What you think is learning disability or laxity in your child’s academic progress could be an eye disorder. Due to their age, children are expected to have good eye sight for the entire childhood and early teenage.
Eye defects can be treated if diagnosed at an early stage since they are caused by bacterial infections. Vision loss is what most learners are exposed to without proper treatment for a long period or failure to receive treatment at all.
Alice Opondo, who works as a Data Clerk Assistant, admits that parents contribute to permanent or partial vision loses in their children. She feels that her situation could be different if her parents could have noticed her poor sight at a tender age.
She has been battling with her condition for her entire life amidst various challenges she could not avoid as a nine year old child. “My parents blamed me severally for poor performance in school thinking that I was not taking class work seriously. I was just in class three and could not understand the change in my vision as I thought other learners experienced the same challenge,” Alice recalled.
Her teacher made the discovery after observing her squint when copying writings on the board. He reported the unusual behaviour to her parents who received the news with unbelief before taking her to an ophthalmologist.
The physician confirmed that she had a condition where light from distant objects converge before reaching her retina thus making her see blurred images instead of clear ones from distant or small objects.
“Eye glasses have become part of my life since then, a habit that makes me forget them whenever I go to bed or when taking a shower thus receiving scolds from my mother,” She reiterated.
Alice faced numerous challenges including studying without eye glasses whenever her parents refused to buy her a new pair of reading glasses after breaking or losing them. Other learners were not left behind; they nicknamed her ‘chopi’, a word for genius since they believed she lost her sight by spending her time reading books.
Research by American Optometric Association recommends that children should be examined as early as six months old to ascertain their eye state. They further suggest tests to be done at three years as well as regular eye examination when they begin schooling.