Friday, May 4, 2012

Adventures in Amblyopia Part Six

After a small hiatus, we've started patching again.  It's been a battle for sure!  However, yesterday I realized that I don't think anybody has ever fully explained to Brychan why he has to wear his patch.  I always tell him it's just to make his eye stronger, but realized that it may be time for a more in-depth reason as to why he has to go through such torture everyday.

Question is, how do you explain the reasoning for patching to a four year old?

Here's how it went:

Basically, I told him that he has one pretty strong eye and one that needs some extra help.  The one that needs a little bit of help?  When it gets too tired, it starts turning in and bumping into his nose.  We obviously don't want it to bump his nose; we want it to look straight ahead like the strong eye.  So...we cover up the strong eye with a patch, which makes the other eye stronger, and makes it stay straight.  We have to do it every single day so his eye remembers not to bump into his nose.  And eventually, his eye will be strong enough to look straight ahead and we won't have to do anymore patching.

He had lots of questions and seemed to really soak up what I was telling him, which made me feel bad for not explaining it to him earlier.  Don't get me wrong; it still took some bribery to get the patching done, but we did get it done.  And at least now he knows why he has to wear his patch.

How did you explain patching to your little one?


Life,Twins,DramaQueen said...

Hi there,

Stopping by to give you a blog award!

Heather Grow said...

It sounds like you are a pretty awesome mom. I wish more moms were like you and did what was right instead of taking the path of least resistance.

Jill said...

What a sweet blog!!! I have Amblyopia also. I am 51! I have lived with it all of my life. I have patched, glasses etc. when I was young! It is such a pain and oh the fits I gave my Mom! God Bless all of you! I am so glad to see that parents are able to share their experiences, wonderful!!! I have lived a pretty normal life, but the glasses were a pain....I would hang them in the tree's so I could climb them, can't tell you how many I lost!!!
They took mine off when I was a Jr. in High School. He said they were beginning to weaken my good eye....I told him I thought I might want to hug his!!! Hang in there, be strong and know that you are not alone!!!
Jill Bridges

Ms. Kathy said...

I'm a teacher/specialist for children with visual impairments. I have google search mail coming to my mailbox on different conditions so that I can share with parents and the search sometimes brings your blog to my email box.

I think you explained it to him well and I agree that you could have explained earlier. Four-year-olds are pretty good at processing "why" as it is a question they're good at asking at this age. Although I go from school to school to check on my babies and their teachers, in the process I see kids who are not my students who have amblyopia--and it's far more common these days than people think. That is when I ask a teacher, "Does that child wear glasses or do you notice this or that? I want to prevent that baby from becoming one of my students!"

If they need my help getting the message to a parent, I will do an informal test and send a letter home to the parents. I've only had a hard time with 2 parents. One baby was going to need surgery because mom waited until it was almost too late. She thought if she ignored it then he would not need surgery and since he could see out of the good eye she assumed the misaligned eye was fine but just a little crooked. Actually he was losing vision in the eye. I was not able to see this child again to find out if his vision was saved in the esotrophic eye but I hoped the teachers and school nurses would stay on it when I had to leave.

I think you're doing a great job with your little one.

MaryTara Wu said...

We used the books like "the patch" and "my travelin eye" as well the Eye Patch kids movie. My daughter has been patching since she just turned 4 and is now 7 1/2! It has been a roller coaster ride!!!

I love this Amblyopia series you have written and have linked it on my Amblyopia site at Amblyopia Kids


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