Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Patching and Testing

Today was Anna's opthamology appointment. The one thing I really did not want to do was patch Anna's eye. Guess what we are doing? Yep, patching Anna's eye. It isn't near as bad as I expected though. It is only for 90 minutes a day everyday for 2 months. We go back at the end of the 2 months and if it is better then awesome, problem solved. If not then she will need eye surgery to fix the problem. I am betting on the patches working for many reasons. Number 1, I do not want her to have to have surgery. Number 2, 2 months down the road and then needing surgery would put us into January when our deductibles and out of pocket for our insurance start over and I would love to say the money doesn't matter but sometimes it is hard to come up with it so in that respect it does matter. We always seem to find a way to make it work but it is difficult. This year we have already met our total out of pocket with Anna so everything except copay is covered at 100% right now. (This is good news since she has the upcoming inpatient stay for the EEG and MRI.) Number 3, the thought of eye surgery makes me quite queasy and I am not sure I could care for her eye. ( I realize how selfish this sounds and probably is but it is the honest truth.) So I am praying the patches work! I put the first one on (well actually it took Carly and I both to hold her down) and she screamed and cried for about 10-15 minutes saying "NO, not like it!" but after that she was over it and is tolerating it just fine now. They said if the child sees the parent is not going to give in they usually just deal with it. They were right.

Now on to the next matter. If you have done any reading of this blog you quickly realize nothing is ever "normal" for us. Kenneth has severe dyslexia. When we married he could barely read and his spelling was and still is atrocious. He did a lot of tutoring after we married and his reading skills are so much better! When a parent has dyslexia, their child has a 50% chance of having it as well. It appears Carly may be the lucky one. I have been concerned for awhile but have just tried to assume it is due to her age and it will get better. It isn't getting better and in fact it is getting worse. She is super intelligent kid and anyone who meets her and can tell right off the bat. But her schoolwork is a whole different story. She confuses B,D,and P. She confuses M and W. She writes about 50% of her letters and numbers backwards. She is falling below the state accepted standard in reading comprehension and failing her spelling tests. She cannot remember the difference between front and back, up and down, and so on. She is already in tutoring after school Monday through Thursday to try to help her. I could go on and on. I spoke with her teacher about it and she assured me this is just all normal 1st grade stuff but I just don't buy it. Then the next day Carly came home from school all upset because her teacher, in front of the class, said "Why can't you just quit doing everything backwards?" (Don't even get me started on this.) I swore I was not going to be "one of those parents" but it appears I am. The school offers a "screening" test but it is the parent's responsibility to have formal testing done and the school district will not provide any further help for her until she has an official diagnosis. I called and spoke with Dr. Elliott who is the counselor we took Carly to about her anxiety and spoke with her about it. I explained to her what was going on and she said Carly absolutely needs to be tested. She said the earlier we catch it and get her started in a program, the better she will do in school and life from here on out. But guess what, insurance does not consider dyslexia a medical problem so they do not pay for testing. So it will be somewhere between $700-900 out of pocket for that. We have to do it though. It will pay for itself over and over if it helps her to succeed in school and life and helps with her self esteem also. She gets so frustrated. We will spend an hour doing spelling words and she will have them that night but then the next morning they are gone again...and there are only 12 of them. I do not want her to begin to think she is dumb. We should be getting a call in the next week to get the testing set up. Maybe I'll win the lottery sometime between now and then...


  1. Jamie -

    I stumbled across your blog through another blog. Your girls are beautiful! I normally wouldn't comment to someone I don't even know (I'm more the quiet observer type). I have an 8 yr old daughter with extremely High Functioning Autism. The school refused to even acknowledge the diagnosis.
    I want you to know that it is Federal Law that a school district pay for testing and provide services for any child suspected to have a learning disability. Check out www.Wrightslaw.com. The website will tell you everything you need to know about how to effectively work with the school to help your daughter. You need to request, in writing, that they test your daughter for dyslexia. The school will likely try to discourage you, suggest they try reading intervention (sounds like they already are). The downside is that often, school evals won't find any problems - they like to claim it's age appropriate. If you still disagree with their test results, you can require they pay for an independent evaluation. It's so frustrating when schools do this to young children! Dyslexia is such a 'simple' learning disability, only because there is so much research showing that specific types of instruction actually work.

    This one should not cost you any money!

    Good luck!


  2. I second Tammy, your school district should pay for this. Drop the "L" word (lawyer). Bring copies of the law with you.