Saturday, September 15, 2012

The eyes, again!

Now that our eldest is finish with his formal vision therapy, it was time to get the twins more fully tested. They recently turned five, so we knew they were ready for testing. Wow, all I can say is all three of the kids are mine! It seems the twins are quite similar in their vision issues, they still have a lot of trouble with tracking, but even more trouble with convergence (the eyes working together). Because of this, we really have to make sure they are not trying to favor one eye (which was starting to happen with each of them).
We also found out they have very little field of vision, almost no periphery vision at all. They just can't see enough to even look at an entire word on a page.
Thankfully we work with a great vision development husband/wife team who are also familiar with homeschooling. I was encouraged to completely take the twins off of all close work (including workbooks and reading from books). We need to focus on using the white board and having them watch videos on the large wide screen television. We can also do work on the computer, but at a distance that has them sitting all the way back in their chairs (not leaning forward). They will also start intensive sensory integration therapy in October. My eldest when through it this summer and honestly, the results were nothing short of amazing. It is expensive, I won't lie; but the results speak for themselves. My eldest is now so into reading and learning that he asked for nothing but books for his birthday! He could have asked for anything, but all he requested was books - wow! He also likes playing catch with a football now. It is a much easier process when you can actually see the ball! His emotions have stabilized a bit and he is just a happier child overall.
I need to allow the twins to have a chance to grow into their own as well. It wouldn't be fair to leave them in this condition with their eyes. Also, the earlier the process is done, the better the results. The twins will be a year and a half younger than my eldest when they go through therapy, I hope to save them a year and a half of frustration and pain.
So, we are order another four foot white board and doing our Singapore Math and phonics at the board. I am also allowing all three children much more free time and play. They are naturally gravitating towards educational activities, doing many more arts and crafts projects, and exercising their bodies as well as their brains. They are thriving in learning their instruments (although I do have to enforce daily practice, the little bit of "tiger mom" still in me).
I wonder what the twins will gravitate towards once their eyes are better. My eldest took to geography. He carries at least an atlas and often times a globe as well where ever he goes - literally. He is enthralled with learning about countries and regions and even languages. I hope each of the twins finds their own passion following this process and my goal is simply give them the skills and resources they need to fully embrace whatever their heart desires.
Whoever said "the eyes have it" was almost fully correct. The eyes certainly have such a huge impact on who we are. When they work well, work together, and open up for us to see as much of the world as we can take in, there is really no limit to what a gifted child can see and therefore do.

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