Having a Child with Down Syndrome, Part XLI: Vision

Copyright © 2012 Stephen Hawley, all rights reserved.


Alice's School Glasses

Alice’s School Glasses (specs4us)

Well, it happened.  Alice has gone 9 years without vision correction and we were starting to get the telltale signs that she was having some trouble with her eyes.  It’s funny; we had taken her to a local eye doctor, but while he saw a slight astigmatism, he didn’t see anything really worth correcting at this point.  Oddly enough, all of Alice’s eye appointments were in the morning.  When she had an appointment in the afternoon, the eye doctor triple checked and concluded that, yes, Alice as far-sighted and it was time for glasses.

EDIT: I should note that the reason that the difference between morning and afternoon examinations is likely due to low muscle tone, a common thread in much of Down syndrome.  In the morning, the eye muscles are likely to be working more effectively than later in the day.

This isn’t a surprise – 50% of all people with Down syndrome need vision correction in some form.  Being a person who didn’t need glasses until 39, I’d hoped that maybe she would have better vision.  Still, Alice loves her new glasses (although she wasn’t smiling too much here) and likes to put them on for reading.

There’s a problem with glasses, though – and it has everything to do with Down syndrome.  Our friends with Down syndrome tend to have smaller mid-faces and as in Alice’s case, have little or no bridge to her nose.  It makes fitting glasses a real challenge.  Of course, at the last couple national DS conventions, I grabbed brochures from Specs4us, a company that makes frames that better fit kids with Down syndrome.  Terrific!  We also got another pair from Miraflex for home.  The Miraflex don’t fit as well, but appear to be more durable so are likely to do better at home.  Keeping a pair at school ensures that we don’t have to track the glasses.  School glasses stay at school, home glasses at home.
Alice's Home Glasses

Alice’s Home Glasses (Miraflex)

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