Friday, January 09, 2009

Eye Just Don’t Know

The Man-Cub’s tutor cut us loose last night; she thinks she has done as much as she can for the Cub and she recommended that we take him to a behavioral optometrist for evaluation. After looking over the results from a test she gave him using a visual tracking program (very high tech computer pogram, science-fiction goggles-the whole nine yards, the Cub loved it, of course), I can’t say that I disagree with her.

The results from a child whose eyes track normally during reading look something like a descending staircase followed by a long return somewhat like one would see on an old-fashioned typewriter, like this:

The Cub’s results, however, looked more like a lemming throwing himself from a cliff:

The Man-Cub was quite upset by the results and by the fact that his tutor wanted us to see the optometrist for a while before resuming our work with her and, by quite upset, I mean inconsolable; you would have thought he was being dumped by a girlfriend but, after carefully explaining the situation to him, stressing the fact that we really, really need to get his eye muscles built up to the point that they are tracking correctly so that reading is less of a struggle for him, thereby allowing him to breeze through fourth grade and fifth grade and middle school and high school and college and post-graduate work at Stanford and, you know, the winning of that Nobel Peace Prize that we all expect him to bring home in 2026 -he quietly accepted it and agreed that it certainly would be nice not to struggle with reading.

And he has been struggling, he knows how to read, he knows how to decode and how to apply phonetics and how to spell; he just struggles so much with putting it all together, something that will be greatly improved by training his eyes to track along a normal left to right trajectory rather than back and forth, up and down and everything in between before getting tired and retiring to blinking at a rate deemed unacceptable by the super high tech fancy goggle computer program.

And the tutor assured the Cub that seeing this new doctor is going to make it all better, that she will help to strengthen his eye muscles and, when she does; the two of them can pick up where they left off and he will excel.

It was a good speech. Very impressive.

I almost believe it myself except-I don’t know; maybe we could affect the same results by having a witch doctor dance around his body with a fistful of chicken feet. I mean, what the hell is a behavioral optometrist, anyway? Can she even help the Cub? Will we be driving an hour each way twice a week for nothing? Does my HMO cover this?

Would it cover a witch doctor with a fistful of chicken feet?

I’m so in the dark here.


  1. I didn't even know there were such issues like eyes not tracking in the right direction. You learn something new every day. And I can definitely see why that would be an issue for a child. Good luck - especially with getting your HMO to cover the treatment.

  2. It is worth a try... I swear if I had the brains..umm I mean KNOWLEDGE/MONEY when Sunshine was that age I would do things sooooo different!!!!

  3. I hope everything works out. It must be difficult to read when your eyes aren't doing thier job right.

  4. I really don't know what to tell you, but I am thinking about you guys. Give the cub a big squeeze for me.

  5. A did visual therapy for several months a few years ago and the results were incredible. He went from his eyes jumping all over God's creation to flat-out reading in just a few months. He was five at the time. Our insurance didn't cover it (GRRRRR....), but it was worth every single cent. It's not witch doctor stuff, but for real therapy. A behavioral optometrist works on HOW the eye works, not really IF the eye works. Hm. Not explaining it well. Try this: This is where A went and there's some good info here. Good luck!
    (And I can't seem to comment with my wordpress account, so I'm commenting with my old Blogger account...just don't want to confuse you. ;))

  6. And "Andy" is me...grrr...