Monday, January 30, 2012

Vision Challenges

This year Big Brother turned eight years old. It feels like he is bright in a lot of ways, but I was very concerned that we hadn't seen any indication that he would be reading in the near future. In addition, he had a lot of trouble copying words from the board onto his paper. Brother would lose his place in the word and in the sentence. These indications led me to set up an appointment with an Optometric Physician. As expected, Brother's eyes would not converge or track correctly. This made me feel a lot better because it explained why he wasn't showing any signs of being an emergent reader. He was unable to focus on the words to be able to read.

Brother's treatment plan included a daily computer program that exercised his eyes as well as some non-computer home exercises. In addition some reflexes, which were important when he was a baby, did not integrate properly as he has grown. So we have exercises to integrate these reflexes.

On the bright side, I am seeing progress with reading. We are reading the Sally, Dick and Jane pre-primers from 1965 and doing the associated workbook. He loves it and the print is big and clear enough that he can read it. And he loves the pictures. On the negative side, his brain is rewiring and weird side effects are occurring. For example, when he is focusing hard, his body starts to itch all over. Obviously that is pretty darn distracting! Fortunately, our therapist provided me with a pressure activity I can do along his spine to reduce the itching. If it doesn't work, then I also have a pressure activity I can do to his face. So far this is really helping out.

Meanwhile, I feel like we have really been floundering. I wasn't getting the feedback that would keep us moving forward with the curriculum. My fellow homeschooling friend, who is really organized - said that we were in a state of emergency. That made me feel a lot better. The most important thing was the visual therapy and the physical therapy. So other things would slide a little to make space for the triage work. However, things have improved and we are no longer in an emergency situation. This weekend we participated in a special needs call with the Enki curriculum writer and she got me moving in the right direction.

So, as of this week, we are moving on with our official second grade curriculum!

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