I started to really notice that Elly would just glance at me for a second or 2 when I was talking to her. I knew she was listening, but started to get worried when she didn’t look at me. My friends kids that are the same age all look at their parents when they are talking. Was something wrong with Elly??? After pondering for a couple days, I decided to call the vision outreach specialist from the Fl School for the Deaf and Blind.
She said that it may one of or both of the following;
1. Emotional maturity (or lack of)
2. And/ or that kids that see double vision may glance for a couple seconds then look away. She may see the best or can focus better on my face from a different angle.
The general gist of the conversation – don’t worry and don’t push the issue. If I want to work on getting more eye contact, be short and simple, ie “Look at mommy when I’m talking.” Then, even if she does for a second, follow up with, “Thank you for looking.” If she makes any effort, give her the credit.
I was very reassured that keeping and maintaining eye contact is a common thing with children with vision impairments. The explanation makes perfect sense and even though my daughter doesn’t gaze into my eyes for great lengths, I know that she is listening to me.
Very interesting. Zoe does that glance and look away thing, too. No matter what the cause, I like the solution, too.
Beautiful picture of Ellie!
Thanks – we went to the beach this weekend. I loved the lighting, but couldn’t get her to even glance my way. There are very few pictures of Elly looking at me. I am lucky if I get to see her big beautiful eyes for a couple seconds.
I can definitely associate with you. Our Ellie will look at me, but never really make eye contact. I told the eye doctor about it the other day because it always seems to me like she is looking up above me rather than at me. The PO just kind of let it go, I guess she thought I was imagining things. Glad to know, I’m not the only one! Yes, it is a beautiful picture of your Elly at the beach… I am almost jealous… but then we are headed for the beach this weekend… so I can’t be too jealous. 🙂
My daughter, now 3 1/2, has never NEVER made eye contact. (Except when it’s a “mistake” 0 that is, she doesn’t realize she is making eye contact.) She has Cortical Visual Impairment (which a blogged about a while back), and one of the characteristics is that she has trouble visually picking out an object in a complex field. And a face is a perfect example. She can see the FACE, she just can’t see the discrete elements of the face (such as eyes, nose, etc.). When you ask her to point to her nose, etc., she just touches her face generally. She is getting better and now is getting toward the right general area (chin is no longer on her forehead!).
But in any event, my point is that in the case of kids with CVI (and perhaps other conditions), they may not even make the connection that the eyes are what we focus on, because they don’t see eyes distinct from other parts of the face.
Tobi, you are so right. With the eye drops she is at a vison level that would be considered legaly blind. I know that she is not able to distinuish facial features, so I make sure to smile with my mouth really wide showing my teeth when I am happy. Then, she says “That’s your happy face.” Every once in a while, I put my husbands glasses on to get a reminder of what life is like blurry and how I can better adapt our environment.