Jacki discusses the warning signs she did not easily notice that indicated a vision problem for her son.
I’d like to share with you some of the warning signs that, at that time we didn’t realize were warning signs, but after seeing Dr. Gong and educating ourselves realize now that they started at a very young age. Some of the earliest warning signs were some fine motor difficulties and gross motor difficulties. He’s a little bit clumsy, a little bit uncoordinated.
As he got older simple things like writing a single letter of the alphabet was difficult for him. He would turn his head to the side instead of looking straight on at the paper or obviously when we started trying reading, as a home school mom I had lots of input and experience with teaching him how to read and noticed that reading for him was very, very difficult and did not correlate with what we had been told was a very bright kid.
He struggled tremendously to read even a very short sentence and his eyes would get very tired. He would rub them continuously and sometimes they would turn red. Even something simple like taking a piece of paper and having him try to cut along a certain line; he couldn’t do it without turning his head. He couldn’t do it without turning the paper at an odd angle and most of the time even with that he still couldn’t do it very accurately.
I used to have him try and copy a simple object or a simple picture and many times he would leave out even the smallest detail. In other words if it was a square you might find him only drawing three sides of that square because he didn’t see the fourth side of that square.
I think he got more frustrated with me because at that time I didn’t realize what we were dealing with and I probably put too much pressure on him to achieve, knowing that he was a very bright kid. I just assumed wrongly, like many others, that he was just being a little adversarial possibly, which actually breaks my heart now to think of it as a 5, 6, 7-year-old that I put that much pressure on him. But he would get more frustrated with me than I was frustrated with him.
I think he knew his limitations. He just didn’t know the cause of those limitations, but I didn’t know those limitations and the cause either and I was a little, I have to say honestly, I was a little bit hard on him.
As a mom it was a relief to know that there was an answer out there and actually a very relatively easy answer out there. Vision therapy wasn’t always easy and he didn’t always like it, but when you see results like the results that we saw then you know you are on the right track and you know that he is going to succeed. I don’t know how to explain it other than that. Other than that mom’s instinct that you know he is going to succeed and he is going to be good at whatever he decides he is going to do.