As you can see in the cover photo for this blog, Mikey has always tilted his head to the side to play with wheeled toys. Therapists tell me this relates to executive function, and it’s something common among kids with ASD. He continues to do this, but I’ve also noticed a ton of squinting lately.

Really, the past five months. He squints when he’s building with Lego, he squints looking at screens, he squints when he reads. He keeps passing vision tests at the pediatrician and screenings at school, but worry simmered just beneath my surface.

Just when I had decided to call an eye doctor about it, the school nurse called to tell me Mikey failed his stereo/depth perception screening. She said she administered it several times, because she’d never seen a kid fail just that and not the other aspects of the vision screening.

I decided to call a developmental optometrist whose office is about a half hour away. I’m not entirely sure what that means, to be honest, and I already know the person will suggest a vision therapy not covered by insurance. I also know that I won’t be making regular drives up to this office to receive expensive vision therapy not covered by insurance. And maybe I don’t believe in the therapy?

Basically, I’m a little worried about voodoo pseudoscience, but I also know there’s something going on with my son’s eyeballs, and I want to learn all I can and try to help him.

Thankfully, the doctor had an opening on a day my mom is in town to stay home with the other boys, so I’ll just have to pull Mikey out of school early and he and I will get a special date together as we trek up to Wexford to learn about his wonky eyeballs.


3 thoughts on “Eyes

  1. theeisforerin

    Interesting! A few thoughts:

    There are different reasons why kids play this way… I am not sure how EF relates exactly, to be honest. But other possibilities are proprioceptive issues, i.e. it feels good to have more pressure along more parts of his body while he plays. And visual processing, where some autistic kids will use their peripheral vision more to focus on something and screen out extra visual input.

    I have always squinted a lot when drawing and doing other visual tasks, to screen out extra information that distracts me from the thing I am trying to focus in on. I never related that to being autistic because of course I didn’t know I was autistic until recently – I always thought it was just a trick I had as an artist (?). But it would make sense that some autistic people would do this if they are picking up more visual information than normal and are trying to find a way to filter some out.

    Just a thought! No idea whether that will be helpful or relevant.

    1. Diana Post author

      That’s really interesting perspective. Mikey is getting old enough that he can maybe explain this stuff and talk about why he’s squinting. I’m going to sit and ask him about it!


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