The Pediatric Ophthalmologist is great for explaining why and how to treat our little ones eye conditions, but I found it wasn’t enough information. I wanted, no wait, I needed more information, more support, more advice. There are various things you can do, but these are some that I, as a mom, would recommend.
1. Research your child’s condition, but don’t panic. The internet is a great resource, but the things you read will not take your child and their specific condition into consideration. You pediatrician, Ophthalmologist, and Optometrist, may recommended or give you specific papers, pamphlets or websites. Google or other search engines may also have research and articles. U-Tube even has videos for most conditions. The research page at Little Four Eyes also has great links.
2. Find a support group, online or in-person. Our kids are amazing and just like every other kid, but sometimes it is helpful, reassuring, and uplifting to talk to other parents who may be going through similar situations (dr visits, getting glasses, surgery ect.).
3. Call your Early Learning Coalition. If you can’t find their number, call your local school board and ask to be connected to the department that works with children from birth – 5. There are numerous services that your child may or may not qualify for depending on the severity of their vision. The programs in our state are called “special education services,” these include a multitude of services such as speech, OT, PT, vision, and more. Warning!!! Public school systems are hard to navigate, if you have questions, I am not an expert, but have worked in them for 5 years and can try help.
4. Call the nearest School for the Deaf and Blind. This is our states website http://www.fsdb.k12.fl.us/ They often have outreach programs with support programs that do training, information, referral services, and assessments. At this time Elly does not qualify for their programs because she has full vision in her left eye (even though the treatment takes this vision away). Most programs vary by state. They did, however, come to our home and do an initial visit. She gave us valuable safety suggestions, information about little things to do to help Elly see better and answered lots of questions. We are on a consultation plan with the vision specialist and I can call or e-mail her with any questions. Stay tuned for my post on the most recent reason I called her!
5. If you child is in a childcare or school setting, schedule a time to talk with your child’s care givers. Make sure they are sitting your child close for story time, using bold markers to write, keeping the lights on at consistent levels, using high contrast colors when teaching concepts; like white chalk on black board, including multi-sensory activities and other adaptations to your child’s learning environment to make sure that your child is getting the best education possible.