Made of Gray

The Eyes Have It

Holly D Gray9 Comments
What does Caleigh see? Can she see? How is her vision?
These are questions we get regularly and most of the time we tell people that she can see. Caleigh can see right in front of her. So if you get down on her level within arms reach she can see you. She is aware of your presence and if we walk out of the room she knows. We can hold her attention as long as the object is within arms reach. Usually she will do several glances instead of a long stare.

Caleigh has Cortical Vision Impairment or Cortical Blindness. She gets services through DARS, a state program, which has a vision department. CVI is basically a miss communication between the eyes and the brain. Caleigh's brain injury is the problem. The physical components of her eyes are fine.
Now explaining this and then having your child not look at you, but see that you are there is another question. It's hard to explain. Caleigh will look at something....turn her head...and then reach, grab and succeed in getting that something. She's incredibly accurate with that method. She also makes eye contact too. Just depends. A lot of kids with CVI see through tunnels, or only peripherally, or with one eye. As of now we aren't sure if Caleigh has any of these characteristics. They also have preferences for color. Caleigh doesn't like red, but loves the color blue. She even acts like red isn't there when given the choice. Green and yellow are other favorites.

When outdoors Caleigh will hold her head down. Almost as if she is overwhelmed. She doesn't do well with sunlight, keeping her eyes closed most of the time, but she does fine with artificial light.
We went to the eye doctor back in January before all the TPN stuff happened. This is the same eye doctor that wanted to do strabismus surgery on Caleigh's eyes. We didn't want the surgery because her eyes are not always crossed. Only when she is focusing on something do they cross. The last few times we checked in with him he recounted his need to do the surgery saying that her eye crossing is just her trying to see. Basically she looks at the tip of her nose.

So when he dilated her eyes he discovered that Caleigh is near sighted. Just like her momma. The last time her eyes were dilated she was far sighted like a newborn would be. Now we know. Just like we tell everyone, Caleigh can only see within arms reach of herself.

So here's the new snafu....

The eye doctor is not suggesting glasses for Caleigh's near sightedness. He acted like he was doing us a favor by not having us get them. He didn't even really say why and he wants to check her again in a year. A YEAR. I guess I'm not ok with that. I questioned him and he said that we could get the glasses if we wanted too. No biggy. Our choice, huh?
I've talked to a lot of people about this with varying degrees of opinions.

Caleigh's therapists, for the most part, are all for the glasses. Maybe she will want to creep further if she can see further. Maybe she will reach for toys with more precision. Maybe she will hold her head up longer if there is more to see.

Caleigh's vision therapists really didn't help me with the situation. I was interested in what they had to say, but didn't have high hopes. Good thing, I got nothing.

I've talked to other parents too. It was explained to them that you don't want to over correct a developing eye. For instance if Caleigh's vision is that of a 8 month old and we give her glasses, then her eyes will not continue to develop on their own. They will rely on the glasses from now on. Makes sense, but at the same time you don't want to wait around with the rest of the development if you can help with glasses.

If we get glasses this would be another thing to deal with. Another appointment. Another obstacle. Another accessory. But if we can further Caleigh's development it would be worth those things. Right?

I'm interested in your opinion....So what would you do?

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