Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Um--I Think I Can See into the Future!

I am hereby predicting that, unless Jesus returns for us within the next two years, my son Tim will soon learn the love of reading and learning. I think he will become more self confident, more active, and generally happier. I think this will happen within the next two years, and there will be some noticeable change within the next week. Wow.
I don't remember ever being in the predicting mode quite like this before! How did this come about? Perhaps it had something to do with having taken him to an eye doctor in Lynnwood today. He had been to an eye doctor in Marysville and was prescribed a pair of glasses, but they did nothing to improve his ability to read. Tim can read quite well, but not for very long. A paragraph and a half, and he tires out. I found out through the homeschooling grapevine that kind of doctor only does certain tests; it isn't as complete a checkup as some people need.
So I took him to Nancy Torgerson at Alderwood Vision Therapy Center. For the last number of years, I had heard glimmerings of how helpful this mystery eyedoctor in Lynnwood was (I didn't know her name), and I pictured this older lady, heavy-set, grey hair, wise demeanor. When this bright and cheery and fairly young (well, I found out she's about my age--so, young comparative with the older picture I had) little lady invited Tim and me to come into the room, I thought she was an assistant. Not so! She was Dr. Torgerson herself, and she cheerfully started in asking Tim questions about what he liked and didn't like in school. Then when she found out what his reading problem was, she centered her attention on a few possibilities, using various tests...and just a few minutes into it, she had it. She said that he was completely unable to focus. (I'm not sure how that works--he can do fairly detailed drawings, and he does read to a point--and if he can't focus I'm not sure how he can tell anything on the eye chart--though he does falter pretty fast at the smaller letters.) She said he's tired even before he starts to read. I can't even imagine what that's like, but it makes perfect sense in the context of our homeschooling troubles.
I told her what my pre-conceived notion of her looks was, and she laughed and told me that someone else had said the same thing not too long ago. Something about having been in the business 20 years or so, maybe...but I think it has something to do with having a knack for solving people's learning problems, and making such a difference in their lives that you become a legend. Usually, legends are old, but not in this case!
She said that when she started school, she was going to become some other kind of doctor, and then talked to a friend who was retiring from work as an eye doctor and still loved her work. The woman advised her to take on this specialty, where she could help people with their ability to learn. That sounded good to Dr. Torgerson. So she switched avenues, not even returning to the school she was attending, but having all her belongings shipped back to her home. Then she pursued this line of work, has been at it ever since, and I'm so glad!
So she prescribed Tim some glasses and told him he can only tell others that she prescribed them if they're cool looking; if they're ugly, it was "Dr. Murphy" who prescribed them. She said they'll help him focus and they'll be therapeutic in that they'll help his eyes not just focus for the moment but learn to focus without eventually needing the glasses any more. I have a feeling we can find a cool pair of the glasses--we're going to look the day after Thanksgiving, most likely. I can hardly wait to see how well my "predictions" come true!

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