Amaze Girl scribbled. She wrinkled a corner of the paper. She wiggled in her seat and fidgeted with her shoe. She stared out a window.
I sighed. Impatience niggled at me. Babe, I said. Look here.
She startled. Rotated her attention back to the page in front of her.
Hey, look here.
She sighed. Shook her head. Tapped her pencil. Turned. Her eyes rolled to my ear, slid along my forehead, down the side of my face.
Babe, I said. Focus. My fingertips tapped the area just above my cheeks.
She opened her eyes wide until her irises were surrounded by white. Raised her chin. Frowned.
Now she was looking at me - more or less.
The assignment was math; double digit subtraction with borrowing. She knew how to do this. Why was it taking so long to complete?
Was the problem an innate inability to focus? Poor attention, slow thinking processes, ADD/ADHD, early exposure to lead? Bad attitude, ineffective effort? Low self-esteem? Does she watch too much tv, eat too much sugar? Need to run, more positive reinforcement, extra practice?
If your child has a vision problem, he or she may act out in certain ways…be inappropriately or appropriately diagnosed with dyslexia, ADD or ADHD. Some children appear to learn normally but become frustrated quickly.
Amaze Girl's first eye test was done in a medical doctor's office and showed nearly perfect vision. It took a moment but she read all the tiny numbers. Saw all the big letters.
Amaze Girl's second eye test, completed by an optometrist while her eyes were dilated, revealed a significant need for visual correction. Or in the words of one technician, "Whoa!"
"A typical child's eye muscles are strong," said the optometrist. "Muscles expand and contract, move. When muscles work hard to compensate for a visual impediment it can be a cause of focus and attention issues in school." He smiled. "Dilation inhibits the muscles' ability to adjust so we can read her true prescription."
Amaze Girl is far sighted, which means her eyes focus easily on far-away objects. When she turns her attention to objects that are close up, her eyes require time to adjust. They'd labor again every time she glanced away/turned back.
After a while, the exhausted organs would be done for the day. Even if Amaze Girl was not.
If there is a problem in how easily or quickly our eyes focus, that visual problem is called an accommodative dysfunction…children have a large amount of focusing capacity…(but) may be unable to quickly change the focus of their eyes from near to (far)...
With glasses, Amaze Girl's handwriting improved. Her intellectual endurance lengthened. Since she no longer had to wait for her eyes to adjust and refocus her reading was more fluid.
I held up my camera. Hey, Babe, look here, I said.
And immediately, without hesitation? She did.