Most people see the cute turkey below and say to themselves "Meh. So what? It's a kids Thanksgiving story."
But I don't. I see the kid behind it. Who worked so hard to be able to write like that. Where you can, you know, actually read what he wrote.
For those of you who have followed my blog, you will remember Owen's struggles with his vision so you know Owen has worn glasses since he was four. But the vision problems he had are not related to his 20/20 vision (or lack there of!) Lucky for him, he got an extra special vision issue to deal with where his eyes weren't focusing properly and were causing him to see two of everything.
Well. It is lucky for him that he had very good teachers who worked with me to figure out what was going on and a GREAT eye doctor, Angela Tsai, who helped diagnose him with Binocular Vision Disorder and Colleen Hairston, his AWESEOME eye therapist. We are one of the few lucky ones who hit the nail on the head when we first started noticing that something was going on.
Many other kids, and their families, aren't so lucky because the kid continues to struggle with academic and behavior issues that go undiagnosed for years and are often misdiagnosed as ADD or ADHD or any other diagnosis that will make the problem "go away."
The issue is that the problem, and the struggles, never "go away." Instead they are brushed under the carpet with the kid being medicated because that is the easiest thing to do. Unless they are correctly diagnosed and help given to the child.
But this isn't going to be a rant about that. Instead, this is just to update you on Owen's progress with his vision problem.
Since I last blogged, Owen started Occupational Therapy to address the fine motor skills issues that he had due to the vision delay. The fine motor skills (which particularly manifested itself in his writings and drawings especially) had to be addressed but we didn't want to do it at the same time that he was doing intense vision therapy.
He had a recent evaluation and they released him from his individual occupational therapy stating that his visual perception is now where it needs to be in relation to where other kid his age are at.
1. Owen made a 3 (equivalent of a b) in handwriting this past report card. He brought that up from a 1 (equivalent of a d/f).
2. You can actually read his writing! And he can use regular paper.
3. His sentences now begin on the left hand side of the paper. Where before they were all over the page. Starting where ever he wanted to start them. Continuing a sentence where ever he wanted to continue it and stopping it where ever he wanted to stop it. He can actually make a column of numbers now and follow it!
4. His letters aren't being reversed any longer.
5. His ability to track a ball is so much better. He made four interceptions at flag football this year. He was moved up to the 9/10 year old class in tennis.
Because he can see the ball. The ONE ball. Not two coming at him that he was seeing before.
6. He's no longer a behavioral problem at school. He is paying attention in class and not goofing off in order to avoid the work.
7. He feels good about himself. He has confidence in himself and no longer feels different from the other kids. That is key and probably the most important change I've seen.
So anyway, that's where we're at with him. I am going to make an appointment with his eye doctor and get her to reevaluate him from her perspective. I'll keep you updated!