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  5. Eye testing for kids? Updated....

Eye testing for kids? Updated.... Lock Rss

Does anyone's children wear glasses or have you been through the eye testing process with them before?

My mum was looking after the boys for me today and when I got home she jokingly said DS1 should get his eyes tested. I asked why and she mentioned that she had been watching DS1 doing Reading Eggs on the computer and that he kept squinting and getting closer to the screen. As soo as she said that I realised that it may explain a lot of the problems he's been having in relation to his school work and concertration during certain situations. DH had bad eye sight as a kid (had laser surgery in his 20's) so there is also a genetic link there.

My biggest question is where do I start in regards to the eye testing procedure. DH is keen to get him to an optometrist this weekend, but I was wondering if it would be worthwhile looking for one who is particuarly experienced working with younger children as DS1 is only 5 and a half. Would be particuarly interested in hearing from anyone who may be able to recommend an optometrist in Brisbane (preferably Southside) or even the Gold Coast.

Funnily enough my Mum's observations coincided with DS1's teacher asking me if I could meet with her before school tomorrow to discuss some concerns she has about his reading and writting, so I'll be asking if she has noticied anything which may indicate vision problems as well.







try and look into a behavioural optometrist rather than just a normal optometrist if you can. They look a bit into the 'why' and will give exercises etc that help as well as considering glasses. Just be aware that getting an appointment can take a while because they aren't as common as normal optometrists.

I took DD1 to one earlier this year. It was a good hour and a half appointment (hour for the appointment split into two parts with a 30 min break in between) and was completely bulk billed through the place we went (I think it was LensPro at Booval Fair in Ipswich, there's 2 glasses shops in the shopping centre and I can't remember definitely which one it was, I asked at one and they said they didn't have a behavioural optometrist but that the other one did).

It was a while ago now so my memory isn't that crash hot but they looked at her depth perception, tracking, actual vision, some colour differentiation I think and quite a few other things as well. The first part (30-40 min?) was looking at her eyes normally then they put some drops in and she had to wait for them to work then do some more activities to check how the eyes worked after that. From the appointment with DD1 we discovered that, while her vision is fine, she has issues with tracking which is why she was having trouble reading - she'd read words backwards/guess a word that started with the last letter in the word, jumped lines so her reading didn't make sense etc, and once I was told about the tracking issue it made sense. The behavioural optometrist gave me a heap of activities to do to help her develop her tracking etc, simple things like doing find a words and the 'where's wally' type books (age/ability appropriate obviously) or getting a magazine and drawing a continuous line around the words - under the first word then over the second then under the third etc/line one draw a continuous line under the words but loop around any 'a' you see, line 2 loop around any 'b' etc. They're fun and easy activities but I've definitely seen an improvement in her reading since going.

Leisa.
Thanks Leisa. I had heard about behavioural optometrists before and was wondering if that would be a good option, but I wasn't 100% sure what they did. Some of what you're saying your daughter did sounds a lot like DS1. It's so hard to tell because he's only just learning to read.







Terror Tots wrote:
Thanks Leisa. I had heard about behavioural optometrists before and was wondering if that would be a good option, but I wasn't 100% sure what they did. Some of what you're saying your daughter did sounds a lot like DS1. It's so hard to tell because he's only just learning to read.


yeah I had the same struggle because DD1 had only just started prep (made the appointment in early March but the appointment was in June) and I didn't know how much of it was 'learning to read still' and how much of it was 'problem' but decided if I got her eyes checked and things were fine I could know it was just 'learning to read still' but if there was a problem I could address it before it started impacting her schooling. I figure for the peace of mind an hour or two to get their eyes checked doesn't hurt.

Leisa.
I just took DD1 to OPSM, they found she had a stigmatism, had to do a couple of tests to make a fairly accurate diagnosis, then she got glasses.
It helped her behaviour immensely, she started working a lot better at school and stopped being so snappy at home. smile
Had the meeting with DS1's teacher this morning. Looks like we're on the same wave length because she has recommended getting his eyes tested by a behavioural optometrist as well. She has also recommended getting his hearing tested.

Thankfully she has no other concerns in relation to where his at, just some issues with his reading and writing (and possibly a lack of self confidence in his abilities). She said in every other area he is doing really well.

So now I'll beging the hunt for a behavioural optometrist. The teacher did mention one local one but said she'd recieved mixed reviews about her from other parents so I'll do a bit of a search around first.

Thank you to everyone who has responded so far. You're stories are making me more confident that we are on the right path with this one and that the issues will be able to be addressed smile







Athaye wrote:
I just took DD1 to OPSM, they found she had a stigmatism, had to do a couple of tests to make a fairly accurate diagnosis, then she got glasses.
It helped her behaviour immensely, she started working a lot better at school and stopped being so snappy at home. smile


Snappy at home....certainly sound like DS1 and it's a relatively new behaviour.







try spec savers- the one near me has a sign that says something about behavioural.Sorry,its been a while since I have been at that centre so dont remember it very well.

mum of 3 boys aged 11, 13 and 14

Mum Of 3 Cuties wrote:
http://www.acbo.org.au/directory Have a look here for one in your area.

Both my boys have had behavioral eye exams and they love them smile Each one took an hour and a half to complete.


Thank you, thank you, thank you grin So many options including the one DS1's teacher spoke about. This will make my job much easier smile







Winning! Found a Behavioural Optometrist I like the look/sound of through the link that Mum of 3 Cuties posted. Got a call from DH saying he'd gotten a recommendation from someone at his work...turned out to be the same guy. Called them. Minutes before I called they had someone call and make a cancellation for this Friday so we are in with no waiting grin (usually a 6-8 week wait for this guy) It's also all bulk billed and if we need glasses or other aids they go directly through our private health insurance smile

I'm suddenly very keen for school pick up time so I can share the news with his teacher smile







Terror Tots wrote:
Winning! Found a Behavioural Optometrist I like the look/sound of through the link that Mum of 3 Cuties posted. Got a call from DH saying he'd gotten a recommendation from someone at his work...turned out to be the same guy. Called them. Minutes before I called they had someone call and make a cancellation for this Friday so we are in with no waiting grin (usually a 6-8 week wait for this guy) It's also all bulk billed and if we need glasses or other aids they go directly through our private health insurance smile

I'm suddenly very keen for school pick up time so I can share the news with his teacher smile


fantastic news! hope the appointment on Friday goes well for you.

Leisa.
Hi Ladies. Sorry my update has taken so long to get to. This whole process has left me a bit up and down.

So we saw the Behavioural Optometrist and it was very eye opening (sorry about the pun, tried to reword but couldn't think of anything else laugh)

The optometrist diagnosed DS1 as havong/being:

Retained neonatal reflexes, Left Eye Dominant, Ambient vision dysfunction, Trace Eye Allergy, Unsteady fixation

Which basically means:

A check was made on the aiming point of each eye. There should be steady binocular fixation. However, the fixation of right macula was unsteady (and there was also an eccentric fixation). As fixation fails, so does concentration. For normal binocular functions to occur, a person must hold steady bimacula fixation (i.e. steady central fixation of the macula of each eye) regarding objects at near, mid or far distance. DS1 was assessed to need training to assist fixation to develop.

Ambient vision or peripheral vision has a function to provide information on “where is it” and assists visually guided movement balance and posture. Many children show various degrees of disturbance of spatial function. They have a problem knowing where they are in space. More basically, they lack an awareness of their own physical parts and how they move. To varying degrees, they have shut down their visual processes, in an attempt to create some sense of order in a confusing world. DS1 was assessed to need training glasses to assist this function as it develops.

Learning difficulties, behavioural problems, poor coordination and developmental delay may be the result of retained neonatal reflexes (also known as primitive reflexes).

As I said earlier it has been an eye opening experience. Afterall I knew DS1 was having difficulties learning to read but I had never even begun to question his co-ordination. It was actually the opposite because he has always been pretty good at sport. But the optometrist asked him to do some simple excercises, like turning his toes in towards each other and he started by moving every other part of his body but his feet. The other thing was his concertration levels which I had always taken as disinterest and now realise they are because of his vision issues. I was all ready to pull him out of his karate lessons once his trial period had finished, but now I have just paid up to extend it to a year membership to actually help him with his coordination.

The optometrist has given us a bunch of resources to read and recommendations for actvities including online games and apps to help him (there are four A4 pages of them...who knew there would be that many) and suprisingly they include games like bejewelled, fruit ninja, and angry birds! They also recommended Reading Eggs (which luckily he has a subscription for through his school) and some other educational sites focusing on reading and math.

He has also recommended Occupational Therapy, so I'm going to follow up on that through our GP to hopefully get one of those treatment plans that helps reduce the cost.

At the moment I'm excited to finally have answers, but feeling totally overwhelmed. It's been hard work trying to find the time to help him with his reading and excercises due to having four kids including a new baby and he is fighting it every step of the way. Luckily he will wear the glasses but everything else is "Too hard". DH and I are struggling to keep our cool and not get totally frustrated with him. Previously we were following his teachers recommendations (which she gave to all parents at orientation) about not pushing them too hard and stopping when they become frustrated. Unfortunately that's led to him learning how to frustrate us and digging his heels in hoping that we'll tell him we don't have to do it. So finding balance on that one is ridiculously hard. We have a review in late January so hoping we can persevere till then and will hopefully see some improvements.







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