Today was World Sight Day. It was also World Mental Health Day. For me, they are somewhat connected. I can not say that my gloom and doom disposition is because of Yon's condition, but as it is Thursday and our next eye-appointment is on Tuesday, and I have already started feeling that ball forming in the pit of my stomach, I can definitely say they are connected. Though I did write a post about Yon's condition called This Is My Child, and one about living with anxiety, I wanted to write a new post for World Sight Day. It is, after all, one of the only special days out there I can relate to in some way. There is no World Albinism Day, or World Ocular Albinism Day. There should be, but there isn't. So I am left with World Sight Day, that more than anything calls for people to check their eyesight. apparently you can treat or prevent 80% of the people who end up loosing their sight, so periodic checking and early treatments are very important. If you are looking for a place to start, you can try my "How to Survive Vision Impairment" guide.
Ocular Albinism isn't in one of those 80%. It is deep inside those 20% that can never be fixed, but as it is a static condition, it does not cause blindness. Yon's eyes will stay as they are, until his vision will deteriorate with age, like everyone else's. Ever since we got Yon's diagnosis I've blogged about everything we went through, I've blogged about every step of the way. Some of it was because writing is the best therapy, some to help others who are going through the same steps now or in the future, and some to help people understand what partially blind children look like.
Partially blind children do not need a cane or a sight-dog, or a hand to walk down the street.
Partially blind children can learn to read and write.
Partially blind children can run around, climb things, and play football.
Partially blind children can recognise who you are when you walk toward them.
Partially blind children can go to a regular school.
Partially blind children can play the Wii, and the computer, and the iPhone.
Partially blind children can go up and down the stairs on their own.
Partially blind people can even (sometimes) drive.
Partially blind children do not look like they have any vision problem.
Partially blind children are smart, and funny, and cheeky and full of life. Just like any other child.
Partially blind children go around the house saying "just lookin" while touching everything.
Partially blind children need to know their surrounding to feel secure.
Partially blind children will nine times out of ten answer "yes" to the question did you see that? though they didn't.
Partially blind children learn how to take measured steps so they know where the stairs end.
Partially blind children take twice as you to go down the same stairs they use every day.
Partially blind children need a special keyboard, a colourful mouse and everything to be in a very big font.
Partially blind children sit one inch from the TV, and would prefer it to be as big a screen as you can possibly fit in your living room.
Partially blind children learn tricks and tales to recognise who you are.
Partially blind children have a tough time recognising people when they are moving fast, and when they are all wearing the same uniform.
Partially blind children don't like new foods, new textures, new places.
Partially blind children are sensitive to noise.
Partially blind children get nervous because they tend to "lose" people.
Partially blind children don't see you when you wave hello from the other side of the road.