Thursday, May 16, 2013

The New Glasses

How do you tell if a child needs glasses?  How do you figure out what prescription when your child doesn't yet know letters, sometimes knows pictures, and only plays the "picture game" when he feels like it?

Well, it isn't easy, and even with the expertise of our Ophthalmologist (yesssss! spelled it right the first time!) it is still a bit of a guessing game in the end.

At our recent every-other year check up with the Ophthalmologist (did it again!) we learned Charlie was farsighted with a significant astigmatism in each eye.  Other than that, both eyes are very healthy. 

At our follow-up appointment the doctor asked if he keeps his glasses on.  "Yes, most the time."  "Then we can assume they are the correct prescription," he assessed.  Works for me!

And so do these pictures:

He's watching a cartoon in the above photos.  We found this was the simplest way to observe whether the glasses were helping or not, because watching a cartoon requires that he focus his attention in one singular, unchanging direction.  Notice how he is squinting and watching the cartoon out of the corners of his eyes instead of straight on.  Well, this is typical for him in the way he looks at things, we just had no idea it meant he had a hard time focusing.

Until now:

Big difference!

Well those cute frames were the almost free pair we got with our insurance.  The choices were very limited, and Charlie doesn't exactly have a one-size fits all face.

Enter Specs for Us.  Frames designed especially for kids and adults who have Down Syndrome.

Our Optician office was so great to order these frames in for us special.  One of my main concerns about putting Charlie in glasses was that they fit him well.  If they don't fit well, if they are slipping down and bothering him, well, he has no qualms about flinging them to the floor and squinting his way through the rest of the day.

The Specs 4 Us glasses came in this week. We picked them up today!  We ordered a pair the exact same color and shape as his original glasses so as not to throw Charlie off (beware of throwing him off!).  They fit great, and look nearly identical to the cheapy pair.  If you look close you will notice the nose piece and temples attach to the lenses lower than the first pair.  This is handy for people with Down Syndrome who have a low/no nasal bridge.  Any glasses will slide down that tiny button nose of his despite how much we bend and fit the frames, but this way he is still looking through the lenses and not having to tilt his head back to see through them.  Such a simple solution to finding a better fit for kids with Down Syndrome (or any child or adult who has a low nasal bridge).

We are pleased with his new-new glasses.  And I think he is, too. 

So, there you have it.  Glasses!  He looks so handsome and grown up. 

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