Bergen Taylor Hightower

Friday, April 10, 2015

Isla Rose Update

Isla Rose ~  23 Months
It's been a while since I've given an update on Isla's vision.  As some of you may have read from my Facebook post on Wednesday evening, Isla had her evaluation done that morning by her teachers from The Governor Morehead Preschool. It was an opportunity for her teachers to see how she uses her vision skills and what she may need help with.  It was actually the first time her teachers were able to really see how Isla does "out of her normal environment".  Her teachers usually come to see her at our home where Isla is VERY familiar and comfortable with things.  When we take Isla out of her normal environment, it's usually to places she is somewhat familar with and is usually in her stroller, riding in the grocery cart or visiting a home or place that she's somewhat familiar with. Isla is also use to having me, her Dad or brother there by her side to hold her hand or help guide her along so she's never really been on her own without us right there with her. 
 Our meeting spot was at the Mall in the children's designated play area. It's a mall that I have never taken Isla to so she was very unfamiliar with it. The teachers learned a lot about Isla's vision that morning.  Isla's reaction at the new place really helped her teachers understand  more how they may need to modify/accommodate things for her so that she can use her residual vision to complete daily tasks. When I took Isla out of the stroller to let her walk beside me, she was a little hesitant at first. We walked toegether through the entry hall where it was nicely lit up with lights. She even started running up and down the hallway a few times. When we entered the open area of the Mall where all the stores are and the children's play area was, she didn't pay much attention to anything surrounding her but was drawn to the upstairs area where it was well lit from all the windows on the ceiling. When they noticed that Isla was more focused on looking up and being drawn to the bright lights upstairs, they took her upstairs where she started to run freely and explore around more on her own. She often gravitates towards light and seems comfortable when she is in areas more lit. Which explains why Isla loves being outside so much. It gives her plenty of light to use to help get around.
Here are a few facts that were mentioned about Isla's vision. I feel like we've known these things but hearing it in details and directly from her teachers helps us get a better understanding of how she's using what she's got to get around. 
1) Isla uses a great deal of tactile reinforcement to help her see.
2) Her use of details is most likely somewhat limited. 
3) Things at her eye level help her "see".
4) Isla has great hearing and acknowledges sounds that she hears.  We will just need to teach her to use the great hearing she has to locate the sound so she can help orient her surroundings and locate items to move more confidently.
5.  She has some depth perception issues. She often oversteps areas like a rug on the floor, color changes and from wood to carpet, or when the grass areas are different.
6)  Her doctors and teachers are still thinking she has about a 2 - 3 feet visual maximum zone. Which means she uses her vision better at near. Which also means that seeing better at near will make unassisted travel more difficult for her.

We continue to stay very positive about Isla's vision.  We have our ups and downs that we go through while trying to understand and learn more about her eyes. Every day Isla is taking a step in the right direction of learning how to use the vision she has in the best way possible.  We are so thankful for her doctors and teachers for all they do and continue to do for her. We've come a long way...SHE has come a long way.
Thanks for stopping by! 

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