Tips on Wearing Glasses
Does your child forget or lose his/her glasses?
Is your teen self conscious?
While most children wear the glasses easily and with pride , there are still some who have more trouble with the idea, or forget and lose them
I became more aware of the need for help when my 7 year old grandson, Diego, began wearing the lenses. At first, several times a week after school, we looked for lost glasses. Once he lost them totally and I had to buy new ones. I had them adjusted by the eye doctor 3 or 4 times in the first few weeks. After 3 months I had had enough.
Within a few weeks of trying some of the following ideas, Diego was wearing the glasses all the time and the improvements in his behavior and schoolwork were much greater.
Ideas that help
- Make sure the glasses correctly fit the face of the student and he/she feels comfortable and attractive in them.
- Buy the book 'Jamie and the Magic Glasses' from www.irlen.com and give it to the teacher to read to the class. Not only does the child feel really special and supported by this, but the teacher also is made aware of the importance of the Irlen glasses and shares the book with other parents.
- Have the student come for their free recheck within the first few months. About 5-10% do need a color adjustment. The glasses are a little dark or not quite comfortable.
Also during that visit I will talk to them and encourage them again. Often that is all it takes.
Some students prefer plastic frames without nose pads. They cannot handle the feel of nose pads. Some do not mind them.
Very sensory sensitive students might practice wearing frames without lenses for a week before coming for tinting, so they can handle the feel on their face. (This helps children with autism)
Take five minutes in the first few weeks of wearing to stop at the opticians and have them adjust the frames (Usually for free). Some students need this several times in the beginning.
William a 3rd grader had severe sensitivity problems and removed them constantly. His teacher gave him points towards the goodie box for not touching his glasses for 1 hour, then 2 hours, and by the end of the week he was wearing them all the time .
Young children need help on the habit of wearing glasses. Keeping the case in the backpack at night so they make it to school. "Do you have your glasses?" becomes the parent mantra for the first few weeks. On your face or in the case.
A small shelf near the bed to put the glasses at night. A special place in the classroom. The child need to be in the habit of always putting them in the same place.
14-year-old Cody would not wear his glasses, until one day while having a melt down over homework, his mother suggested he try them. He did, and finished his homework in 20 minutes. He now wears them all the time and made the honor role for the first time.
- As a teacher, my school released me to test students one afternoon a week. At first I planned a visit each class for 15 minutes. I gave mini presentations about the lenses and showed a movie about an Olympic gold medallist who wore the lenses. This increased awareness by the students so they supported students wearing glasses, and also led to many identifying themselves.
- I also formed a school club called ‘ The Smart Color Kids' for lens wearers. We met two or three times a year at lunchtime. We brainstormed all the good things about our lenses and any problems. We shared ideas to help. We supported each other across the schoolyard and were proud of how much the lenses helped. We noticed how different our colors were.
- Encourage teens to have a positive attitude about their glasses.
- Diego was nervous when he first wore them to school, but came home after a few days saying that several other students wanted glasses like his.
- If teachers, parents or other significant adults use overlays or wear glasses too, it encourages students considerably. One teen girl began wearing her glasses because of a special teacher who encouraged her.
- Have the teacher talk positively about the glasses to the class . If the teacher is supportive the students will follow along.
Rewarding for a short while, helps. After a week Diego was wearing them all the time.After having his elderly mother-in-law lose glasses everywhere she went. Peter Jones had the idea that if people found the glasses and knew where to send them they would return them to their owners.So he came up with a company called 'Eyeglass Rescue' that will make you a shrink-wrapped identification label to attach to the eyeglass arm.Most people will return lost eyeglasses if they know where. They have had 4000 pairs of glasses reunited with their owners since doing this. Find them at www.eyeglassrescue.com
- Reward ideas
- Three bonus marbles for ignoring an unkind comment. Most students think the glasses are great. but there always is an unhappy child who teases . Teach the child to ignore.
A weekly trip with grandma to a local cafe for a treat for each week glasses are worn all day, every day. This helped my grandchild, Jemma, who didn't get her headaches until after lunch, so forgot the glasses in the morning.
For a week or two drop into classrooms during recess period, and put a bright pencil next to a student and say, " Caught you wearing your glasses", or "Caught you using your overlays".
- Give a teen a wallet sized card with 12 circles similar to those for coffee and haircuts. The teacher initials each day glasses are worn. When the card is full they are redeemable for a coupon or a treat.
Marbles in the jar. (beans or buttons can replace marbles) a full jar of 150 marbles means a special trip. Five marbles for wearing glasses each day even for recess. One marble each time the glasses are put on by the child in the morning without reminders. By the time the jar is full in a few weeks the glasses habit is there.
Glasses survive running and recess much better than being taken on and off all day long.
Yippee Zippee box.
The parent and child generate a list of eight to ten things the student would like, and the parent can approve. Make them age appropriate. They can be anything.
A big hug, you will do one of their chores that day, you will read them a story, play a game with them, make popcorn, hot chocolate, one hour at the mall, bake cookies, have a favorite dinner.
Make about 4 copies of each on small pieces of paper and drop them into the Yippee Zippee box. Shake them up.
Every time the student wears his/her glasses all day they pull one out. You have 24 hours to honor the pull.
Do it for a month and then reevaluate.
By then the student loves the glasses and it is not needed any more.
When they can't be worn all the time
Although it is best for children to wear them all the time, as it settles and calms the brain, sometimes for special reasons this does not work . You will still see improvements if they wear them for reading, homework, and other class work.
- With the Juvenile project in which I am involved, the teachers hold the glasses for teenage students and make sure they wear them in class. If they wear them and show responsibility for them, after three months they can take them home and wear them all the time.
- When my grandson moved to Texas I sent him a second pair. One pair stays in the classroom and one pair is at home for homework.
These are just some ideas. Have you had successes with this problem?