Sunday, March 15, 2015

My Colour Deficient Child

The kids had their annual eye appointments this past week. All five of them, right after each other. We rush over there after school and are the last visits of the day, so the office is just ours. Thankfully. Sometimes having to keep five kids orderly and not into everything is difficult; the less witnesses the better! The funny thing is that we were right after another woman and her five kids! (if I had known that, I would've talked with her, but they were leaving as we were entering. Maybe next year.)

This is the optometrist that I have been seeing since I was a teenager. Dr. R.G. Dyck, if you happen to be in Whalley. He's really good and has a fun sense of humor. And, if you need another reason to see him, we joke that he healed Abi's eyes!  After all, she wore glasses for grades three and four, but when she was tested the next year, she didn't need them anymore, and hasn't since. Dr Dyck said it was the first time he had ever cured anyone's sight!

The good news is that none of the kids need glasses this year. Yay! Well, good for me at least. Glasses can be expensive. I buy mine off of clearlycontacts, an online retailer, as it is much cheaper. But I'd be more inclined to buy glasses for the kids from a place where they could try them on first in person. (trying them on virtually isn't an easy way to decide or predict how they'd really look; it's all guessing!)  The kids were more disappointed though, I think they all wanted to buy some glasses! Silly kids! 

They had fun trying on frames in the office though.

 The cute little nerds!

Do you remember when wearing glasses was a "bad" thing? Not something cool? I do. I remember thinking that I must be the only kid in grade six who actually wanted glasses. (my eyes were sore at school and I was having trouble seeing distances, but it wasn't too bad yet to effect schoolwork. I used to steal my dad's old pair and wear them every now and then. My parents didn't realize it was bothering me so much and they didn't get me tested until a few years later. That's when Dr Dyck said that my test results showed that I was blind! Funny. And my father, a painter, was considered colour blind! It's good to know that we adjusted so well consdering!)

(I couldn't help buy laugh at this pair! It made me think of the Beastie Boys video Sabotage. You know, where they dress up in wigs and fake moustaches and act out like some 70s cop show? It was funny and awesome when it came out in '94. However, when I showed it to my kids later, they didn't get the humor in it and thought it was bizarre!) 

The only part of the appointments that resulted in some mixed answers was when Bryn had been tested.  The doctor stated that he is colour blind! I remember him doing some testing with the flash cards last year, so I was glad that he did them again. The only problem was that since there was four other kids in and out of the office and trying on frames and two still needing to have the pictures taken with the machines (done prior to sitting down with the dr), and one boy who kept wanting to give his answers before Bryn could, the door was closed on us! So I didn't get to hear what was said or find out more information, and I didn't think of what to ask afterwards! So now I feel a bit silly.

I was told that it was all my fault though! Women carry the gene for colour blindness and pass it along to their sons. Kai had fun teasing me on that one. I bit my tongue from saying that it was still a better deal than the HPV virus that boys pass to girls. Being colour blind isn't nice, but you're not going to die from uterine cancer or made unable to conceive. Just a thought to put into perspective of passing down one thing to another.

In my own searching, I found out that there are different types of colour blindness, which is known as Colour Vision Deficient, with the most common being red-green deficient, so I am assuming that is what he has. (a friend of ours is red-green colour blind, and likes to tell people that when he drives!) It effects about 1 in 12 men (and 1 in 200 women), so the chances are that each year, there is one student in each classroom who has this. I find that intersting, especially since it isn't talked about a lot and I have never known someone until I was 19!  I'm not too sure what this will mean for Bryn, but there is nothing that can be done and life can be normal. Well, to a degree, there are some difficulties (there is a really good article called "how can I save the planet when I can't tell green from brown?" written by Geoffrey Hope-Terry that is humerous and thought provoking.), but overall it isn't considered Special Needs (although some may disagree). Bryn is such a smart kid, he's energetic and fun, and doesn't seem to have any problems in the classroom, so I don't quite know if anything needs to be done yet.

I admit to pulling out a bunch of markers and testing Bryn on my own at home, and he had no problems picking out the orange, red, green or brown colours. Which had me wondering. I was talking to a friend of mine whose 10 year old son is "profoundly colour blind" and she described how it is easier to identify the colours when they are separate and you have them memorized, but when they are all mixed together it is harder to distinguish. I guess that makes sense. It also explains why when we are out driving Bryn will always be the one who never sees something no matter how hard we point it out. As we were heading home from the optometrist, Eden noticed the sign for White Spot that spun around. We were at a stop light, and it was directly to our right. Bryn just could not see it! I pointed to it, and even said, "it's the giant green sign right there that's turning!" As we drove away at the green light, he said in frustration, "I never see things!"  It made me sad. And it made me wonder if that was the reason. It also explains why he is constantly getting upset that his Tablet battery always needs charging; it may not but he can't tell the difference between a red dead battery light and a green charged one.  I'm hoping that this article for colour blind kids on Colour Blind Awareness (a UK organization) will help him out a bit.

It was an interesting visit to the Optometrist. Now officially every child in our family has "something"! Yay go us.


Powered by Blogger.