Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Amblyopia Kids may struggle with trendy 3D toys & games

Since the release of Avatar 3D there's been more in the news about how those who have Amblyopia or other vision issues may not be able to view 3D images as intended.

It seems the push for everything 3D lately has branched from movies - into other media items such as video games and even toys.

For example, my son has the Toy Story Mania! Wii game which is based on the Disney/Pixar attraction of the same name. The wii gameplay consists of carnival style games that are 3D - and require the player to wear the "old school red & blue lens" glasses. Try as she might, my daughter really struggles with this game and usually gives up because she cannot view it properly and therefore she is literally playing it blind. It is a shooting game, so if she hits a target it is pure luck. At least she has a good "excuse" why she is not good at the game... what's my excuse for missing the targets?

The most recent place that I stumbled upon more 3D products for kids - is surprisingly -- the craft/Crayola aisle! I thought, really.. are you kidding me? They now sell 3D coloring books, 3D chalk and other 3D activity kits. My daughter likes to con me into buying Crayola sets sometimes when we are at Target or the grocery store. Since they generally are pretty inexpensive and are nice quiet activities that keep her busy - I'm usually happy to add another art set. I also think they make a pretty good patching activity! But now I'm frustrated... Just yesterday at Target my daughter saw a fairies kit and commented to me "it even has glasses". I took a look at it and saw it was a 3D kit and so I had to steer her to a different coloring book set. Whatever happened to just coloring books, paints, markers? When did art sets get so complicated?

Comment if your child with Amblyopia has ever tried any of these kits or 3D games/movies? I'd love to hear your experience positive or negative.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Is your child a member of The Eye Patch Club?

The Eye Patch Club is a support network and patching "club" for kids with amblyopia.
We have been members of The Eye Patch club for several months since my daughter has Amblyopia and has worn an eye patch now for a year. When you join the club, you will receive a packet in the mail with a few pages for parents to complete and send back to Prevent Blindness America should you want to share a picture or sign your child up to receive a birthday card. There is also a calendar to keep track of your child's patching and encourage patching compliance.

Membership in the Eye Patch Club is $12.95 an in addition to the membership kit, newsletter, sticker and calendar it includes access to members only content on the Prevent Blindness America website. The members only area includes printable coloring pages, a printable classroom curriculum (appropriate for older children), parent tips, and features like a "meet the members/member of the month" section. Your child can also receive a birthday card from the club - My daughter recently turned 5 and received a birthday card in the mail from The Eye Patch Club. It was exciting for her to receive something in the mail and it is reassuring for her to go on the website (with adult supervision) to see pictures of other children who wear an eye patch like herself.

The Prevent Blindness America site also offers an amblyopia discussion forum. This forum is an amazing resource for parents and is FREE to access. On the forum, parents can discuss their child's progress, ask questions of other parents and receive moral support. This is particularly helpful during the early months of patching and for parents of children who have recently been diagnosed with Amblyopia.

Join the Eye Patch Club - Order Online - Only $12.95 plus shipping. For more ordering options, call 1-800-331-2020