Monday, April 26, 2010

Two new pairs of glasses for Maggie

Recently, Maggie had to upgrade her prescription. She received a pair that the insurance covered, but they do not pay for the lighter weight poly lenses. They are so heavy that I had to continuously tell her to push them up. Why don't insurance companies cover this lighter weight poly material?? The heavy thick glass lenses do no good if a child has to continuously push them up. These will be the "back up pair" for sure!
Today she received the pair we paid for out of pocket, and I LOVE them! She looks so much more grownup in this dark pink square oval shape!
This newer pair stay on her face much better too. She looks so much less of a toddler now without the MiraFlex frames she had for so long.
After doing a search, I couldn't find a decent place to donate old glasses. Any good suggestions?

Monday, April 19, 2010

What's wrong with this picture?

Great picture? Right... Well, it's a halfway decent picture of my son in terms of 'school pictures'. But something's missing.

yeah.. you guessed it, right? What's missing is....

His glasses!

I feel like it doesn't even look like my son because he wears his glasses full time. I feel like I'm looking at a different kid.

My son is autistic, he didn't make the decision to take off his glasses for the picture for vanity reasons. Nor did the school photographer - who is instructed that they have to take the picture 'as is' - if your kid has messy hair, a misbuttoned shirt, or food on their face - they still take the picture.

I asked my son about this when I showed it to him. I asked him, where his glasses were. He told me that his teacher took them off! I'm just shaking my head here.. and miffed. We went through this with my daughter's pictures in the fall. Now, I can only imagine what will come back for hers next week!

The good news is that a friend of mine who is a photographer recently took a great picture of my son (and he is wearing his glasses) that I love.

I especially love this picture because of the straight on eye contact and his piercing blue eyes. My son has autism so those moments of good eye contact are few and far between. But when I look into those blue eyes.... pure love.

Related Links:
School Picture Day - Glasses on or off?
On School Pictures and Glasses

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Jake's Amblyopia Update

I can’t believe it’s been a year already since I first wrote about my son Jake. It’s been a year of ups and downs. The last time I wrote we were awaiting our appointment with the Specialist at the Children’s Hospital in our city for Jake’s eye turn. The appointment went really well and we were told that he will NOT need surgery! We were so relieved. Now that his brain was recognizing his poor eye it was no longer turning in. The specialist told us to just continue with the patching every day to keep strengthening his eye.

So we continued to see our Optometrist on a regular basis and kept patching daily. Over the year we had some regression and we were really discouraged by it and wondering if he’d ever gain full sight out of his eye. We kept plugging away though at the patching knowing that it was our only hope. Well I have wonderful news! At our last appointment Jake was seeing about 20/20 – 20/25 out of his poor eye! We had been down to about 1 -2 hours a day of patching by then. Our doctor is letting us take a break from patching right now. We’re hoping that his eye sight holds during that time. The good news is though that we were told that now that the brain has recognized 20/20 vision if his eye sight should decline during this no patching time that it will be easy to regain the sight again by patching.

I just want to encourage you to keep plugging away at the patching because it does work! All the appointments, lens changes, glasses adjustments and patching are so worth it when you get to tell your child that he can finally take a break and see the look of pure joy on his face.

To read more of Jake's Amblyopia Journey go here

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Headhuggers Eyeglass Strap now Available!

The cost of keeping your kids glasses on their face where they belong... Priceless!

From the makers of Framehuggers eyepatches - meet Headhuggers. These are very comfortable, kid-friendly eyeglass retainers that keep your child's glasses on their heads and on their faces (no more sliding down!).

To purchase your headhugger go to:
Price: $11.99

Related Links:

Headhuggers: New Framehuggers Eyeglass Retainer for Kids - Photos
Keeping Kids Eyeglasses On - Eyeglass Retainers
Keeping Kids Glasses On - The Dish on Eyeglass Retainers

3D Home Movie Experiment

The kids want to see the new movie "How to Train your Dragon" - of course in 3D. Since Belle really doesn't see 3D very well (if at all) I don't like to spend extra on it. We always do and then afterwards she doesn't even make it through the whole movie with the glasses on, or she doesn't seem to notice or react to the 3D effects.

So I thought I would conduct a little home movie experiment because I could.

The copy of the Coraline DVD I purchased on Black Friday (Walmart $3!) included a 3D copy with glasses. So... I dimmed the lights and passed out glasses and we watched. She made it less than 20 minutes into the film before asking if we could "switch to the one without the 3D".

Why? Because it was blurry and hurting my head. Oh, and the glasses were too big (hence the headband).

End result - 3D Fail.. but, we had fun trying!

PS. Coraline - a bit too scary for my daughter. Also, maybe not the best for kids with eye issues as it features a scary ghost mom that pulls out eyeballs and sews buttons in their place.. yes, really. Gotta 'love' Tim Burton. Creepy!

Making her Amblyopia Sock Puppet

The other day, Belle and I were at the library - one of her favorite places to go. On the children's table they had a display poster advertising a sock puppet event. The event was Socky & Jamie but she immediately started talking about "her Amblyopia movie" aka The Eye Patch kids which was her only other interaction with Sock Puppets up til now. The Eye Patch kids movie was really instrumental for Belle in the beginning with getting her to wear her patch. Even my son, who has no need for an eye patch likes the movie. Both kids became very fascinated by the sock puppets and would use one of my trouser socks on their hands and play along with the puppets. So, since this free library event included making a sock puppet (it was BYOS - bring your own sock) I decided to sign up with her.

Meet Princess - Belle's sock puppet. She named her Princess, of course, out of The Eye Patch Kids and she was sure to put glasses on Princess. The cutest thing was there was another little girl she was sitting with and that little girl had to put glasses on her sock puppet just like Belle did.

Since then, we've watched The Eye Patch Kids DVD about 10,023 times with her very own Princess puppet.

Related link:
Silly Puppets help Amblyopia Kids in Eye Patch Kids DVD

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Ficklet pic

I just love this picture of Belle in her Strawberry Ficklets.

We were at the park the other day for the blowing bubbles for Autism playdate and my daughter, of course - had her Strawberry Ficklets on -- flowers and tiaras moved over and Strawberries became 'the favorite'. So many people compliment her about the strawberries on her glasses.

So sweet!

Related links:

Ficklets - Bling those glasses!

Strawberry Sweet... Strabismus [Ficklets]

Fun with Ficklets

Monday, April 5, 2010

April Visit to the Eye Doctor

Maggie was extremely excited for her routine eye appointment today. Although her appointment was set for 3:30pm, she was ready to go at 9am. Most visits are fairly ordinary in what happens. Sometimes her prescription changes, and it is always a bonus if the doctor needs to write a new one that isn't as strong, but I wasn't feeling that for this visit for her. In the past few weeks, I noticed more crossing than usual, and here's why:

Last summer, Maggie upgraded her glasses, but by December, the dog chewed them up beyond her ability to wear. Fortunately she had a backup pair that would have to hold her over until she made this visit due to a constraint on my dollars (I was laid off in January). So, with her having to wear the backups, I feared that it wasn't helping her eyes much as I was almost certain the prescription wasn't current.

Her doctor visits typically are about 20 minutes, but this visit lasted over an hour! The doctor Maggie sees is highly sought after, and she only works one day a week as she nears retirement. The technician checked her eyes and is always impressed with Maggie's fluent knowledge of the alphabet and her phonics. This goes to prove that despite a little obstacle in her vision, amblyopia does not impair children's ability to absorb and learn.

Finally at the end of her visit, the doctor writes a new prescription, and as I thought it was stronger. Fortunately no repeat patching was ordered, but the stronger prescription will help with any crossing she has. Tomorrow we will pick out 2 new pairs of glasses, and I am considering getting her the lenses that change in the sunlight (name?).

To read more of Maggie's Story go here