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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Child blind in one eye

(23 Posts)
rockybalboa Fri 19-Dec-14 22:09:46

My 6 year old DS lost the sight in his eye this week following an incident at school. The damage is to the optic nerve and there is nothing they can do. He is not classified as visually impaired because his reminding eye is fine and his vision is good. I feel that we need support to help us learn what we can do to protect his other eye (sports goggles etc) and also emotional support for him to help him understand what has happened. He is reporting having bad dreams about the child that injured him chasing him and then realising that the dream has come true. Can anyone recommend anywhere I can go for advice/support?

Reekypear Fri 19-Dec-14 22:13:21

I'm so sorry. I have sight in both my eyes but because my brain only uses one eye I do struggle with spatial awareness, I can be clumsy, I also don't see in 3d at all. I know it's quite the same but I also have monocular vision.

What about the rnib they may be able to assist you somehow.

So sorry.

Chillyegg Fri 19-Dec-14 22:15:05

Your poor DC sad I hope you enjoy the festive period! Well firstly there should be a care or pastoral team/ at school that should be working with him closely! Also maybe go to your GP they may be able to refer you to a local councillor and or a charity for children with optical impairment! I also strongly hope the child who attacked him gets expelled for such a serious assault!

Isabeller Fri 19-Dec-14 22:16:57

So sorry to hear about this, I hope you find the right support. Perhaps the specialist who diagnosed the optic nerve damage could help?

ArchangelGallic Fri 19-Dec-14 22:17:23

RNIB probably wouldn't be a bad start. They might not be the best agency but could suggest others. Does the school have a counsellor you can use?

I remember your thread about the initial incident at school and I think you're being remarkably calm! I'd be furious once away from my child.

superram Fri 19-Dec-14 22:20:05

I only have sight in one eye. I drive safely although parking is a challenge (In that I leave 5 foot). Am not registered disabled and have never really told anyone.
Maybe counselling would halo with the dreams and camhs should be able to help.

Theas18 Fri 19-Dec-14 22:21:41

Gosh that sounds awful. Trying to imaging how it happened , was it a tragic accident or deliberate injury?

When trying to get help/ support I guess his hospital team are your 1st port of call. You won't be the first to struggle with this im sure.

Also have a think if you ( or school) have insurance for injury that should be claimed on. I'm very anti ambulance chasing " sue the pants off em" lawyers but this is a case where having a pot of cash to help pay for counselling/ special equipment etc will help. If you do have to sue someone I'd look carefully about how much of the settlement goes to the law firm too.

Theas18 Fri 19-Dec-14 22:23:55

Re those who say gp / CAMHS. I'm afraid gp unlikely to know and CAMHS so very stretched they are rejecting self harm etc so Whilst intervention now his what he needs he is v unlikely to get it - sorry

HumphreyCobbler Fri 19-Dec-14 22:24:06

Goodness I am sorry to hear this, how traumatic for you and him.

I am functionally blind in one eye due to an accident when I was very small, so I don't remember it. I have found it to have little impact on my life, except for being really bad at tennis. I can drive.

Sorry I don't have any specific advice, but wanted to offer my sympathy.

Reekypear Fri 19-Dec-14 22:26:08

Yes I would be suing sorry, they have failed to protect your child, especially if the attacker has history. You child had to live with this forever.

jimmycrackcornbutidontcare Fri 19-Dec-14 22:30:34

That is truly terrible. I'm so sorry.

MarianneSolong Fri 19-Dec-14 22:36:31

My stepdaughter has only one sighted eye. She was born with a damaged optic nerve - her mother had had listeriosis when pregnant. It hasn't affected her life. She took part in sports, doesn't wear goggles - passed her driving test. The monocular vision was picked up during a routine health check when she was 2.

She did have a couple of operations when she was about 7 to tighten the muscles round her unsighted eye - which were less good than those on her sighted eye. She had developed a slight squint.

That's different from being born with sight in two eyes and then having an accident which causes damage to one of them. But I hope it's reassuring.

steppeupunderthemisletoe Fri 19-Dec-14 23:04:46

hi op, I was on your original thread. I am so shocked that this was the outcome.
Just wnated to offer huge amounts of sympathy.
Please sue. It is LA you sue, as they failed to protect your child, and there is plenty of evidence that this was not an unexpected thing to happen.
get some legal advice.
dh doesn't have 3D vision, 99% of the time you wouldn't know, but occasionally it is noticeable.

For your ds, he needs some trauma counseling, ask your gp to refer you, it isn't really CAHMS you need, more a counselor to help him process the event.

rockybalboa Sat 20-Dec-14 00:11:38

As the combo of this and my other thread will out me to anyone who l knows me, I might as well tell the rest of you that I am in fact an ambulance chasing personal injury lawyer and have been for 15 years. I know what my advice would be if a client came to me but I'm not sure I'm ready to be One Of Those People yet. The private consultant who made the diagnosis last night said no services etc available as he's not actually visually impaired. Will see what info I can get from the NHS consultant next week though. The whole thing is an absolute fucking nightmare to be honest.

ArchangelGallic Sat 20-Dec-14 09:23:58

I would have thought possible monocular vision would be visually impaired!

I've left a message with a friend who has been visually impaired since birth and went to a school for visually impaired children. She might know of some services that can help.

Just want to give your little boy a huge hug and tell him it will be ok.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 20-Dec-14 09:27:22

If there is any way this wasnt entirely accidental (havent seen other thread) I would seriously consider legal action - not to 'punish' the LA, but to ensure you have the funds for any additional help your son may require for the rest of his life.

MarianneSolong Sat 20-Dec-14 10:02:35

I think there are a couple of questions. Does monocular vision qualify legally as disability. The short answer is that it doesn't. (Although someone sighted in one eye with a significant visual impairment in the sighted eye, might. See www.rnib.org.uk/sites/default/.../DDA-factsheet-Definition-of-disability.

There is also the question of what is helpful to the child. I didn't read the earlier thread, but understand that they were injured - perhaps by another child - at school.

I think there's a balance to be struck between acknowledging the fear caused by the incident, and giving appropriate support. But also moving forward. Essentially we need one decent eye. One functioning kidney. Some people will lose the sight in one eye for all sorts of reason. A friend of mine lost her sight via shingles.

I don't know what the right way forward, but for the child I would imagine it's important for parents not to appear trapped in anger and grief.

lurkerspeaks Sat 20-Dec-14 14:03:32

You will know the rules re claiming better than me but don't miss the time limit for claims (is it 3 years post 18 as your son is a minor).

This school / lea will have insurance to claim from (I remember getting leaflets at school detailing how much of a payout we would get for loss of a limb etc).

Your son may well need extra support and that money could fund it. However, making a huge judgment, it sounds like you night well be able to fund some stuff at least privately. Would he benefit for child psychology input?

steppeupunderthemisletoe Sat 20-Dec-14 22:13:30

op - normally I would be a reluctant sue-er. I hold the belief that you can't prevent all accidents and it isn't always someone's fault.

The reason I would urge you to pursue it, is that the cut back in funding for children with SEN, and the pressure on schools to do the minumum means that children who need supervision aren't getting it, and other children are at risk. That won't change unless it has a financial consequence for LEA.

My friend's son has autism, he has full time 1:1 support, but a) the school often uses his 1:1 elsewhere and 2) when he was in reception he found playtimes very, very hard, unstructured social time is worst case scenario for autistic kids. School refused to see there was a problem until he had hurt 2 other children. My friend was furious, she had told them it would happen, they took no action until children were hurt. He then had playtime supervision.

I just wanted to say again, that some counseling would help. Think of it like bereavement counseling, to help him process what has happened. I think it would help you guys too.
What an nightmare, so sorry for you and your ds.

steppeupunderthemisletoe Sat 20-Dec-14 22:15:31

As to being One Of Those People.
Friends of ours' son went paintballing and while adjusting his helmet in the safe zone, he was hit in the eye by a paintball and there was permanent damage. They sued - very reluctantly - because they wanted the paintballing franchise to improve their safety zones. They have.

WineWineWine Sat 20-Dec-14 22:47:19

Long term, having sight in only one eye, is not a major problem. It definitely wouldn't qualify as disabled or visually impaired. Having monocular vision is a minor inconvenience. It does affect depth and speed perception but you can adapt to that.

However, the trauma that he has been through and adapting to his new vision, will take some time.
I would look at play therapy to help him explore his feelings and recover from the trauma.

I would also patch one of your eyes for the day and see what it is like so you get a real understanding of the difficulties.

I'm sure it will all work out OK.

WrongWayWound Sun 21-Dec-14 21:09:17

I'm a senco, and through school I know there are services for support. Ours are through a special school outreach. He may have educational implications, even if there are no nhs services required/ offered. Ask the Senco, if they don't know, ask the LA.

They can advice on the little things. For example at our school they (for a child who lost sight in one eye):

-did a site survey, picked a few minor points such as steps in a shadowed area which we added paint lines to the edges (to help with depth perception) and reminders about floor clutter
-met staff one yearly and pre-empted lessons/ situations that might arise and cause difficulty (might sound obvious but for instance pointing out that in a busy game of rugby bumping was likely to be honestly accidental, avoiding wading in with a shout and a moan) or ensuring if sitting side-on to the board it was on his good side
-provided a listening ear for the child, outside school staff, on their visit to discuss worries/ concerns and ensure the child's voice was heard. Were very practical and a bit of a link for the child to here about others like him, even I believe arranged a meet-up with another child.
-Gave a few tips and tricks we wouldn't have thought of, little things like how to pour water from the jugs in the hall with impaired depth perception (rim touching spout). Tiny things really, but avoided problems before they occurred.

Whilst people are right above, it is a minor thing in a lot of ways, it's still worth asking the school for support. It's quite different as an adult who's in control of most things they do to deal with monocular vision, compared to a child in a busy school. As a adult you'd simply move if you couldn't see, for a child who's blind in one eye getting a chair side on to the board on their blind side allocated to them in the start of the year seating plan is a nightmare. Classrooms can have a culture of 'be quiet and get on with it' or some children feel embarrassed to speak up, the silliest things get missed at times.

awfulomission Sun 21-Dec-14 21:27:11

I'm so sorry to hear this OP. I saw your other thread too. This must be so fresh and raw for you all.

I have a child with profound unilateral deafness. The services and charities that exist for deaf children exist to varying degrees for him too, despite the fact that he has a hearing ear.

I'd say the same for you. The advice line at the NDCS has been brilliant for us. Perhaps there exists a similar charity for children with sight loss in the UK? I guess what I'm saying is don't let the fact that it's one eye stop you from asking for help, advice and support from those charities; they are there to help you too.

flowers There is some really good advice up thread. All the best OP.

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