Friday, October 30, 2009

Patching Pal program by Framehuggers helps kids meet patch goals!

We are huge fans of the Framehuggers eye patch here at Amblyopia Kids. My daughter loves her Framehuggers patches and doesn't complain to me about wearing them. They are comfortable, completely occlusive and fashion forward! Isabelle's most favorite Framehuggers patch is a hot pink leopard pattern fleece with a Minnie Mouse applique on it. She is generally very good about wearing her patch and getting in her 4 hours a day (after school) but some days are tougher than others.

Camille at Framehuggers offers a really fun patching compliance program for kids. The Patching Pal program helps kids meet their patching goals. Your child gets a sweet jointed teddy bear in a fleece outfit to match their patch. This is available for boys or girls - as you can see from the photo - Belle's is wearing a hot pink leopard cheerleader style outfit.

Also included is a wipe-off laminated reward chart to track patching hours and a handout with Parent tips.

The Patching Pal program works! My daughter has been coming home from her preschool and ASKING me to patch with her bear. To quote my daughter about her patching pal. "I Love it!"

For more info visit the Framehuggers website at

Related Posts:
Amblyopia Kids are Framehuggers Fans - Review of the Framehuggers patch
Framehuggers Fun
Keeping Kids Glasses On - The Dish on Eyeglass Retainers
Headhuggers: New Framehuggers Eyeglass Retainer for Kids - Photos

Friday, October 23, 2009

School Picture Day - Glasses on or off?

Today was the school picture day for my daughter's preschool. We don't have school portraits with Belle wearing her glasses since last year's Spring Portraits were done the day before she got her glasses. Instead, her eyes were all dilated from atropine drops that they used for her eye exam (her eyes remained dilated for almost a full week!) Since Belle usually doesn't go to school on Fridays - parents were instructed to bring our children in that day at a specific time and they would take a class portrait and do individual pictures afterwards. Parents were instructed to wait in the school lobby while the kids were getting their pictures taken in the library.

After the pictures were taken, we left to go and pick up her new glasses as I'd received the phone call that they were ready. Belle is a regular Little Miss Chatterbox in the car and on the way she told me about getting her picture taken. "The person taking the pictures said that they like my smile". I'm pleased and hopeful that means I got a "pretty smile" instead of "the wicked look" that she sometimes is known to make (cute but not THAT cute). She then goes on to tell me "I didn't wear my glasses getting my picture taken because they took them off".

I was really caught off guard by this. I mean, why would they just make the executive decision to remove her glasses? I have NEVER taken off her glasses specifically for the sake of a picture. Yes, I have taken off her eye patch for a picture but I don't even do that all that much. I tried to ask her about it but all she could tell me is that they took the glasses off of her. Later, when my husband came home she told him - they took one picture with my glasses on and one picture with my glasses off. So - I am not sure really what happened. I am taking the report of a 4 year old here and I guess I just wait and see when the pictures come in... whether she is wearing them or not. I am thinking that this could be an issue of glare or something along those lines. What do you think?

And I hope, that when the pictures come back from the photographer - that she is wearing her glasses.

My Princess and her NEW glasses!

We picked up Belle's new glasses today.

She is so happy with them and it will be nice to have her old ones as extras now that the lenses have been replaced. The Optician who fitted her and helped pick out the glasses was giving her lots of kudos about how she always takes her glasses on and off using both hands. She really does do a nice job with her glasses and made me proud.



I love the dark pink/purple color of these new glasses. They call it Light Lilac/Violet but I think whoever named this color hadn't checked in a crayola box any time recently. These frames are titanium so they are very kid-friendly. The style is Ray Ban Youth 1018T.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Amblyopia ABC - software for kids 3-12 with Lazy Eye

I have been hearing a lot about the new Amblyopia ABC software designed for kids ages 3-12 years old. You can download a trial version free or purchase it for $99.

For more info:

I haven't yet tried this software but I am very curious about it. I'd love to hear from parents and/or professionals who have tried this software out and learn more about it.

Have you tried Amblyopia ABC?
Do you have plans to purchase this software?
Will you try the trial version?

Headhuggers: New Framehuggers Eyeglass Retainer for Kids - Photos

I wrote in the past all about eyeglass retainers and keeping glasses on kids heads where they belong. My daughter is real good about wearing her glasses and not just taking them off and leaving them places. My son is a whole 'nother story!

Camille from Framehuggers has been making some eyeglass retainers and Alex has tried them out. This is the latest strap she has designed which is made of a soft fleece so it is comfortable and at the same time it is designed for a safe and snug fit - secured by velcro. My son has autism and a lot of sensory issues and he likes this strap. Plus, the blue camo color is really fashionable - I like that this doesn't look like "a geek strap".

In pictures:

With apologies to Camille at Framehuggers for it taking so long for me to get some pictures up!

Keeping Kids Glasses On - The Dish on Eyeglass Retainers

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bye Bye Scratched Lenses!

Shortly after returning from vacation I noticed that my daughter's glasses were looking really scratched up. It was as if one day they were in great shape and then they just got really bad. I don't know what happened to them but they were getting worse and worse. No amount of cleaning was helping - so off we went to the eyeglass shop. Now, the last time we had gone in there she had a meltdown of huge proportions so I had a sit down before hand about good behavior and bad behavior. She started to cry that she didn't want to get new glasses that she loved her "ribbon" glasses. I explained that I'd have to see what they said about the lenses. As it was, they were able to replace her lenses at a discounted price. That was a good thing. They also were able to do it right on the spot while I waited, which was even better. The only thing that would have been better would have been if it was free, but I didn't get the extra coverage ($50) apparently when we ordered them. I think I was under the impression her prescription may be changing with her amblyopia and so I didn't add it. I don't know what I was thinking, but.. well... clearly I wasn't!

While I had her in the chair and she was behaving I showed them how she is getting a mark on the right side of bridge of her nose from the nosepiece. The nosepiece had gotten a little bent from all the times we have to take patches on and off, as that is the side she patches on. Also, she is starting to outgrow the size 45 frames. So, I had her try on some 46 frames and we found a nice pink titanium frame with a nosepiece (necessary for patching). Those are on order and we pick them up Friday. In the meantime, her scratched "blurry" glasses are a thing of the past and she has new lenses in her old frames which we can use as a backup.

Lesson learned, I took the $50 warranty on the new glasses so if we have a scratched up issue on the new ones, they'll be replaced free of charge. As good as she is about taking them off and putting them on with both hands - scratches on kids lenses seem to be unavoidable.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Guys do make passes at Girls who wear Glasses - Sam Sparks in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

We took the kids to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs today. The theatre we went to didn't have it in 3D - I thought it was going to be, but since Toy Story Double Feature is in 3D it got bumped. Which was just as good for us considering Belle has 3D issues and as if going to theatre movies isn't expensive enough, they charge even more for the 3D shows.

There is a storyline in the show that has to do with the main female character embracing her "inner geek" and dealing with a childhood of wearing glasses and being teased. Instead she lost the ponytail and thick glasses and is trying to act like "a pretty weather girl" instead of the science and weather buff that she really is.

You can see a good part of the glasses scene here in this trailer:

I loved how in the movie (and in this trailer) that instead of laughing at her or telling Sam that she's weird, he empowers her to be herself & to show the world how smart she is versus trying to be what others want her to be. What I didn't like was later in the movie, they show the TV network trying to boo and shoo her off the screen and to come back when she is prettier because she has her hair in a ponytail and is wearing big glasses. Yes, indeed - that made me mad!

Book Suggestion for Kids who hate their glasses

Randy Kazandy, Where Are Your Glasses?

When I heard about the new book Randy Kazandy, Where Are Your Glasses? by Rhonda Fischer (art by Kim Sponaugle) I knew that I needed to read this book and share about it here at Amblyopia Kids. Before my daughter got glasses, I had a feeling she would be like Randy Kazandy and not want to wear them. I was very lucky, that instead she realized right away how much better things looked when she wore her glasses and she became very attached to them right away.

Still, I know that for many children - it is not so easy. There are lots of Randy Kazandy's in this world. Kids who hate their glasses for whatever reason and who will go to great lengths to not wear them.

This vibrantly illustrated children's book is based on the true story of a little boy, Randy, who required glasses and eye surgery for strabismus (crossed-eyes) at a very young age (17 months old). In the picture book - Randy Kazandy is having a hard time seeing so he needs glasses. But, he doesn't like the way his glasses look and says he looks like an Alien. He goes to great lengths to destroy, break, hide, and lose his glasses but much to his dismay his mother keeps replacing them. Written in rhyming verse, printed with lead free ink, and cheerfully illustrated with bright pictures - Randy Kazandy goes full circle from hating his glasses to celebrating them. Randy's motto is "I love being me!"

My 4 year old daughter, who wears glasses - identified right away with Randy and loves her new book about glasses. As Randy did naughty things like bury his glasses in sand or throw them in the garbage can - she was quick to tell me how he shouldn't do that. Phew! She, most of all, loves the bright colorful illustrations (which by the way are printed with lead-free ink) and has taken delight at finding and pointing out the hidden (and not so hidden) glasses that are on each page. For kids with Amblyopia - searching for the hidden glasses is actually a worthwhile patching activity -- some of them are tough to find! Be sure to visit the Randy Kazandy website for more fun book themed activities (a coloring page, matching games, video and more!). I've bookmarked this site and listed it in my "Fun stuff" category for good things to do while patching.

For parents of kids who do not like wearing their glasses - Randy Kazandy has much to offer. But, be warned - they may also get some pretty naughty ideas about what to do with their glasses and not all of us mothers have 4 extra pairs at a time ($OUCH$). Up until Randy Kazandy most of the books we have read have featured a little girl with glasses (like Princess Peepers, The Patch, Luna and the Big Blur) so its nice there is a glasses story where the main character was a little boy and I'm sure the parents of boys will appreciate all that Randy Kazandy has to offer.

For more info:

Book Video Trailer:

Friday, October 2, 2009

Adhesive Patch Review - CVS vs Nexcare

I received this email from Mandy, mother of an Amblyopia Kid with her permission to share with the readers here. Mandy has compared two adhesive patches CVS and Nexcare brand. We have tried the Nexcare patches and they are super sticky and irritated my daughter's tender skin. I have never tried the CVS patches but will have to check for them for the times when we do use an adhesive patch.

Post From Mandy:
Thanks for your willingness to hear my reviews. This is, of course, just my own experience with these products, but I hope that I can save some new patchers money on the trial-and-error process we all seem to go through when selecting products at the beginning of an Amblyopia diagnosis.

Our son was diagnosed with Amblyopia at age 3.75, after having trouble completing his preschool vision screening, as he tried to "cheat" by looking under the block-out glasses when he was supposed to be reading with his left eye. We followed up with the eye doctor, who provided the Amblyopia diagnosis, and prescribed daily patching. He gave us the typical pirate-style patch, and told us that unless our son simply could not keep the patch on, we should not bother with adhesive patches, as they can cause so much irritation around the eye. Our son does not wear glasses (at least not yet), so the neat patches that occlude one lens don't work for us.

So we started off with the typical patch, and it worked alright. He was leaving it on pretty well, but at times I would notice that it had moved to the side and he was "cheating" by peeking around it. I read on your blog about how you double-patch with your daughter to provide complete occlusion - NO PEEKING! - and realized that if he was to be getting the most benefit from his daily patching, we had to find a way to be more thorough.

CVS Patch Review
The next day we swung by CVS Pharmacy, and I picked up a box of CVS brand adhesive eye patches. We began using the adhesive patches under his typical patch, to provide complete coverage, no peeking, no light filtering through. I was worried about the potential irritation they may cause after being used day after day, but they were wonderful! They had plenty of stick to stay on, but peeled off with just a bit more resistance than say a Post-It note. No red marks, no irritation, no complaining about pain when it was removed. When he is finished patching, he is able to take them off himself, and we all enjoy that bit of independence they allow.

Nexcare Patch Review
So I thought I had this thing figured out! When we ran out of patches, I picked up a box of NexCare adhesive patches, figuring that they looked exactly the same, so we'd try them out. These were NOT a good fit for us. They are far stickier than the CVS brand, and while they claim to be hypoallergenic, and non-irritating, we had just the opposite experience. They left a big red mark all around his eye, which would fade in a couple of hours. But after a couple days of use, that red mark just stayed there! Even his preschool teachers noticed it, and wondered what it was from. Needless to say, we discontinued those immediately, and went back to the CVS brand.

I just wanted to share our experience, and provide an alternative for people new to patching. Even if you don't have a CVS pharmacy nearby, the website sells the boxes of CVS brand patches at a reasonable price. They are very gentle and easy to use.

Not all patches are created alike!

Thanks for your time and interest! Keep up the great work with the website - it is a wonderful resource for people working to correct Amblyopia.


Thank you, Mandy :) For your kind words and for taking the time to share your son's experience with these adhesive patches. Since my daughter wears glasses we almost always use the glasses style patches and have left adhesive patches in the past. I hadn't even thought much about when children have amblyopia but do not wear glasses so your experience is very valuable. We can absolutely relate to the irritation from some of the adhesive brands. It is nice to know that the CVS patches are a kinder, gentler, eye patch.