My daughter told me one day that a classmate of hers who is sitting behind her keeps peeping and copying from her notebook. I told her all she has to do is tell the kid that copying is bad. I know she can manage to deal with her peers so I wasn’t alarmed with the issue. I asked her who the kid was, and it happens that I knew who the kid’s mother as she is a very good friend and a former classmate in high school.
Several days after my conversation with my daughter, the kid’s mom who I said is my friend, posted on her Facebook that her kid needs prescription eyeglasses at a very young age. Right there and then I know the answer to my daughter’s concerns as to why her classmate keeps on checking her notebook or paper when they are writing.
I started wearing eyeglasses at very young age too. Nine years old to be exact and I was in fourth grade. I cannot remember how my mother discovered why I need one but I can still recall how I felt before I was wearing one.
1. Having a hard time at school and reading problems
I belonged to a SPED section, it is homogenous selection in terms of general average on grades. Bragging aside, I went to school in a classroom full of genius kids. I reached the point where studying to cope isn’t fun anymore and I started not to enjoy it. I love reading and even that activity is a struggle. The lessons are hard to understand anymore as everything appears to be blurry or the alphabets on some words are not written as it should be. I can see numbers or other characters I don’t recognize in the middle of the word. I can see number 8 replacing the letter S all the time.
2. Eye Gestures
Squinting, winking, rubbing eyes often , frequent sets of quick blinking, covering one eye or alternately closing one eye from the other can help clear vision. I develop this habit to be able for me to focus more on the image or the board when the teacher is writing something. Normally, our eyes don’t do this gestures. To see the kids having to develop this habit is a way of telling us parents that something is bothering their vision focus.
3. Frequent headaches
I experienced having unexplainable headaches all the time. It usually goes away when I am doing nothing that is stressful for the eyes, like playing dolls or running with my cousins. I complained a lot about getting headaches in school and I usually feel fine after classes. Parents , oftentimes fail to consider this seriously as it could be an abused excuse used by children to avoid going to school or to get the teacher to send them home when in school. I can remember my optometrist back then told my mother that my vision problems is 100% causing my frequent headaches.
4. Sitting close to the black board or to the television
Back in grade school the teacher arranged the sitting assignments of the class. I am a small kid back then but not the shortest , so, I was placed in the 2nd or 3rd line and I always move to the front when I need to copy something from the board. I ended up not writing anything on my notebook if I am told to move back to my proper seat. Worst, I ended up not writing answers on my paper if the quiz questions are written on the board.
Watching television is something I am not fond of as a kid or even now that I have kids. If I do back then, I will be sitting so close to the screen for me to be able to enjoy the show.
5. Recognizing people from a distance
I got my first glasses a couple of weeks after I got home from Girl Scout Camping. I can’t recall exactly but I think I did complain to my mother that the camping gave me a hard time. I was unable to recognize people from a distance. I had difficulty going to my troupe not unless I have a buddy with me. It is even harder to tell who I am really with since everybody is wearing uniforms and my means of identifying people I am with is through the colors of the clothes they are wearing.
I was told a couple of times that I am a snob because I don’t acknowledge those who greet me in a distance or by those waving their hands at me when approaching. This situation really sucks. As kid, this is confusing.
Eyeglasses are not a very pretty accessory to wear when you are a kid at school. I have my own share of moments being teased and picked on because I am wearing one. Luckily, there are two other kids in class that was wearing a pair too when I started wearing mine. The impact wasn’t so bad and that they were already used to having a classmate with four eyes.
Few days after I saw the Facebook post of my friend, my daughter reported to me that her classmate is now wearing eyeglasses. I asked if he still peek into her notebook and she answered me “not anymore”. I made her realize that the classmate was doing that as he has vision problems. My kids know how important eyeglasses are as I am wearing one and they know how I depended my life to it. I asked her what her other classmates reaction was when they saw him come to class with it on and she told me a lot of the kids called him “Lolo” (Grandpa in Filipino) and a few others were laughing. I told my daughter never to tease the kid as it is not funny. I told her how I felt being picked on and I am sure she understand. I know my friend’s son will get used to it soon and and the classmates as well.