 2010 my 4 year-old daughter, TLO (The Little One), had started preschool. Her teacher complimented her enthusiasm and energy but over the first few months had made several comments about TLO struggling with any table work. She wouldn’t color her pages except for big sweeping scribbles, wouldn’t put any effort into writing her letters even though she could recite the Alphabet from the big chart, and balked at activities and games that involved sitting at the tables. The teacher suggested having her vision checked so we did. After a visit to our local eye doctor, we discovered that she was far-sighted! As soon as TLO had her prescription glasses on, her attitude at school vastly improved. She was able to enjoy games and activities at the classroom tables because she could see what was going on and we had the same results at home.
In 2011, when TLO was in kindergarten, her big sister, TBO (The Big One), was in the 2nd grade. TBO never complained about not being able to see. She is small for her age and usually ended up sitting in the front row of the classroom due to her size so again, it never occurred to us that there might be an issue with her vision. But during our (now) annual visit to our eye doctor, we found that TBO was near-sighted. Wearing her glasses outside for the first time as we were leaving the doctor’s office, she commented “look at those big mountains, Mommy!” We had lived surrounded by these mountains for 5 years and it broke my heart that I had no idea that she had never seen them. TBO had always been a studious girl so her schoolwork didn’t change much, but with her new glasses now she could be adventurous. She ran and played tag and kickball at recess, she wasn’t scared to participate in PE as she could see the ball coming at her now.
Fast forward a few years to today: it is now the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year and TBO is entering the 5th grade and TLO is entering the 4th grade, having skipped 2nd grade she went from 1st to 3rd in 2013! Their glasses are still a big part of their lives and the annual eye exams are a regular part of our back-to-school routine as we have found their prescriptions have changed each year. TBO was especially grateful to have her new light reactive lenses this past year during recess and when playing outside as she wears her glasses all day long. TLO keeps one pair of glasses in her desk at school and one pair at home as she only needs to wear them when she is doing close-up work or reading.
Without our decision to go in for TLO’s first eye exam, I cringe to think how my girls might be struggling in school not being able to see close-up or far away. I hope that by sharing our still developing story, we can help many more families remember to put that annual eye exam on their back-to-school check lists too.
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