Monday, March 29, 2010

Matty's Eyes

Since Matthew was about three I feel like I have had to fight for him. Fight to help him. What I was fighting against, I never really knew. Something wasn't right though. Something was off. He was a beautiful baby with a smile that could light up a room and long blond curls that we grew long. He has been as precious and wonderful as he had at moments maddening.

When he was two he didn't talk. Hardly at all. He had made up words he would use such as "la la" for music, and "wee" for swinging, "ow" for kitties. I remember laying in bed one day and our reception on our baby monitor had picked up a neighboring house. Their 2 year old was calling 'Mama!". For a second there I thought it was Matthew and I was so excited thinking he could say Mama!
I found the tapes Signing Time to help with Sign Language, I had him tested for hearing. He failed hearing tests...he passed hearing tests...We went to the city and talked to speech dr's who confirmed he had a speech delay.
I took him to Speech therapy. I got him signed up for county preschool speech classes. Before he was 3 and a half he was doing great!
By age four he was a mile a minute, and a handful and a half. He wandered off so much if was a common occurrence for the family to have to drop everything and hop on bikes to spread out and try to "find Matthew". He definitely went to the beat of his own drum.
Preschool came, and soon a bad instance of temper and Matthew stabbing another child in the hand with a pencil. We were mortified of course. Did he not have the verbal ability to express himself and became so frustrated? Did he have other problems?
A roller coaster year in Kindergarten with a very damaging teacher who's way to teach in class was for the kids to have lady bugs that would "loose their spots" one by one if they were not good in class. (aka loose privileges) Matthew would come everyday saying his ladybug flew away. (got taken completely off the board) (NOTE: If you are a teacher...please do encouraging thing..positive enforcement! Not negative. You get so much more this way!)
Throw in that I was pregnant that year and by the end of Kindergarten they were wanting to hold him back.
1st grade his teacher was on maternity leave for the center core of the year and we started meeting with the school cousler about "anger issues". He would just shut down. Refuse to do his work. Not look at you. Not respond. Or Throw thing have anger fits.
Me at home was doing everything I could to control him. His anger fits were getting crazy. The kids would call it "Matthew's going wild MOM!" and I would have to come running....

Sorry this is long and I am just trying to touch the tip of the ice burg here to help you understand...

This year after working with Mental Health through his school, he has come a long way. I think alot has to do with maturity, and alot has to do with getting him the help he needed to work out his feelings. But a new problem has surfaced (or maybe it was there all along?)
His grades are struggling and his teacher is really upset about his reading and writing. After having him in the extra government assisted reading programs, that teacher too suggested there is more of a problem, and that we should go get it checked out.

That is why today we went to Dayton to see a Behavioral Optometrist. To see if he has a tracking problem. Now we already have been to the eye dr. and he has 20/20 vision. But this was something else.

Right away, when she called me back she said....there was a substantial tracking problem. When he looks at words they aren't in focus. Kind of like if we are laying in bed and our eyes are open and in a glaze...not focusing. He had to try really hard to make them stay that way. He also has a convergence insufficiency. His eyes don't zone in at an object in tune together. (I hope I have all that written down right?)

Any ways, I asked her if over time, wouldn't his body work it out and figure out how to focus and make it work. She said no. She said what we see now is the result of how it will be. It will only get worse. The body doesn't know how to work it out.

BUT...with therapy...they can train his body how to learn to focus correctly. This can save him. Help him learn to read. Do good in school. Not struggle. Not get so frustrated. Not be so down on himself. Get good grades easier. Grow up not hating school. Go and have a good education. Go and have a good career. I see so much from this.

I know this may seem like a bunch of nonsense to you, but there have been so many times I have felt so lost for him. This could be an answer. This is someone saying they can help. This is someone diagnosing a problem and working with him.

I feel like this could be a fresh beginning for this guy. A positive new start. And I am so ready to begin!