Tag Archives: visual processing disorder

looking up

This is actually a repost from my old blog… I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately.

“But I don’t want to do it,” she whispers just before her shoulders start to shake and her lips start to quiver.  In a heartbeat my carefree, silly baby girl is sobbing and broken before my eyes.  Her frustration at being different, at having to work harder to do what others do so easily, at having to spend time doing activities that don’t make sense to her and seem ridiculous and just aren’t fun overwhelms her.

So I hold her and her daddy tickles her and we laugh and I try to explain the why.  Why does she have to spend time doing “eye exercises”. Why does it matter that her eyes and brain don’t work together properly.  Why does she even need to read and write and calculate.

Then, in the dark, after she’s gone to bed, where she can’t see, I find myself whispering the same things to God.  Why my girl? Why is this so hard for her?  “Thank you, Lord, for putting the right people in our path to help us find and fix the problem, but where are we going to get the money to pay for this?” What if it doesn’t work? What if I push too hard or not hard enough? Why didn’t I see this before? How will she function in small groups and classroom settings if she can’t read or write?  Where is the “good” in this situation? What are we supposed to be learning here, and why didn’t being out of work for 5 years count for whatever lesson this is? Surely we’re due for a break…

But, knowing myself as I do, I know I have to step out of the situation and simply look at the facts.  If I don’t, if I allow myself to stay where I am, I’ll drown.

 

i-life-my-eyes-to-the-hills

So, what are the facts? Our precious eight year old girl has a visual processing disorder.  I have a ten page document next to my bed that lists out the seven medical diagnoses explaining why she hasn’t been able to learn to read and why she forgets things and why she’s clumsy.  In a nutshell, her eyes and her brain do not work in concert together.  Her brain considers controlling her eyes as a separate process to complete rather than a natural exercise like breathing or moving.  The result is that when she does anything that requires use of her eyes, her brain doesn’t want to do anything else, like remember things or take pictures or process information.  It’s basically a wiring issue.  Fortunately, God’s creation is so amazing that we have the ability to rewire our brains.  Like teaching a stroke victim to walk and talk again, it becomes a matter of remapping and rewriting the connections.

Unfortunately, that takes time and work and dedication and way more experience and training than I have.  Thankfully, we’ve been led to an incredible optometrist who specializes in these problems and he has an amazing team of therapists who love kids and are brilliant at what they do.  Unfortunately, we live in a culture that does not recognize visual therapy as a “medical necessity” and thus insurance companies don’t believe in paying for it. Which brings me back down into the pit.  How can we possibly afford the $9,000 it will take to get her treatment? Where is this money going to come from? Do we go further into debt? Do we live like hermits cutting ourselves off from the rest of the world to save money? There’s no downsizing to be done since we’ve never been able to “upsize”.

But back again to facts – Jesus himself tells us not to worry, not to be afraid.  He will provide all our needs like the lilies of the field and the birds of the air.

Psalm 121:1-8
I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,Nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

Maybe the lesson for me here, as it always seems to be, is to simply trust and believe.  But like the distraught father whose child Jesus healed in Mark 9, I find myself constantly crying out “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

Oh how grateful I am that God is full of mercy…..