Adrian will be entering Kindergarten next year. On his registration form, there is a question that made me pause, right after the question “Does your child wear glasses?” It reads: Does your child have other vision problems?
But I think I’ll circle “no.”
Because I don’t want his teachers to think he needs sympathy or extra help that may ultimately hold him back. I don’t want him getting special treatment. I don’t want him getting a break. He needs to be held to the same expectations of every other kid in the class, and just as he has all his life, he will compensate for whatever he lacks.
I don’t think his vision problems are severe, but it’s hard to tell at this point. He’s seen an ophthalmologist since he was 3 months old due to a congenital condition called nystagmus. The doctor said we won’t really know how it affects his vision until he’s old enough to tell us. His vision tests thus far have been inconclusive. The doctor said when a 3 year old fails the test it’s not meaningful because you don’t know if they failed because they can’t see or if they failed because they didn’t want to cooperate. But he at least hasn’t passed the test.
I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts recently about parents who pushed their handicapped children; children with exponentially more severe conditions than Adrian. In some instances, they hid their child’s diagnosis from teachers, family, and even the child. They wanted their kid to be treated like every other kid. And their children excelled beyond what anyone would have predicted.
I want my son to be treated like all the other kids checking the “no” box on health/vision conditions.
You can’t change the reality of the world. No matter what hand you got dealt, you’re playing the same game as everyone else. So if you got a crummy hand, you’d better learn to play better than the people holding aces.
I believe in Adrian. I believe that whatever his vision turns out to be, he can rise to the challenge and compete with his peers. But that won’t happen if he gets slack in school when he’s struggling. That will only happen if he’s held to the same standard.
So no, Jordahl Elementary, my son does not have any vision problems.