Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘vision

short-sighted (at Hopeful Parents)

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This post was originally published here for Hopeful Parents.


Hopeful Parents

We’d prepared for our visit to the optometrist in every way I could imagine.  I took her to the office the day before the appointment.  We met all the staff, apart from the eye doctor himself, who was out of the office.  I’d looked for a photo of him on the web site, but there was none.  Instead, my social story had to feature a cartoon optician.

We got to the office early.  Too early.  The toys provided in the waiting area barely captured Pudding’s interest for a few minutes.  Then she skipped around the room, touching everything.  Even when her curious, sensory-seeking fingers weren’t trying to touch every single pair of glasses, she constantly ran the risk of falling into the displays.  I was already out of patience when the appointment time came and went without our being called.

Finally a very elderly man walked in.  Spectrummy Daddy and I managed to contain both kids in a corner.  Waiting while our kids caused mayhem would be even more unbearable with a disapproving observer.  The receptionist helped him off with his jacket, then replaced it with a white coat.  He was the doctor?  Oh no.  He was old enough to be Pudding’s great-grandfather.  How was someone so ancient ever going to be able to deal with the boundless energy of my hyperactive child.  I cast a horrified glance at my husband as we were summoned.

The calm and patient mother Pudding needs me to be was gone.  In her stead was my irritable alter ego.  I hissed commands at her.  Stop moving.  Don’t touch.  Be quiet.  The trinity of things that she can’t control.  Everything I did made it worse, which made me more angry.  All that preparation was for nothing.

We got her into the “princess throne” for long enough for him to determine that she has a slight astigmatism in both eyes.  Then she’d had enough of cooperating.  Every word I spoke agitated her, but the optometrist remained silent, and calm.  Had I really judged this man?  Don’t I get mad about people doing that to my girl?  I’d decided that he would be cranky and intolerant before he even began.  But just look: that described me, not him.  I added shame to my negative whirl of emotions.

As I stood there wondering what my next move should be, the optometrist moved a spinning light-up toy over and around my body.  Pudding was entranced.

He told me to watch her as she tracked the toy with her eyes in a smooth motion, her head perfectly still.

“She’s amazing.  She has to make so much of an effort to see, but she follows it better than most people that come here.  I’d like to work with her, she’s really great.”

He asked me how I felt about trying vision therapy with her.  Honestly, I’d found that afternoon so trying that I was filled with dread at having to return on a regular basis.  But that was due to me, Pudding was fine until I’d lost my composure.  I’d looked at this man, but I hadn’t really seen him.  Yet here was my girl at her worst, and he could still see the best of her.  We need him on our team.

He tested me too.  I’m short-sighted, but getting less so as time goes on.  I couldn’t agree more with that assessment.

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

February 19, 2011 at 6:13 am

Do you see what I see?

with 20 comments

“I think in pictures.  Words are like a second language to me.”

Thinking in Pictures, Copyright © 1995, 2006 Temple Grandin, Vintage Books.

Our appointment with the optometrist took place.  She didn’t complete all the tests, but we are now armed with the knowledge that Pudding has a slight astigmatism in both eyes.  However, she demonstrated that she could read letters at a distance and close up.  We’re going to need to get her to complete more of the testing to figure out exactly how able she is to see.  Believe me when I say that this is easier said than done.

So I watch her all the time.  I follow her gaze and I try to work out if something is interesting to her.  It is clear or distorted?  Is it making much difference to her vision, or barely any?  Not surprisingly, but frustratingly, I can’t tell.  We are speaking different languages, with no translator to help.  She is learning my language, but I still struggle with hers.  I’m verbose, my ability to visualize is limited by that.  I think in words.

Still, seeing the world through Pudding’s eyes is always a breathtaking experience.  Yesterday we were waiting for the school bus to arrive, and she gazed up into the branches of a tree directly overhead.  She seemed to be in a trance for a while.  I looked up, but saw nothing but the twigs and branches of the tree, and the pale morning sky behind it.  I asked her what she saw, and she responded that she saw a bird.

I couldn’t see a bird.

I moved around to change my position in case it was obscured from my sight, but even after walking around, I still couldn’t see anything but the branches of a tree.  Perhaps her vision is much worse than I thought.  I asked her where it was, and she lifted her arm up in an approximation of a point, there.  Nothing.  Then I watched as she raised her finger again, and traced the letters of her name in the branches.

She sees with more than her eyes.

Later that day we went out for a walk and I took my camera with me.  I played around with the exposure until I got this image.  I really wanted to capture how things might look to her, with her eyes that take in too much light, and ever-so-slightly distort reality.  I may not see how she sees, but I think I found a bird and her name in there.

You just have to really want to see it.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

February 17, 2011 at 7:20 am

Wordless Wednesday 16 Feb 11

with 6 comments

Pudding, 2.5years.

Too bright, too much light,

hands block out the sight.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

February 16, 2011 at 6:58 am