Monday, November 30, 2009

On School Pictures and Glasses

In late October my kids both had their school pictures taken (different days, same week). They attend different schools with my son is in the public schools and my daughter goes to a private preschool here locally.

Like most school pictures - my son's are usually hit or miss. We have gotten some good ones and some bad ones.

This years are not so great. One issue that I have with his school pictures (aside from the fact that he looks tired/sad/sick?) is that they have a lot of shadows all over the place and a big distracting flash on his eye glasses. I went back and looked at the last 2 years where he also wore glasses and none of them had this (or if it did, they removed it). The school district switched from Lifetouch to Lors photography and I wish they hadn't. I was going to do the re-takes but that week my son had a bad chapped lip which wasn't something that I wanted to commemorate. So, I am stuck with these. They wouldn't take them back for a refund because there was a "photgraph error" according to them, a flashed out eye is OK.
So, you may remember the photo dilemma daughter had told me that they took her picture with her glasses off. This angered me because as I understood it the photographers are just supposed to take the picture and not "mess" with the way the child looks. She later told me that they took her picture 2 times - one with them off and one with them on. So, it was a big mystery in how her pictures would come out.

Well, I am happy to report that her glasses are indeed on her face. I am very happy that, unlike my son's picture, there is no glare or reflection of the flash on her glasses. Her pictures are adorable, cute and everything you would expect from a 4 year old.
But, something seemed a bit funny with them when I looked at the larger size ones and not the wallet....

I think they photoshopped her glasses on. To me the placement seems way up her nose almost into her eyes (now - this also could be because this was the day she got her new glasses and so I could be more used to the new frames) But they don't "sit right" with me. I also notice something 'funny' with her right nostril.
Maybe I'm just being picky...

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Study shows school is tough for Amblyopia Kids

I got a google alert for this article that really struck home for me. Kids with Amblyopia and eye patches really do have it rough at school. Dr. Ann Weber completed her PhD with a study about how eye patches impact a child's self esteem and fine motor skills. The findings included negative social acceptance, lower self esteem, incidences of bullying, as well as academic and developmental challenges completing school "tasks".

Study looks at the perception of patching

Eye patch makes school tough

The reality of this makes me quite sad for kids like my daughter who have Amblyopia and need to wear an eye patch. This year we made the decision to patch outside of school hours (my daughter goes to a 4 hour Pre-K program). Last year she patched at school and it was tough. I hope that by the time she goes to school full-day that we will have left our patch days behind us.

Amblyopia article in Health Today magazine

An article on Amblyopia was published in Health Today (phillipines) version about a little girl Keirra's diagnosis and "journey" with Amblyopia.

I thank the author, Rowena, for sharing her daughter's story which stresses the importance of getting your young child's vision checked. Her daughter had an earlier condition (esotropia) but it wasn't until she was bitten in the eyelid by a bug that the pediatric ophthalmologist detected the development of Amblyopia. That bug bite just might well have saved precious Keirra's vision!

From Animetric's World blog:
Coping with a lazy eye -- my little girl's story in Health Today Magazine

Full article:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ficklets - Bling those glasses!

Here's a really fun, simple, and inexpensive way for kids to accessorize their glasses and add a little bit of "bling". Wearing glasses just became even more fun!

Meet Ficklets!

Ficklets are "Eyewear charm huggers" that can be added to glasses. You know those "charms" that kids plug into the holes in their crocs? It is sort of like that.... but for eye glasses. The Ficklet charms attach via a patented system that consists of those tiny little rubberbands so they can be easily removed. Ficklets were created by a mom, of course. Not just any mom, Ros - a mom of a special needs glasses wearing girl! ...Ros, you rock!
Ros sent my daughter some ficklets as a gift when she got her new glasses. My daughter's 'old' glasses had built on "bling" with glittery bows on the temples. Her new glasses, while a gorgeous shade of pink are a more 'classic' style. And now, they have Ficklets. We have a pair of the pink glitter stars and also pink glitter hearts. Girly and even Girlier :)

With some of the patches my daughter uses, we don't even have to remove the ficklet. For some patch styles - it is easier to remove the ficklet and either leave it off on that side or put it on after the eye patch is on. In the photo she is wearing an eye patch from Perfect Patch.

How fun is this?
Ficklets come in just about every shape, color, theme - including sports, animals, and even holidays. They can be mixed, matched, doubled up and added to the temple or even the nose piece of glasses. Visit the Ficklets website for more info and to place an order - they are just $6 a pair. ... My daughter is eyeing the ballet slippers ones next.

For more info:

Not Another Head Injury - Amblyopia...ouch!

Ooops, she did it again.

You know, for years I always thought that it was due to my daughter inheriting my "gracefulness" because she fell frequently. But, once she was diagnosed with Amblyopia and I learned more about it - I realize it is all connected. For the most part she does an awesome job with what she is dealing with - seriously poor depth perception. But, when she falls (or runs into walls) it is a doozie.

Today, she fell while playing a tag type of game with her brother. Kersplat, down she went right on the hard kitchen floor. I heard the scream from the next room.

So, she tells me: "I didn't turn quick enough". She was running and instead of turning she ran directly into the oven and then somehow landed on the floor. She hit her forehead, her chin/cheek and her arm (hand).

I hate seeing my kid get hurt all the time. I know kids get hurt, kids fall, accidents happen. It just seems that with Belle she has a big bruise on her head more than she doesn't.

Related Links:
More Falls while Patching
She ran into a wall
On Head Protection

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Amblyopia on Ice

I signed Belle up for a Hockey Clinic here for Special Needs children. Initially I was hoping to sign up both of my children. But my autistic son has announced he is not interested in sports other than Bowling - so I'm not pushing it for him. Belle, on the other hand, really wanted to learn how to ice skate and this seemed like the perfect way. I asked if she would be able to attend the special needs clinic or if I should put her into their "learn to skate" program and was told we could do either but that because of her visual issues the Special Needs program would probably be a good place for her to start with lots of volunteers and helpers and she could go at her own pace.

I was concerned on how she'd do on the ice because she lacks depth perception and even off the ice she falls a lot. I was reassured however, that she'd be in a full protective gear and that there'd be tons of volunteers including an Occupational Therapist on the ice.

First she got suited up in skates, pads, and a helmet with a face cage. Even with the face cage I was nervous about her eyeglasses!

Once she was suited up, they took her for a ride on the ice in a chair. I could hear her giggling from where I was viewing on the upper level. This was a good start!

Then, they had her push the chair and use it for some stability.

Next step, she used a "walker" and was definitely getting the hang of it. She fell down a few times, but got right back up again. I cringed every time I saw her fall but it didn't seem to phase her one bit.

Then.. she was off!

They gave a child of mine a hockey stick and she got to score!

For info about the Brick Challenger Hockey Clinic visit the Brick Hockey Club website.