School and glasses

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by mama_dragon, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    [SIZE=medium]Anyone with a kiddo who wears glasses have problems copying from the board even with glasses?  My boys started K last week.  They have a huge emphasis on handwriting including copying words at the end of the day from a board.  My kiddo who is severely farsighted and has a moderate astigmatism is struggling.  He doesn’t like handwriting to start with but the teacher says he stares off into space unless she is right there keeping his focus and even when he is focused he will only write down a word or two vs his twin (who has excellent handwriting) who copies the entire 20 words (not comparing the two because they are completely different but just an example of what other kids are doing in the K class).  These are not small words either and most are 4+ letters and he is capable of writing but like I said he isn't a fan so I am not sure if its his eyse or lack of interest.  He had eye muscle surgery when patching did not work.  His glasses only partially correct his farsightedness so his eyes have to work at focusing.  He is +7 and +6.5 without glasses and his prescription is for +3.5 and +3.25.  I don’t know exactly what his astigmatism is but it falls in the moderate range.  I just had him to the eye doctor in July.  I suggested that he be moved closer to the board and that focusing far away and then again at the paper at the end of the day may be too much especially since this isn’t something he has had to do before and his eyes may need to adjust to the usage.  He told me after school that he could not see the “a” in dinosaur and his eyes were tired.  So any other kids with glasses struggle with adjusting to school work?  If he isn’t showing improvement after moving closer I am thinking a call to his eye doctor is warranted to rule out vision problems and need for a prescription change?   [/SIZE]
  2. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I would call your eye dr. and tell them exactly what you told us.  If he suggests certain accommodations that need to be made, get them in writing and take them up to the teacher (and keep a copy for yourself).  
    If you can eliminate some issues (ie-needing a new prescription) and find the school unwilling to do the accommodations and help you, then you need to start asking about getting a 504 or a medical i.e.p.  A 504 lays out exactly what the problem is and what the school is going to do accommodate that.  It goes out to all of his teachers and they are held accountable for following it.  My daughter has a 504 for her kidney issues.  It gives her a bathroom schedule that everyone has agreed on.  It also states that she may go to the bathroom at anytime without penalty (given her personality, we all know that she wouldn't go during instructional time or testing unless it's an emergency).  It also doesn't penalize her for work missed due to her kidney issues whether it's dr's appointment or infections.  She will get ample time to make up that work.  
    You can also ask about a medical i.e.p.  That's an Individual Education Plan.  If delays start showing up because of the eye issues, he would probably need this.  This would entitle him to para support and things like vision therapy, occupational therapy, etc through your special education department.
    Sharon might have more to add.  You're going to have to be his advocate for now.  Just be polite and document.  All of these things take time.
  3. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    I agree with Marissa!! Look into a 504- you would need some medical paperwork from his eye dr, but it would allow some accomodations to be put in place (Ex: a piece of paper to copy from instead of board, preferred seating, shortened list, use of a special pencil grip/slant board,  etc)
    I would also question the copying off of a board at the end of the day in K! Wow- 20 multi-letter words is a lot for end of the day focus from 5 yr olds. Not saying some or even most could not, but as a whole class activity- I can completely see why it may be a challenge for even students that dont have a history of visual concerns.
  4. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    Speaking as a former special ed teacher, kids can have problems with something called "far point copying", which means trouble copying from far away.  So it could be vision or it could be another issue entirely.  I would talk to the eye doctor, but also talk to the teacher and ask her to help you "experiment" to figure out what is going on.  Move him closer to the board and see if he can do it.  Also, try giving him the list of words on a piece of paper that he can lay on his desk and copy from.  If the point is to practice handwriting skills, then it doesn't matter whether it's copied from the board or from a piece of paper IMO.
    My boys are 4.5 (in pre-K because they have a December birthday), and I know that the doctor told us that correction at this age is tricky because kids this age don't see perfectly, so they don't correct them to 20-20 so that their eyes will continue to develop naturally on their own somewhat.  My kids have correction around +2.5, but their vision is more like +4.5.
    I now work in an elementary school as a counselor, and I have to say, I don't see ANY of our kindergarten teachers asking kids to copy 20 words from the board.  Honestly, I think that's expecting WAY too much at that age in terms of attention span, holding a pencil, motor skills, etc.
  5. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    First of all, I have to agree with the others that 20 words especially in the first month of school is a lot for Kindergarten!  My 7th graders only have 5 words a week!
    That said, one of my boys does have glasses for distance and he does have an astigmatism, in addition, he was (finally) diagnosed with ADHD last year (I say finally because he was always boarderline, but never quite bad enough to get a diagnosis--ie help).  Anyway, he does much better with "priority seating", which means seating "where the action is".  While that does mean he may have to move his seat during a class--to his advantage since it helps with the ADHD to move around a bit.
    Anyway, there are a lot of factors at play here.  The first is, as Marissa suggested, go back to the ophthalmologist to make sure the prescription is good--I know one boy whose prescription would change drastically in as little as 3 months.  Once that is checked, talk to the teacher and the school.  They can try adaptations for him even without a formal 504 or IEP--and a good teacher would do this anyway :).  Another factor that you mentioned is attention--so it could be that he does have attention issues that are keeping him from being able to complete the task.
    I know, a lot of info here, just take it one step at a time.  Good luck.
  6. AmynTony

    AmynTony Well-Known Member

    is there a reason they don't have him fully corrected?  It sounds like torture - I'm a -3 and -3.5 and that would be like me not wearing my glasses!  I have nothing else to add just I can totally relate!
  7. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    The eye doctor told us that they don't fully correct kids at this age because they want their eyes to continue to develop naturally on their own, and no kids at preschool and early elementary see 20-20 anyway.  "Normal" for this age is around 20-30, I think (maybe 20-40, I can't remember exactly what she said).  She said once they are about 7-8 is when kids usually develop 20-20 vision, then they can look at full correction.
  8. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    Thanks everyone.  I went ahead and made him an eye doctor appt.  I will start there.  
    The teacher moved him closer and printed the words on a different board in larger letters.  He has done better the last couple days.  She is not going to require him to write a certain number of words at this point.  He says his eyes hurt after school so still thinking its vision related. 
    They are in advanced classroom and I worry it will be too much.  They start spelling tests next week.  Its a lot.  Overwelming honestly. 
    He is going to get a 504 for his allergies so if needed we can add other accomadations. 
  9. JeremyDenton

    JeremyDenton Member

    My brother has similar problems at school
  10. Felix12Carver

    Felix12Carver New Member

    My nephew has the same problem. He also struggles with copying from the board and the teacher agreed that he would write sentences in a larger size. When my nephew's eyes are super tired and he could no longer write, we use the service to help him with his tasks as sometimes they require a lot of hours of studying. After the teacher made the change with writing on the board it became easier for my nephew.
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