We’ve known for a while now that Daniel is far-sighted. It’s recommended that kids with Down syndrome get their eyes checked out by a pediatric ophthalmologist at least once a year because eye problems are common. The first time Daniel had his eyes checked was 6 months. At that point they were just checking out his blocked tear ducts, and after checking back at 1 year they had cleared enough to leave alone. (His eyes are still prone to goopiness though, any time he has a cold or congestion.) At his 18 month appointment the doctor told us he was slightly far-sighted, but that she didn’t think glasses would be worth the fight at that point. His vision wasn’t bad enough that glasses would make a huge difference, and it wasn’t interfering with his development at all. (Really bad vision at that age could have interfered with depth perception, making learning to walk extra hard.) Then we moved and…I don’t think we got his eyes checked when he turned 2. Anyway, when he turned 3 I DID get his eyes checked and at that appointment the doctor said she would either write a prescription then, or we could come back and check in 6 months. I opted for the “check back in 6 months.” We had noticed some eye crossing and squinting, and she told us definitely call if those got worse. Well, those did get worse over the next couple months, and I called, but the next available appointment ended up being around the 6 month check in point anyway. There was no question we’d be leaving that appointment with a prescription.
Coincidentally, the school did vision screenings about 2 days after Daniel’s ophthalmology appointment. The call from the school nurse went something like this:
Nurse: So, we did vision screenings today…Daniel’s teacher said he recently had an appointment at the eye doctor?
Me: Yep, on Wednesday. His glasses are in the mail!
Nurse, clearly relieved: Oh, good, because I noticed some things
and then she went on to describe stuff we’d seen too. And she told me she’d send home the results, be that we could obviously ignore the recommendation for a full eye exam.
His glasses have not been NEARLY as much of a fight as I expected. I figured he’d be taking them off every 2 seconds and refusing to wear them, but it hasn’t been like that! He can CLEARLY see better with them on, and he recognizes that too. He’s happy for us to put them on in the morning, and although he does get tired of wearing them sometimes and takes them off, that is happening less and less often. Plus, look how cute he looks in them!
(Side note: My sister Kari has been hoping he’ll need glasses literally since the day he was born. Got her wish!)
Now on to ears. Hearing screenings happened at school a couple weeks ago and Daniel’s results were not good. If you’ve been reading here long you know that this isn’t the first time we’ve had trouble with his ears. (Which, again, unsurprising for a kid with Down syndrome.) He failed all his newborn hearing screens, and then failed a couple hearing tests at the audiologist once he was out of the NICU, had an ABR, blah blah blah, finally had a set of tubes placed at 5 months and passed a hearing test. He had his second set of tubes done at 18 months. At his 2 year appointment Daniel’s pediatrician referred us to an ENT at Children’s because he couldn’t tell whether the tubes were still in place or not. Turns out not, but the ENT couldn’t see any fluid, so he didn’t think Daniel needed another set of tubes right away. But, that’s been more than a year ago and it looks like he probably needs tubes again. So! ENT appointment later this month. I will let you know how that all goes.