How I Failed My Daughter

My middle daughter is seven years old now. 
She was around four at the time this photo was taken and I had no idea she had a vision problem. 
 Problem may even be putting it lightly.
 She was practically blind in one eye, and had poor vision in the other.
 I had no clue.   
No freaking clue. 
As a mom I always did the precautionary stuff. 
Put the plastic covers on every outlet, bought the latest and safest car seat, put locks on all the cabinet doors. But what I never did was get my kids eyes checked.
 Not once. 
It took her failing a school wide vision test in 1st grade for us to know something was wrong. I was baffled because she never showed any signs of vision problems. She was learning to read like a pro, played sports amazingly well, and never once complained about things being fuzzy or out of focus.
Now I realize, how could she tell me those things?
She didn’t know any better.
What she saw was normal to her, she had no idea she was seeing the world out of focus and fuzzy. 
This has been my biggest parenting mistake.
Not getting my kids eyes checked.
 I didn’t do it because both my husband and I have great vision.
I didn’t do it because there weren’t any ‘signs’.
I didn’t do it because we didn’t have good insurance.
I simply didn’t do it.
And I will never forgive myself for that.
Thankfully, after some really difficult patching therapy and some strong prescription glasses my daughter can see. 
Her vision has improved by leaps and bounds, but if we had caught it earlier things would have been easier to fix. It’s important that vision problems, like Amblyopia, get attention early on, preferably before a child is five years old.
My daughter was six. 
I realize a bad moment,
a bad day,
a bad week,
does not make me a bad parent.
But I will tell you what, I am an informed parent now!

Let my failure be a lesson. Don’t let the misconception of genetics, lack of signs, or insurance keep you from a simple trip to the optometrist.

You can buy all the safety gear in the world, but you can’t buy back your child’s vision.


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  1. says

    Leesha… reading this is like reading my story when I was a child! I also had amblyopia when I was a child… but my mom took me me to the eye doctor when I was 9, I had to wear an eye patch on my good eye (and the patch was not as cute as your daughter´s) for about a year, and I recuperated my vision on that eye from 10% to 100%. I remember When I first got y glasses that I told my mom….. ¨wow, so you can see the leaces on the trees…. ¨I thought treees were a big mass of green! Of course besides amblyopia I had Myopia and astigmatism. Today I have 8

    • says

      I love that you have such a happy ending! 100%? Thats amazing! I was pretty much told she will never get 100% of her vision back, and that our goal is to have her ‘bad’ eye one step beyond legally blind, just in case something happened to her good eye. She HATES the patch. Hates it. She still needs to wear it after school, or put dilating drops in, but its been a battle. It kills me that I didn’t know sooner, but I do have hope! Thank you!

  2. says

    she is beautiful with her glasses 🙂 I didn’t start taking my kids to the optometrist until Jaina failed a vision test in Kindergarten. Funny, she didn’t need glasses. But it came as a complete surprise that Jayce needed them when he went the next year.

    • says

      Thanks Jess. 🙂 Our pediatrician gave pretty run of the mill eye tests when they were little and nothing seemed amiss. Now everyone in our family has glasses for one reason or another except the baby.

  3. says

    I wouldn’t think to get my kids’ eyes checked that young either, at least not beyond what the doctor does at regular check ups.

    Your daughter is adorable!

    • says

      I have heard that a few times, thank goodness the schools do them! After talking with our optometrist apparently they like to see kids as early as three. Who knew?!

  4. Lauren Johnson says

    I went through a similar experience. My son’s vision got to 20/20 with glasses. We have just discovered the Shaw lens, expensive, but he says it transforms his 3D vision so might be worth a try if the prescription is different between the 2 lenses.

    I hope this works for your daughter as well.

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