a blog about raising a daughter with cerebral palsy and learning unexpected lessons along the way

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Don't Be Fooled

A while back, Oia's school asked if I would be willing to sign a consent form to have my daughter evaluated by the their vision specialist. (Not sure if "vision specialist" is the correct term but I'm going with it.) I never deny such things so I signed. I figure, the more supportive hands and watchful eyes on my daughter at this young, pliable age, the better.

Yesterday this specialist phoned to set up a mutual time for us to meet. She stated she had some questions she'd like me to answer regarding Oia's vision. We met this morning after I walked Oia to her class. I learned at this time she had already been working with Oia for 3 weeks. I would've liked to have known that before now but, whatever. I answered a few typical questions like How would you describe your daughter? Does she wear her glasses all the time? Is she on any medications? How well does her vision serve her in new places? Is she sensitive to light? How does she explore new objects; orally, tactically, visually, etc? and so on and so forth.

After some discussion, the specialist shared with me that according to her evaluations, Oia sees quite well but I've always believed this. As far as all can tell, her vision does not interfere with her level of function within her environment. To read of her vision history and diagnosis, it's really quite amazing. When asked by the specialist, Oia correctly pointed to near and far objects. Distance objects were seen looking out a window and near objects were tiny thumbnail sized pictures in print. She appears to see colors appropriately, correctly identifying red, yellow, blue and green. Her depth perception is on target. She does not over or under reach for objects and she lifts her little legs to the correct height when navigating steps. Don't be fooled by those little, thick glasses... this girl can see. If there is ever a stumble, it's due to physical challenges, not vision.

In addition to PT, OT and ST during school hours, Oia will also spend some time along side this vision specialist for the remainder of the year. As I understand, the two of them will do tasks together that require great visual focus (threading beads, etc). As Oia grows as a learner, she may require more needs from a vision specialists (special texts, larger fonts, etc) but for now this girl is holding her own.

My only request to all these therapists and specialist who work with my child during school hours... please work with our girl IN the classroom and keep this girl among her peers if and when you can. Getting pulled out of the classroom for one therapy session or another means she is missing out on valuable, educational activities that go on in the classroom. Our social butterfly would appreciate it very much.


  1. No pull-out for us either. Back in the fall, we were having some issues with that. Shelby was quick to let her Vision teacher and OT know that she did not appreciate leaving during circle or music time. I'm glad they tuned into her cues and respect that now.

  2. Great news. Charlie's teachers didn't seem to believe me when I said he could see. They started to pick up on it after a couple of weeks. He often won't look, but that's because it involves a funny head angle, not because he can't see.