Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The more we learn

Today Finley had another Vision Field test appointment.  If you read our post after her last one, Dr. Mayer wanted to see her again to review some other areas of her field due to questions we had about how she was seeing.  Dr. Maybe had started to plot our her vision field after the last appointment, and had some concerns, so she called us back in.

Finley was a trooper.  She knows she only has to go to this appointment once a year, so to go twice in less than 3 weeks - she wasn't thrilled.  But I bribed her, and she did great. :)

Tuesday we will receive the "official" report from the doctor about all of her findings and her recommendations, but we did leave with more information than we had.  The doctor spent more time on her peripheral fields and trying to see what might be causing Finley to completely ignore the top left corner of her paper.

It seems that her peripheral fields are intact - which are good.  This does not solve the mystery, but the doctor had several theories that seemed to fit.  1) Finley's loss of central vision is quite vast when she is up close and personal with a piece of paper (I will explain in a minute).  2) she is left handed.  3) her left eye is very weak.  Dr. Mayer believes that with all of these things working against her, that probably explains why she is writing the way she is.  Only time will tell, and she thinks Finley will just have to be taught to be more aware of it and learn to scan better.  Also she suggested a tactile line be placed on the left hand side of the page that Finley can feel with her fingers to help guide her to line up correctly.

So.  To put things into a language I could understand, Dr. Mayer drew a picture.  She said if you could lay Finley's vision out on an 8x11 piece of paper, then the picture I attached to this email would be it.  With Finley sitting around 12 inches away from a piece of 8x11 paper, the WHITE areas of the page represent what she CAN see, and the BLACK areas of the page is where she is blind.  Meaning she sees nothing there when she centrally fixates on a page.  So.  If she is starting at a picture - she doesn't see ANYTHING on the rest of the page unless she scans.

Finley does scan, though.  I watched her during the test.  (she tried to cheat.  a lot).  Especially with the left eye.  It is human instinct to try and "Search" for what we seek, and so naturally that helps her when she is looking at things at school.  But it is a lot of work, and tiring on her eyes.  The doctor said that the amount of information she must seek and find on a page with her vision like this is overwhelming and exhausting to her eyes.

Where does this leave us?  Who the heck knows. I was shocked when I saw it explained like this.   But at least now we have a better idea of what she sees when she looks at a worksheet, or a book, or anything on her desk.  Now she will have to have strategies put in place to help her learn to use her vision to the best of her ability, but also not to the point that it becomes more work than it is worth.

1 comment:

Shayla McCartney said...

That seems confusing, but it is helpful in her educational field! Still saying prayers for her :)

Have a nice week!