When your 5 year old goes to their eye appointment, and needs glasses it’s cute, people see them in their glasses and say….. Awwwwwww, look how adorable he/she is. When your 17 month old goes to the doctors and needs glasses, cute is not what comes to the mind. When people see babies, and toddlers with glasses, they stare, and arkwardly ask what’s wrong?
This month a year ago, I found out that my 18 month old son, Kristopher had vision issues. He doesnt have the cute kind that you can just toss some glasses on him to read with, but the everyday, all day, no other option, but to wear his glasses vision problems. A problem that will need correction for a life time.
What I realized quickly is that, I didn’t know alot of other mothers who had experienced this. I would try to talk to some moms, but it wasnt much help. I knew that they meant well, however, it didnt ease my worries. I did appreciate the few friends that I shared it with, because they reassured me that he would be happier with them, that he would learn to wear them, and that everything would be fine. I was still left with so many questions, feelings, and worries.
The one person I spoke with, that had experience with this was my cousin. Somehow, out of everyone I forgot her. She hadn’t just dealt with this once, but multiple times with her young children, and the conversation with her was so different. She didn’t suggest that he would grow out of it, or say how cute he would be, or act as if ppl wouldn’t notice glasses hanging off of his 1 year old face. She told me the truth. She said yes, people are rude, and will ask ignorant questions. She offered pediatric ophthalmologist referrals in case I needed another opinion or more help, and explained to me the process that lead each of her young babies to glasses. Most importantly, she uplifted me as a mother. She told me that I noticed it early, and acted quickly. Her telling me that I was a good mom remimded me that, that’s what would help Kristopher wear his glasses proudly.
A Few Terms to Know:
Nearsighted: when close objects appear clear, but far away objects are difficult to see.
Farsightedness: when far objects are clear to see, but close objects are blurry.
Astigmatism: Imperfection in the curvature of the cornea.
American Optometric Association
Tips for Moms Who May Suspect Vision Issues With Their Infants or Toddlers:
1. Act quickly: If you notice any thing out of the ordinary, or off about your child’s eyes or vision DONT brush it off, or be brushed off. You know your child better than anyone else in the world!
2. Make an appointment with their pediatrician: For small children you want to keep your pediatrician in the loop. They can often also offer great referrals, and wonderful insight.
3. Select a good Pediatric ophthalmologist: Having someone poke around an infant/toddlers eyes is not easy. It is often uncomfortable and unsettling for most adults. Select someone who is efficent, friendly, and patient. The more comfortable they have your little one feel, the better the exam will go, and the more they can learn about your childs eye sight.
4. Educate Yourself: Learn as much as you can about your childs vision, and have plenty of questions prepared to ask their doctor.
5. Talk to other moms: Speak to moms with experience. They can offer you information, comfort, recommendatons, and encouragement.
6. Educate your child: Explain to them the purpose of their glasses. Purchase books and find pictures of other children proudly wearing their glasses! You will be surprised at how much they actually understand.
7. Congratulate yourself: You got your child the proper help that they needed to correct their vision. Rather than stress over the issue, find peace in the resolution, and correction process.
Please check out Part II, of Guilt and Glasses, on October 27, 2016. I will discuss, Kristopher’s adjustment to glasses, his eye condition, and offer more useful infomation.
Thank you for reading,
Kristopher’s Mom, Kristina