Many, many thanks to Amber O. for sharing this beautiful story. Her daughter has nystagmus and optic nerve hypoplasia – Ann Z
WARNING Mom Brag/Soap box Post:
Background: Meg is a 7th grader that has low vision, her glasses help but do not give her perfect vision.
7th grader Meg in a red dress and red glasses climbing on a playground structure
A few days ago in one of Meg’s classes a substitute teacher asked her to move away from her front seat (this is a written accommodation in every class). She advocated for herself(as she has done whole life proudly), explaining why she needed to sit in the front. The sub still would not listen. That’s when her entire class stood up and advocated for her. Informing the teacher why she should be allowed to sit up front.
I always hear complaints of teenagers being selfish and rude but I’m not seeing it (this being one example this year). I did ask her if she got made fun of in school, she said that no one makes fun of her except her close group of friends but “they have permission to tease me.” This is the generation that is holds our future, teens who advocate for their friends in need despite the whiplash are superheroes in my book.
I’m not sure of the end result of where she ended up in the class. My girl finished the day knowing that she has an army of classmates that has her back and I know that my girl can advocate for herself with no shame. Advocacy is such an important tool to teach kids whether they have disabilities or not. Teaching kids to recognize equality in every aspect of learning or living. Teaching kids to see all humans are treated with the same compassion as the next despite how they look, talk, learn or move. Teaching kids compassion and advocacy forms better humans than teaching kids only book knowledge.
Many thanks to Dr. Jason Cheng for sending a copy of this book for me to review. Links to the book on Amazon are affiliate links. That means that I receive a small commission if you order from there after following the links. – Ann Z
(image description: book cover of “Amazing Amber and her Lazy Laser Eye” by Eagle Ngo, Mitchell Bagley, and Jason Cheng. It features a young superhero, Amber flying through the sky with one eye patched, and they other eye shooting a laser beam.)
The hero of the story, Amber, can fly and shoot things with her laser eye, and uses those powers to help people. Like all good superhero stories, there is a villain as well. In this case, the villain throws pies at innocent bystanders. Amber shoots the pies down with her laser eye, but when the villain creates a machine that can launch two pies at once, she learns that only one of her laser eyes works. She visits an eye doctor, who tells her that she has lazy eye. She wears a patch over her strong laser eye and practices using her other eye until it becomes just as strong. Using both eyes together, she’s able to defeat the villain and save the day!
(image description: a page from the book showing three children looking up in a tree, where Amber has flown up to retrieve a frisbee. The text says, “But most of all, she loves to help people.”)
(image description: a page from the book showing a young boy with a taunting smile who is launching pies with a pie-launching machine. The text says, “But most of all, he likes to throw pies.”)
(image description: a page from the book showing a bear who is an eye doctor, standing in front of a vision chart. The text reads, “‘You have a lazy eye,’ Dr Teddy tells Amazing Amber. ‘Cover your strong eye with a patch, and then your eyes will become a match.”)
I really enjoyed and appreciated this book. The metaphor of a superhero who needs to strengthen her laser eye works well in the story and kids who need to patch for amblyopia will find her easy to relate to. There is no teasing in the book, or scenes of Amber disliking her patch, though patching is shown as hard work that takes time. The story is fun and funny and easy to follow. There are not a lot of books out there for kids who patch, so this is a welcome addition!
The illustrations by Alecksis Vladimir are bright and colorful and reminiscent of comic books, as is befitting a superhero tale. Amazing Amber is a collaboration between Eagle Ngo, a year -12 student from Brisbane, Mitchell Bagley, an orthoptist, and Dr. Jason Cheng, a Sydney-based ophthalmic surgeon. It is available in print and ebook.
The book is listed as being for grades Kindergarten – 6th grade. I think the book would work well for kids age 4 – 8. The text is not too dense, and the book can be read in one sitting. It would be an excellent book to read out loud to a class to help other children understand why their friend and classmate wears a patch.
Since Zoe is done with patching, I would love to give my review copy to someone else who would enjoy it. To enter, leave a comment about what super powers your child would want. I will randomly select a commenter to receive the copy on Monday, March 5, 2019. Make sure you leave your email address when you comment so that I can contact you if you’re selected.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, For Little Eyes and @patchwithgus have teamed up to share our favorite printable Valentine cards and coloring pages to celebrate children with vision needs! What’s even better is that these fun, inclusive designs are all FREE!
Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romantic love. This holiday reminds us to celebrate friendship and our unique personalities through self-love while offering praise and thanksgiving to those who make a positive difference in our lives. Be sure to visit the links below to download our favorite FREE vision-themed Valentine’s Day printables. These cards and coloring pages are perfect for upcoming Valentine’s Day parties and class card exchanges.
You can download and print any of the following files with your home computer or have them professionally printed at your favorite local printer or office supply store. We recommend printing with full-color laser ink on white cardstock paper for the best results!
From Eye Power Kids Wear
Eye Power Kids Wear valentines that say “I’ve got my EYE on you!” and lollipop valentines.
From Ahoy Amigo Designs
Valentines from Ahoy Amigo that say “I’ve only got eyes for you” and “You’re pawsome” with matching t-shirts.
“You’re Pawsome” and “I’ve only got eyes for you” Valentine’s Day cards! Keep these modern and monochrome OR let you child customize the designs by coloring the designs themselves! Coordinating “You’re pawsome” t-shirts and raglans are also available for purchase at AhoyAmigo.com.
More free printables
Valentines that say “I think you are SPECtacular” on them
Elizabeth Rapihana shared this photo on our facebook group. She found the Marvel Infinity War version of the Thor action figure, who happens to be sporting an eye patch. Now, Thor has become “Pete, the Patch Man!” Pete brings little gifts of joy to kids who have to wear eye patches.
[image description: Thor action figure which is wearing an eye patch. The action figure is holding a child’s eye patch and is standing next to a small toy truck.]
Kaisa shared this in the For Little Eyes facebook group and was kind enough to give me permission to share it here – Ann Z
I want to share my journey as a parent to any new parents in this group. I was devastated at first when I heard that our beautiful little firecracker needed glasses when she was a little over two. Hearing that she is severely farsighted (hyperopic) was a tough blow – surprisingly tough – even though she did not suffer and the fix was easy. I researched the issue like crazy, obsessed over the diagnosis and worried about what her future entailed as a bespectacled little lady. I need not have worried.
We may not know how her condition will develop as she grows (it may or may not get better or even disappear; the science is incomplete at best and our eye doctor says she has seen both), but she has taken to her glasses like a fish to water. They are simply a non-issue, both to her and to us, her parents. She sees much better and has never taken them off. Incredibly enough she is also fully functional without them, but they are basically always on.
Kaisa’s daughter. [image description: young girl wearing red glasses and a yellow backpack sits on a train and watches out the window.]
My own journey with this has gone from shock to denial and then very swiftly to acceptance. I was surprised by how fast, furious and deep my reaction was. I guess that it is simply because we love so deeply as parents and because we want the best for our children.
To any parent going through this right now: do get informed and do fight for the best care for your child. But know that it gets better and easier so much faster than you think when you’re in the deepest trenches of (well…) grief. You accept and embrace your little one’s new look so quickly, and you find yourself celebrating the fact that they are getting the help they need.
In the case of our daughter, the glasses make her the little person she was always meant to be. In fact, the very first thought in my mind when I saw her wearing her new glasses for the first time was this: “now she is a CHARACTER, not just my little kid.” I found this thought deeply reassuring and comforting.
In the meantime our daughter has started daycare in a new group where 30% of the kids have glasses making a non-issue even less so.