Sunday, July 10, 2011

Playing chess with the eye doctor

Queen Teen had another appointment at UC Berkely Low Vision Clinic, the best vision clinic in NorCal for people with multiple disabilities. She wasn't thrilled, but she cooperated and seemed to have fun trying to fool the doctor. I could see the machinations in QT's mind all over her face as she touched the cards the doctor used to test contrast sensitivity.

the card was on the left so next time it will be on the right, then it will be on the left again but the doctor will try to trick me after that and keep it on the left, then go back to the right...

It was as if the two were playing chess. The doctor has 20 years of experience so was able to stay one step ahead and get an accurate reading of Queen Teen's contrast sensitivity, which is poor, but not terrible.

The doctor then tested color shade sensitivity using tiles with 4 colored circles on them, one of which was a different shade. She showed Queen Teen what to do only once, and then Queen Teen quickly did the task with no further instruction, looking bored the entire time.

When the doctor put glasses on Queen Teen to try out different lenses, Queen Teen suddenly couldn't see anything.

"I don't know. I can't see it," she declared, looking down at her lap so the lenses would fall out of the frame.

The doctor just smiled.

I asked, "How can her vision be worse with glasses?"

"She's telling me she doesn't want to wear glasses," the doctor replied with a shrug.

Queen Teen's functional vision has improved from 20/600 two years ago to 20/400 today (it was 20/1500 when she was first diagnosed with optic atrophy). This is excellent news! Her impairment hasn't changed, but her brain's ability to process visual information has. Is it age and maturity? The mega doses of CoQ10? Her brain's natural ability to adapt? Who knows? I'm just so happy that her vision has improved. Thus can only help her.

The doctor wrote a prescription for glasses but suggested we ease into them rather than have her wear them all the time. Queen Teen is trying so hard to learn to read; perhaps looking at her books will be the perfect time to try her new glasses.




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2 comments:

leah said...

It is amazing how kids learn how to "cheat" the test - Nolan gets 100% on word recognition tests if the audiologist's mouth if visible. And he'll start dropping blocks in the bucket at regular intervals (even when there is no sound)! Thank goodness for docs who know how to work with tricky kids!

I hope Queen Teen adjusts to her glasses very soon!

Terena said...

our kids are no dummies. lol

QT did the same thing at audiology, which I'll be writing about next.