Ava, welcome to the four eyes club my gorgeous.

Ava has been at school for over 3 years now, she started when she was 18 months old and has loved and thrived in the school environment from the word go. We have not had a single day of crying or begging us not to leave her there, in fact, she cries when we keep her home when she’s sick. Her reports have all been amazing and I’ve been really proud of her performance at school…. until last term.

In Grade R at her school, they started learning reading, writing and basic maths last term and she was having some problems. I wasn’t to stressed about it because she is a December baby, so she is the youngest in her class and in some cases she’s almost a year younger than some of her classmates. She was having problems with certain letters and numbers, always writing them backwards and her teacher asked us to practice with her, which we did but when we tried to correct her, she’d get really upset with us.

With her new found skill of being able to read, her favorite game became reading off words and numbers on the TV during commercial breaks. But I noticed, with the numbers especially, she’d complain that she couldn’t read them and would stand almost right in front of the TV to be able to see them.

Being a poorly sighted myself, this was a big fat red flag for me so we headed off to an optometrist a couple of weeks ago.

They immediately picked up that there was a problem, using special equipment that photographs the surface of the eye and referred us to a practice that specializes in pediatric optometry. We had our appointment on Saturday and the results were both shocking and comforting. Poor Ava, she is far sited, only has 60% vision quality and has severe astigmatism in both eyes which means that her eye distorts specific shapes and she will be unable to read certain numbers and letters. I sat in on the eye exam and was astounded by what I say. My poor child, she can’t read any rounded letters or numbers… for example – letters a, o, s, b, anything with a rounded shape and numbers 0,3,6,8,9. So she had to get glasses. When I told her teacher, it was like a bingo moment for both of us, she strongly believes that this explains the problems Ava’s been struggling with over the past couple of months. We got her glasses today.

So this happened today… Ava got her glasses, between a migraine for me & a burst geyser…. Happy days! A photo posted by Sharon (@blessedbarrenness) on

I’m very excited to see how much of a difference her glasses will make and her teacher has been amazing because Ava’s number one concern is that her friends are going to think she looks stupid in the glasses. So we’ve had a long chat about how best to manage this and turn the glasses wearing into something positive for Ava.

As a glasses wearer myself, I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 12 or 13, I really feel for Ava having to wear glasses from so young. I know everyone is playing it down, but it is a pain in the arse, I know this, I wear glasses, I’m as blind as a bat without them and spend a small fortune on daily, disposable lenses each month because I can’t stand my glasses. They are irritating and a burden to me.

I am really hoping that her glasses will make a big difference to her reading and writing. I don’t want her to struggle and if that’s going to be the case, I’d rather keep her back now than wait until later.

What I’ve learned from all of this… if your child is struggling with age appropriate skills at school, get their eyes tested. I cannot recommend EyeTek enough, they were amazing with Ava, state of the art testing and age appropriate eye tests. What’s more, she had her test on Saturday and her glasses were ready for collection today, just a couple of days post the test. They are also currently running a special… buy one, get one free, so she got two pairs of glasses, great to have when your 5 year old needs them!


  • catjuggles

    September 9, 2015 at 9:12 am

    She looks beautiful (and in that photo a lot like you Sharon ). You know that L has severe problems and honestly he was fine with his glasses. But his problem is so severe that glasses can not do it all for him – so we have the contact lens issue. Very difficult at 7 but he is doing well.

    Best of luck for her.

  • jenty

    September 9, 2015 at 9:33 am

    She looks lovely with her glasses, and soon she’ll have friends with them too.
    Bradley was one of the first kids in class to get glasses, and he’s been fine with them… especially when his friends started getting glasses and asking to get the same frames!

  • ailsaloudon

    September 9, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    The glasses really suit Ava. I got my first specs when I was about 10. Everyone was astonished that I had managed at school for so long since I was severely short-sighted with astigmatism too. I can still remember how clear everything became – especially the leaves in the trees. I wore my specs until three years ago when I had cataracts removed. I should really be wearing specs full time again but it is such a pleasure without them that I only wear them when I really need to see things clearly!!! 🙂

  • Pandora

    September 10, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    My daughter has had her glasses for 2 years already. She was also diagnosed with astigmatism in both eyes. I was also worried she would be teased, but in fact all the other girls also wanted pink glasses! At age 4 it was not easy, she would constantly leave them lying around, forget where she put them etc. this year it has been much better, but we are today picking up the latest glasses, this will be frame number 5! The good news is that only once has the script for one eye had to be strengthened, but in the last 6 months there has been a major improvement in both eyes. I am sure this is due to her being much more responsible about wearing them as much as possible.
    I am just happy it was caught early, before it became a real issue with learning.
    Ava looks gorgeous in hers.


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