Jokes by Levi

What did the ice cream say when the banana asked when it could come over?
Only on a sundae!

What does a drama king wear to bed?

What do you call a swashbuckling rat?
A pi-rat!

What do you call a shoe that has a problem?
An is-shoe! (An issue)

What do you call a video game that you play with more than one person?
A "we!"

What do you call it when someone listens in on Christmas Eve?

And one contributed by a friend:
What's brown and sticky?
A stick!

Levi called me into his room saying, "Oliver's a quarterback." Oliver was on the bed on his tummy with 4 quarters on his back.

What does a crocodile say when it wants to be a rooster?

Friday, March 14, 2008


Levi is DONE with vision therapy. Right now he and I are the happiest people on earth. I wasn't sure who it would be more traumatic for, him or me, if he need to go another round of therapy.

I'm going to tell this story for those of you who don't know about this because I wish so many more families knew about this.

Before we started homeschooling, there was some suggestion from Levi's teachers that he had trouble focusing in the classroom and was often distractible. Before any in depth look at his symptoms, educators were hinting at attention disorders. We finally felt uncomfortable enough with what we were hearing and then what I observed at home that we decided to pursue some testing to tease it out. Our purpose was to get more information so we could help address whatever problems might exist.

Long story short, a highly recommended clinical psychologist that I felt very confident in (my psychology background gave me some good measures) gave him a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder without Hyperactivity. Also due to my background in pyschology and some work I had done with young kids with ADD and ADHD, something did not ring true to me about the diagnosis. It wasn't a "not my kid" reaction--I just felt something wasn't right with the diagnosis.

Before we pursued the ADD any further, I decided to take Levi's test results and consult with 2 people in 2 very different areas. One was an educator and another is a local occupational therapist. It was striking that both advised me, totally separate from one another, that before we accepted an ADD diagnosis, Levi should have a developmental eye exam. I had never heard of this--Levi had had the usual eye exam for acuity (do your lens work to focus?) but these exams do not include an evaluation of things like the accuracy of binocular vision, how well your eyes look at the same spot on the page at the same time, and how well your eyes scan a line of print. When these things don't work, the result can be a variety of things like double vision, eye fatigue, print fading and receding, nausea when reading, and more.

So . . . we are lucky to have several developmental optometrists in our area and we arranged an exam. And, lo and behold, Levi did exhibit pronounced problems with his neuromuscular eye development--even though his visual acuity was 20/20. So . . . these problems can be addressed with "vision therapy", sort of like physical therapy for the eyes. Session are twice a week for an hour. After 16 sessions, there's a progress exam. The therapy works but can take a while. It took Levi 5 "rounds" of therapy--almost a year, to reach this point.

Levi had a progress exam just after Christmas with his own high hopes that he'd be done and was truly devastated when the doctor recommended continuing. He was so upset and sad that his crying was heard down the hallway and into the waiting room. So it was with great nervousness that we went for his progress exam today.

I had a feeling it would go well b/c lately he's been picking up books on his own instead of always asking to be read to. And his out loud reading has gotten very fluid. And we got good news. He's to be congratulated (me too!) for sticking it out and working hard.

Largely, I write this to get the information out. I feel like we had a near miss and could have been following a mistaken diagnosis for who knows how long and probably with great frustration. If one family can be spared that by reading this, I'd be pleased.

Here's a bit from College of Optometrists in Vision Development (

Physical signs or symptoms

Frequent headaches or eye strain
Blurring of distance or near vision, particularly after reading or other close work
Avoidance of close work or other visually demanding tasks
Poor judgment of depth
Turning of an eye in or out, up or down
Tendency to cover or close one eye, or favor the vision in one eye
Double vision
Poor hand-eye coordination
Difficulty following a moving target
Dizziness or motion sickness

Performance problems

Poor reading comprehension
Difficulty copying from one place to another
Loss of place, repetition, and/or omission of words while reading
Difficulty changing focus from distance to near and back
Poor posture when reading or writing
Poor handwriting
Can respond orally but can't get the same information down on paper
Letter and word reversals
Difficulty judging sizes and shapes

Children with these neuromuscular vision problems are often misdiagnosed with learning disabilities, ADD or ADHD, and dyslexia.

So this is my plea to you: if your child or your friend's child or your neighbor's child is having learning problems, pass this information on to them along with the above website!

And please send Levi your congratulations!