Monday, May 17, 2010

Haley's Glasses

Haley has had glasses since she was about four months old.  Her eyes continued to cross long after they should have stopped.  That was the initial reason for the glasses, we know now that she has astigmatism as well.  Her glasses are mainly to help the eye crossing. Over the years we have had to patch one eye or the other so that one eye does not get weaker than the other. The eye doctor scared me once saying that if something were to happen to the strong eye she would lose her sight. 

We later learned that she has no depth perception.

It is extremely hard for me to imagine what that might be like.  When she started walking it was a real obstacle.  Parking stripes were difficult to navigate, when we approached an accessible parking space she did not want to step on to it.  She couldn't tell if it was a step up or a hole that she would fall into.  She had to trust me that I wouldn't lead her somewhere dangerous.  It took her a long time to do that.

Play structures are the worst.  I am sure you have seen those big wooden or metal play structures on playgrounds.  Haley had problems stepping up on to them of course, but she also had the problem of stepping off of them.  If the surface of the structure was the same color as the ground material it sat on she would try to step right off.  Sometimes that could be a four or five foot drop,

As an architect I had been dealing with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) issues concerning designing enough parking places, the correct design of accessible ramps, the right layout for accessible restrooms and more.  It wasn't until I became the mother of a child with accessibility issues that it really hit home.  My biggest pet peeves are surface changes without a color or texture difference. 

Once when she was little she got away from me in a grocery store, she started heading down the aisle and almost smacked into an oncoming cart.  She didn't realize how close it was to her.

Haley has gotten used to our house, she knows where to step up and down.  Sometimes she will trip on a cord or a toy if she is not paying attention.  Occasionally I am happy to see her step over something, but it is a matter of trial and error and also practice.  She is better about stepping on and off curbs now, I think her long legs help her there.  She always uses the handrail in new situations and inches her foot toward the edge of the step.  She still relies on our help.  She hates escalators, but we are working on that.

I don't really understand how the glasses might help her depth perception, I don't think they do, the doctor said she would just have to get used to it. 

It was hard to have an infant in glasses.  The first pair we got her had a strap around the back of her head so they wouldn't fall off when she was crawling.  We have gone through lots of glasses in her twelve years, but I have been amazed how long some of them last.  She is usually pretty careful with them.

When she doesn't have them on it really changes her appearance.  I used to take them off for pictures so there wasn't a glare on them, actually the photographers wanted me to do that.  I realized that we were not getting an accurate representation of our daughter so we don't do it anymore. 

The other day my husband had gotten her dressed, but had forgotten to put her glasses on her.  I had seen her walking through the house and she had her glasses on so I thought nothing of it.  He came in the room and asked me if I had put them on her.  We decided she must have gotten them and put them on her self. It seems that they have become a part of her.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you now keep Haley's glasses on for pictures. I, too, wore them from and early age, for all the same reasons; crossed eye, depth perception, astigmastism. In those days I was told to take them off in gym class and on stage for choir stuff, etc. It was miserable. I really relate to her visual problems and hate to see anyone think she looks better without them. She is who she is and that is wonderful. Keep posting. It's awesome. She is a precious, beautiful girl.



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