The school staff has let me know that Micah has been squinting at the board a lot, moving papers closer to his face to read/copy writing, and rubbing his eyes frequently. The solution, of course, is to take him to an eye doctor to see what vision problems he's having.
Micah has gone to the same eye doctor since birth. (Welcome to the world of parenting a kid with Downs, where eye doctors are a thing from day 1 because of possible inherent vision problems that go hand in hand with a diagnosis.) We took Micah to this same doctor just a few months ago when we heard he was having problems at school, and their report came back, "his vision actually improved since the last time he was here."
I'll let that sink in for a bit.
Micah doesn't wear glasses. He never has. So if his eyes are better, why wasn't he given glasses before? I'm confused by this. But they're better, so why ask retroactively? That's why I didn't. But between you and me and all the Internets, I wasn't convinced he did as well on his eye test as all that. If you're not familiar with Micah, his speech is hard to understand. And if someone's vision is fuzzy, things like P and F are going to look the same from a distance. So it stands to reason that if Micah isn't seeing that P but thinks he saw an F, and the lady administering the eye test can't understand him, she's not going to know if he said P or F or Yeh. The problem is, I know. I know he missed far more letters than she thought he did, so I'm not convinced that his eyes are actually better.
We got a referral for a new eye doctor. That's where we went today. Micah started out cooperative and kind of had a great time with the paddle over one eye while he read with the other eye because he thought he was a pirate. Pirates are cool. But he soon became tired of the whole shebang and decided that eye exams were so five minutes ago and he's moving on. There's not a whole lot of recovery from that mindset when he reaches that point, but we salvaged what we could.
The diagnosis was pretty comprehensive, however, and I am satisfied with the results. He did have problems reading the last line, and I laughed in my head as I simultaneously high fived Micah for giving it his best shot. I could tell he couldn't read any of the letters when they got to a certain point, so he was just making things up to get on with the test. That kid cracks me up. Turns out he has 20/25 vision which isn't perfect but isn't horrible either. It's bad enough to get a prescription for glasses if we choose, but even the doctor doesn't say glasses are a must. They're simply there if we want them.
The other news is that Micah has slight astigmatism. I have this as does Becky, so clearly it's a family trait. We're lucky that way. The glasses would help that. Kind of. I know firsthand that glasses help this on days that my eyes want the glasses to help, and not on the other days. I discussed this with the doctor, who said that's kind of what glasses do for the condition. (So I'm not a weirdo.) (Although I may be one of a number of weirdos out there.) We discussed how he would tolerate glasses and decided that they would cause more drama than they would help. So Micah walked out without glasses again because he doesn't have perfect vision but he doesn't exactly need glasses either. And the squinting and papers close his face? The doc was kind of impressed that he compensates so well.
This doc is a keeper.