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Children's health

Motor skills and myopia

14 replies

Eachpeachbrownpear · 23/11/2023 10:39

Hello, I’ve just been to my 4 year Old’s parents evening, and his teacher has told me he needs a lot of help with both both gross and fine motor skills. I’m just looking for advice on how to help him come along with this - but along with this he has myopia so sitting him down with a pencil and practising words isn’t great for his vision! 

Also, how much of this should I put down to myopia or should I be getting worried as I have an older boy with dyspraxia? 

His teacher said she’s just going to watch and wait at the minute as he is an August baby so very young still!

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underneaththeash · 23/11/2023 16:48

When was the myopia picked up, what is his prescription and does he manage to read the letters on the chart to the bottom with both eyes, or does he have amblyopia.

Eachpeachbrownpear · 23/11/2023 19:31

His myopia was picked up at around 18 month after a referral for strabismus. He also has nystagmus. His prescription is -4.50, he can’t read letters yet but identified all the pictures, he doesn’t have amblyopia ☺️

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underneaththeash · 23/11/2023 21:53

Don't worry about his myopia progressing with increased close work (too much) - his will be a different type. Do make sure he's outside for at least an hour or two a day.
If he has nystagmus and strabismus, he will have a degree of amblyopia compared to other children his age and it will take a little longer for his visual system to mature.

Do the things you would do with your older child, so things like ball catching and twister, obstacle courses that sort of thing and also activities that encourage fine motor control like colouring and lego. I'm sure you've done it with your older child, but the peg pinching exercise really helps as does things like hama beads. But I'm not an OT, but the gross motor things also help with visual maturation especially with the eye muscles.

Eachpeachbrownpear · 23/11/2023 22:31

Thank you for your help! Could you possibly explain more about the types of myopia? I didn’t know there was different types!

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underneaththeash · 25/11/2023 08:36

As your son developed myopia at such a young age and he also has strabsimus and nystagmus, it's more likely to be due to a developmental visual issue rather than acquired myopia which increases due to environmental and genetic causes.

I suspect his prescription hasn't changed much over the last couple of years and that's the case for most people with congenital myopia. It tends to not change much even with lots of close work.

ProfessorMinervaMcGonagall · 25/11/2023 09:21

Eachpeachbrownpear · 23/11/2023 10:39

Hello, I’ve just been to my 4 year Old’s parents evening, and his teacher has told me he needs a lot of help with both both gross and fine motor skills. I’m just looking for advice on how to help him come along with this - but along with this he has myopia so sitting him down with a pencil and practising words isn’t great for his vision! 

Also, how much of this should I put down to myopia or should I be getting worried as I have an older boy with dyspraxia? 

His teacher said she’s just going to watch and wait at the minute as he is an August baby so very young still!

@Eachpeachbrownpear my teen DD, who is registered blind with a number of eye conditions, also has nystagmus. Please check out the Nystagmus Network as they have produced a booklet for teachers that explains how the condition impacts on children in their everyday lives and learning. Nystagmus can have a detrimental effect on children’s social and emotional well-being as it affects all aspects of being a child; so, children can’t really manage fast-moving ball games in PE as their depth perception is affected and they’re the last kid to be picked for teams; they struggle to learn to ride a bike due to balance issues so they’re excluded from playing out; they accidentally knock into other children in school corridors for the same reason and get shoved back; they can’t always pick out their friends or familiar faces in crowds so they’re labelled as rude or stand-offish. My daughter’s Qualified Teacher for the Vision Impaired (QTVI) always explains to her teachers that my DD’s eyes are working 100pc harder than the other children’s eyes so she gets more tired and all classroom work is much harder for her, especially maths and the sciences, with all their diagram requirements.

Honestly, I would focus my efforts and concerns on managing the nystagmus, which will never change, rather than the myopia, which can be corrected with glasses and lenses.

Eachpeachbrownpear · 25/11/2023 09:37

Thank you so much. Do you have any tips that have helped to manage nystagmus?

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Eachpeachbrownpear · 25/11/2023 09:40

when I asked the ophthalmologist about his Nystagmus and if he’d need extra help, he replied ‘no don’t worry about that’, which made me feel like it won’t be much of a issue in life. His eyes don’t wobble much, you don’t really notice unless you look closely or if he has one eye covered.

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ProfessorMinervaMcGonagall · 25/11/2023 17:39

@Eachpeachbrownpear why not see if your eye clinic has an ECLO (eye clinic liaison officer) - I think these are employed by the RNIB? If so, I would speak to them and ask for a referral into your local authority’s specialist inclusion unit and, more specifically, the QTVI team (Qualified Teachers for the Vision Impaired). If teachers are already noticing differences in your DS, then it’s time to get on top of this. My biggest piece of advice would be to educate yourself so you can educate the educators. Make use of the Nystagmus Network and its resources. Also, there are some brilliant VI charities for children and young people out there - I highly recommend VICTA, which has been a godsend and a lifeline for my teen DD and our family.

Just because your DS’s eyes don’t wobble too much (it’s probably worse at times of tiredness, stress and illness), doesn’t mean he is not affected by the condition. Before I educated myself, I used to get frustrated that my DD would seemingly blank friends and neighbours on the street, and I worried about her lack of friendships. Now I now that nystagmus kids can have face blindness which is a debilitating condition, especially when you’re trying to make friends in a high school setting. As I said before, nystagmus that is not managed correctly in a school setting can have a horrible effect on a child’s self-esteem (the rubbish-at-PE kid who can’t catch a ball etc or the clumsy kid who falls over all the time).

Please, If I could advise you to do one thing it would be to ensure that your DS’s teacher and teaching assistant/s read the Wobbly Eyes booklet.

Eachpeachbrownpear · 25/11/2023 18:52

Thank you I’ll definitely do that! I just feel a bit of a fraud and feel like I’m wasting resources because the ophthalmologists don’t seem concerned, as there’s plenty more children out there with worse Vision

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ProfessorMinervaMcGonagall · 25/11/2023 21:40

Eachpeachbrownpear · 25/11/2023 18:52

Thank you I’ll definitely do that! I just feel a bit of a fraud and feel like I’m wasting resources because the ophthalmologists don’t seem concerned, as there’s plenty more children out there with worse Vision

@Eachpeachbrownpear please, in the world of VI and disability, forget about other people’s children, and you just do you and yours with your sharp elbows! Your DS has a significant visual impairment and everywhere needs to be making allowances for him, most especially school.

Eachpeachbrownpear · 25/11/2023 22:25

Thank you. Ophthalmology generally say he isn’t VI and everything is fine as long as he wears glasses, but seeing him struggle going down stairs etc makes me wonder.

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