Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Amblyopia at School - Developing "a plan"

When my doctor told me that my daughter would need to embark on "full time patching" including school - minus playground, gym class, dance class - I got really nervous about it. Immediately I worried about my daughter's safety at school with the patch on. Patching over her good eye was effectively leaving her with 20/200 vision not to mention impaired depth perception. Yesterday's kaboom into the outside brick wall, really drove that point home.

After seeing how my daughter was at school last week with the teacher called a meeting with me which I had on Monday morning. The participants in the meeting were me, the teacher, the school nurse and the school vice-principal. Together we came up with an "individualized health plan" for her that includes the following:

Student Goals:
  • Will be able to navigate classroom safely with impaired vision
  • Will continue to make age appropriate academic progress with impaired vision

Interventions/Accommodations:

  • Teacher & paraprofessionals will support student as needed so she is socially comfortable wearing patch and eye glasses
  • Patch will be removed by teacher or paraprofessionals for phys-ed & playground
  • Teacher will assign a buddy to navigate the classroom as needed
  • Any academic work that student is struggling with will be enlarged as needed. Non academic work will be sized as for the rest of the class to stimulate the brain to begin to utilize the left eye per treatment plan
  • Teacher and parent will communicate regarding student's frustration or non-compliance with the patch and plan accordingly (if necessary instituting a behavior/reward system)

First and foremost we addressed safety issues as well as the delicate balance between accommodating for her poor vision and also stimulating her vision. We all want to stimulate Belle's vision but not at the expense of her academics. Considering she is in preschool - her academic schedule is not the most rigorous, but she IS learning to read right now and her handwriting is super wobbly. So, we all made sure we were on the same page. I have to say the school has really been great so far in helping my daughter patch successfully at school.

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