Friday, September 14, 2007

Do You See What I See?

The Summer of Medically Testing The Boy officially comes to an end today -- and I am not with him to see its completion. Rob and The Boy are out in State College, home of our beloved PSU Nittany Lions, but they are not out there to whoop it up with all the tailgaters getting their grub on for tomorrow's game. They are there for some visual perception testing. What the hey-ho is visual perception testing, you ask? Good question. If you find the answer, let me know, because I'm pretty foggy on the whole thing myself. Isn't that a ringing endorsement from a mother of one who is undergoing said testing? Yep, I thought so too.

Actually, I do understand the idea behind visual perception testing, but I'm interested to know how these tests are implemented. Of course, I sent my husband out there and I'm relying on him to bring me every stinkin' detail. This is a man who I don't even send to the grocery store, despite his being armed with a list that details the exact brand and size of every item we need. It's not that he is incompetent, but we are meant to be a team. He is very laid back and I can get very keyed up, so together we make one normal person. Only sending half the team is a dicey proposition.

Anyhoo, back to the bunny trail . . .

The Boy has glasses, and he has been to ophthalmologists, so his vision is as corrected as it's going to be. But visual perception is a whole other ball of wax. It deals with what the brain actually does with the information it receives from the eyes. Basically, does The Boy see what we see? It also deals with things like depth perception and spatial awareness, two things that are major problems for him right now.

I'll be interested to see what comes of this exam . . . I think. I know it sounds strange to hope that your child gets diagnosed with something, but sometimes the not knowing has been the hardest part of our journey with him. I feel like we would be validated in some way if this doctor comes back and says, Yes, The Boy has some visual perception problems and this is what we need to do to help him overcome them. It gets tricky when all the doctor can say is, Yes, there is something going on with your son, but there is no name and no treatment, so good luck to you.

I am also hoping for some kind of direction for his therapy. What he is doing now seems to be working well, but what if he is not seeing what he is supposed to be seeing? That affects his whole outlook (ha!) on therapy, you see? (haha!) Of course all of this comes on the heels of his occupational therapy progress report that is chock full of glowing accolades such as well below average; distinct motor planning delays; poor visual perception; could not complete tasks.

Actually, The Boy has come very far in his therapy, and I am so pleased and proud of his effort and his almost constant positive attitude. I don't know if I could maintain that attitude if I didn't have the hand strength to pick up a pencil and write something. Who am I kidding? I'd be a total drag. I guess that I am just hoping this exam will help us to tailor his therapy more specifically to his needs. (Plus, we could totally dress him as Mr. Magoo for Halloween!)

I'll be away for a few days, sorting through all of his results and paperwork, but I'd be grateful if you could just say a little prayer of direction for us.


  1. Definitely, prayers will be coming.

    I know that even having an eye-muscle problem, along with one nearsighted and one farsighted eye, that caused me to "see double" frequently, kids do not know that the way they see is not normal. They just go with it. I had no idea that this was a problem and that not everyone "saw" this way!

    It's probably fascinating, how they go about testing children to diagnose visual problems. I'm amazed that they have figured out ways of doing this.

    Hope that The Boy is able to show the testers what his difficulties are, so they can design therapies to help him!

  2. I'd be happy to say a few extra prayers for some of my favorite people.

    And, I wonder, this may seem a little out there, but is part of the reason for his positive attitude the fact that he's never known anything different in his life. Is he blessed with a simplicity only known to some of the saints?

  3. Anonymous3:37 PM

    Prayers always!
    Mirabella MOM

  4. My little boy had a couple of delays in the language department and that is hard enough - I'll say a prayer for you, it must be a challenge. It's hard to hear those "accolades", I know.

  5. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, and thousands of $$ in vision therapy. It did help some. I think I was expecting a miracle change in our daughter. The truth is, she is who she is, a bright, witty, creative girl. And she will always do some things in her own way and at her own pace.

    I hope things work well for The Boy. You guys are in my prayers.

  6. Prayers for you and yours!

  7. praying for you all. How did it go?


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