I woke up today feeling a major fail on the mommy front. Yesterday, I took Ryder to an ophthalmologist to have his eyes checked, since we are still battling the reading and writing on a daily basis. On his teacher’s recommendation, we made an appointment. Passing an eye exam back in August, they thought I should further investigate the issue, and perhaps get a second opinion with more specific testing.
I was a little hesitant to take him to yet another doctor because it seems like we are seeing a new, different type of doctor every month, and practically asking them to please find something wrong with my child. Last month was the allergist, because Ryder always seems to have shiners under his eyes, and I am constantly getting questioned if he sleeps enough. Funny, but he is the only one that gets any regular sleep in our house. And we’ve been to the allergist in the past for a number of other reasons and he’s always tested negative for everything. It may sound strange, but for closure, I was practically hoping we would find an allergy to something like, gluten, but turns out (and luckily!) its just seasonal, and then we were back to square one again. I am not going to get into how he’s already had tubes in his ears, tonsil and adenoids out, a sleep study, and plenty more in between.
After nearly five hours at the eye doctor yesterday, we were informed that Ryder has convergence insufficiency, which means he can see but his eyes do not coordinate with one another. He’s been correcting the issue by himself, which is why we would have never known; in fact, the doctors almost misdiagnosed him yesterday because he kept passing every test. It was only when his eyes started to tire that they were able to clearly determine the root of the problem, which explains why he can read the first five pages of a book perfectly fine, but then loses interest afterwards.
He knows that he will need to start wearing glasses, and seems ok about it. Tomorrow we will head to the eye glass store, and he’s already requested a blue pair. His prescription will be prism lenses, which will help kick start his eyes moving into moving together. Fortunately, these glasses are for therapy, so once the issue has been corrected, he will not need glasses long term.
Finally, we have some answers on why he has been so troubled, but I can’t help to want to ball my eyes out that this wasn’t diagnosed sooner. I feel awful! I’ve gotten frustrated with him about homework and focusing and thinking he was just goofing off, and he was battling just to see properly. My heart is in my throat, pondering, what if he had been diagnosed at an earlier doctor’s visit, maybe he wouldn’t have fallen so far behind. This new revelation will probably change the education evaluation he is currently undergoing, and I wonder if we will now need to re-test.
The past year has been baby steps to uncover what was happening with him, and finally yesterday was a major revelation, and I am optimistic that we should start to experience major improvements. Mind you, it doesn’t discount the fact that he has attention issues and anxiety, but it’s a start. It’s a lesson learned for me- keep going, don’t stop until you get the answer.
We left the doctors office last night around 8:30, and Ryder’s eyes were still blurry from having to be dilated but he wanted to cross the street into Bryant Park for a glimpse at the tree. I felt like I owed it to him for being such an incredible sport and I let him pick out a tiny ornament from the vendors. Although I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus, I’m glad we will be able to see things clearer now.