So at times Tyler would be looking for a toy and would ask me to help him find it. So, I would say “Tyler it is right there on the table” or things like “it is on the floor.” Oddly enough he would be looking right at it, but didn’t see it. And, yes there were other things on the table or floor…but not many like 3 or 4. It blew my mind that he couldn’t see it. So, I thought maybe he is not processing the question, he just doesn’t understand me. But, he did. He just was on sensory overload. He couldn’t process the request and see the object visually. Yes, I know this is weird but it is part of sensory integration…which will come at a later post. So of course, I put it in the back of my mind and tried to deal with the every day battles of speech, OT, and a mainstream school. So, fast forward Tyler goes for his 4 year check-up after he was diagnosed and his NYC pediatrician does his typical eye exam with him. Tyler of course passes with flying colors…because he does have healthy eyes and excellent vision. Those of you who know Tyler are laughing now because you know he wears glasses. But, I will explain that one also. So the NYC doc says…that is weird he is telling me what he sees on the chart and it is correct. But, I swear he is looking over to the right and the chart is on the left. Again, wasn’t totally alarmed because Tyler is constantly over stimulated and moving around. He also has poor eye contact. So, doc says to me maybe you should go see an eye dr just to make sure. So, as luck would have it…I ask my biomedical nutritionist (another post) about this and he says I know a woman who treats kids on the spectrum and she is a developmental optometrist. Who knew these people even existing? Well, they do and from what I have heard and experienced Dr. Michelle Bessler in Westbury is one of the best. So, I make an appointment and I am flabbergasted. A lot of the things Tyler was experience comes from weak or underdeveloped eyes. So, she does of course a battery of tests and she is showing me how Tyler’s perception and peripheral vision are off (that is the layman’s term for some big medical word). And, why he having issues finding things that appear to be in front of him, problem with puzzles, bumping into things, and moves his entire body to track something not just his eyes. In a nut shell she tells me his eyes have not developed much beyond a baby and they need help. But, it is trainable and he can catch up because his eyes are healthy. Then she says to me that Tyler has to wear glasses. OH MY…Are you kidding me. I can’t take anymore. I call my sisters and I am sobbing. I don’t get it. He has perfect vision, But he needs Prism glasses. The kids are going to make fun of him. So, of course my sisters come to my rescue and tell me how adorable my son looks in his new digs. And, he truly is the cutest. Even cuter than that kid on Jerry Maguire…damn that could have been us if were only still in the early 80s (lol). Anyway, Tyler does 45 min vision therapy sessions for 16 weeks. In that time, Tyler’s handwriting and tracking improved. Puzzles got easier. He tends to find missing objects quicker and no longer bumping into things. So, the eval is approaching to see if he graduates. And, of course I am thinking does anyone really graduate. Well, they do. Tyler did it! 16 weeks of vision therapy and his eyes are now functioning like a 4 year old. We still try to do exercises at home and he is constantly working on left to right tracking at school. Even just recently his eyes were checked by another dr and he could not believe how strong they were! My son is amazing. He just keeps on pushing. It’s like he knows deep down inside that this is helping him.
Again, not a doctor but there are a lot of fun tracking exercises you can do at home and it doesn’t need to be done by a professional. Of course, if you think there could be a need for one…you should go see Dr. Bessler in Westbury. But, if you just want to have some fun at home with extra benefit… let me know and I can share some exercises.
So, Thank you to Dr. Bessler and her staff… We will be going back before Kindergarten for a few week refresher!
265 Post Ave, Suite 380
Westbury, NY 11590