Nathan is Hebrew and means "gift from God" - we couldn't have been more blessed than to have been chosen as his parents!

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Angel Eyes

Nathan is mommy’s “angel eyes” and today my little guy had an appointment at the Eye Institute. It’s recommended that children with Down syndrome have their vision initially tested at 6 months of age because they have a slightly higher risk of vision problems.

We met first with the medical assistant who asked a series of questions including “do Nathan’s eyes water a lot? Does he get lots of build up in them?” The answer to both was no. Apparently, this is very common in children with Down syndrome.

During this initial exam the medical assistant made a note worthy observation - Nathan was tilting his head to the right. He asked if we had noticed that this happened regularly - I hadn’t. Although, I did notice it a few times while he was watching his Baby Einstein movies because he wasn’t sitting right in the chair. He measured the tilt to be about 15 degrees to the right. He explained this can occur for a number of reasons – Nathan’s positioning in the womb or an eye problem that at this stage could be hard to accurately determine. Now, I was worried.

After putting drops in Nathan’s eyes to dilate his pupils we headed out to the waiting room for 30 minutes of worrying time. When we met with the doctor she put Nathan through the normal vision tests and determined that he has a slight stigmatism and is a little farsighted - completely normal for an 8-month old baby. After she gave Nathan a clean bill of health, and said we wouldn’t need to come back until he is about 3 or 4 years of age, I asked her about the head tilting observed by the assistant. She seemed surprised and almost immediately provided me with a difference of opinion analogy using three blind men and an elephant. She explained how each blind man would describe the elephant differently depending on the location of the elephants body – just as she got to describing the second man - I cut her off and said “ I get it.” What kind of answer is that?

She may not believe there is much to her assistant’s observation, and there may not be, but I’ll be mindful and observant of Nathan’s head positioning and speak to his physical therapist about it.

The good news is that all those carrots he eats are paying off!!!


Lianna said...

Yes, I agree with you and I would have further observation about the head tilting. I would also recommend that you do not wait another three or four years for followup. In Canada, it is recommended that Gabriel have his eyes checked yearly. There is so much developing going on in the early years, I'm surprised the doctor wouldn't see Nathan yearly.

Terry Family said...

Well, I'll have them check in another year then! Thanks for the advise. I'll mention this at our next appointment.

Terry Family said...
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