Thursday, May 04, 2006

10 signs of susceptibility (risk factors) for a child to develop high to moderate myopia (short sight).

  1. "There may be no measurable myopia yet but the child behaves like a myope. A characteristic sign of this is a relatively close reflex reading distance and/or a tendency to move unusually close to objects of interest.
  2. As a pre-schooler the child already likes picture books and explains the pictures. The child is good at jigsaw puzzles.
  3. As a school child he or she is a good reader and likes to read.
  4. The child is a good student.
  5. The child reads a lot even under poor lighting conditions.
  6. The child complains of no visual fatigue. He or she can do close up tasks as long as they like without getting tired.
  7. The visual examination shows good visual skills e.g. accurate eye movements, good binocular vision, good discrimination skills.
  8. The child has no developmental or visual-motor deficit.
  9. The child is normally active. He or she can sustain a meaningful motor activity. There is no hyperactivity.
  10. The father and/or mother are myopes."
(Quoted from David Aldridge, personal communication, 4 May 2006).

My father and Sean both have short-sight and Sean's was pretty poor by the time his compensating mechanisms failed enough that anyone could pick it up. So Sean and I had planned to get the girls' vision tested whether or not we had any worries about it but it was number 1. that sent us to the optometrist. She behaved in a myopic way: before she was a year old Iris would get inside the range that I at 35 could focus to, as soon as she could do a pincer grip she picked up small things and held them 4 cm from her nose, she puts her face on her work when she draws, and Iris wouldn't recognise people from as far off as Hazel and I would. Now we're watching for the absence of these behaviours.

This morning a friend of Iris's who also has new glasses visited. The friend is very good about wearing them all the time she's inside and told Iris "wearing your glasses is important" but Iris isn't completely sold on the idea, I hope it's coming though. I've only seen her behaving short-sighted once today and that was when she was tired and a bit cross. Iris was willing today, if not yet happy, to wear her glasses for books, and watching a DVD. She has moments of being quite proud of them and she's asleep with them again tonight.

I haven't yet grokked the muscular relationship between the genotype programming the physical reality of the shape of the eye and behaviour doing the shaping of the phenotype but my friend Anne says she has two cousins who wore corrective lenses for a little while in childhood and not since; cousins of a friend--it must work!


Anonymous Karen said...

I sooooo had all the risk factors... I can remember walking to the whiteboard, remembering things and walking back to my desk when I was 8 or 9. Such a giveaway, but no-one noticed!

Guess I should watch James!

4:11 PM  

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