Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Conquering the term Lazy Eye.

I have a compulsive need to explain to adults the type of Amblyopia that my child has. I especially find myself confronted with this compulsion when aforementioned adult says "Oh you mean lazy eye?" The first time that this happened my daughter asked me "Mom, do I have a lazy eye?" The answer is no. We actually have Refractive Anisometropia Amblyopia. It sounds like a song from Mary Poppins. We have played the, can you say that 3 times fast game a time or two.

I feel like I should not have to explain. It shouldn't matter if the child has Strabismus, Form Deprivation, Occlusion or Refractive Amblyopia. No child should have to deal with adults referring to them in the third person and using the term lazy in relation to their being. You could say I have a bit of a chip about the whole thing. I completely and rationally understand that people are not educated on the topic and relate to what they think they know. Therefore I am trying to get over it, to a degree. My kid helps me out with that. The truth is, that we do need to explain it. People do need to know.

Bea is often quicker to answer their questions than I am these days. My 6 year old, the genius that she is simply says; "My eye couldn't see very well,so my brain turned it off. I patch my good eye to fix my brain and it makes my bad eye strong." It stops people cold. They have no response and they seem a bit abashed at even suggesting "lazy eye". I like it. I like that I took the time to explain it to her and that she broke it down into her own terms.

While that is all great and good. I really just want people not to ask. Human nature is what it is however and curiosity killed the cat. I get it. So we deal with the questions and we do our part, in small ways to conquer the term "lazy eye". I am no longer afraid to let people know that it is bad for my little gal's self esteem. Her 1st grade teacher also allowed her to bring in her patching book (a notebook where she sticks her adhesive patches) and talk to the kids in her class about it. She got to the point where she was comfortable patching for 2 hours every morning during school. I am one proud mama.

The Patch Book

So what suggestions do you have? How do you effectively conquer the term "lazy eye" in your child's life. What things do you do to build up their self esteem? My Bea has been amazing with the whole patching thing. Lately it has started to wear her down. We have recently moved to California and Bea is more reluctant to patch in public and exhibiting less self confidence than before. I want to keep her strong through this. She is 6, her window to kick the amblyopia in the butt dwindles each day. I want her to look back and feel empowered that SHE fixed this. I want her to move forward and conquer the stereo type that is "Lazy Eye".

My Bea the patching Beauty of the West Coast!

PLGC-PL &T- Peace Love & Green Chile... Peace, Love & Tacos- to guest blogging mommies & parents of Amblyopia.

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