Reader question: child terrified of walking after getting glasses

Melody recently posted this question to the Little Four Eyes facebook group, and I wanted to post it here, too to see if anyone has run into this or has any thoughts or advice for Melody. –Ann Z

Has anybody ever had an issue with their child being terrified to walk after getting glasses? My 2 year old was born premature and had surgery for ROP stage 3 with plus disease. The eye Dr. said the eyes still looked good from the surgery but that my son is severely nearsighted.

The thing is, Nick got around just fine …and rarely fell or bumped into things, but now that he’s wearing his glasses is terrified to walk on the floor….Wood, cement, carpet…it doesn’t matter the texture, he puts his hands down and crouch/creeps around, then gives up and sits and scoots…..Any similar experiences? Thank you!

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2 responses to “Reader question: child terrified of walking after getting glasses

  1. Hi Meldody. I don’t exactly have the same experience as you are having with your son, but I believe it is very normal for Nick to be afraid of walking after getting glasses. As I know for myself when I get a new pair of glasses, it is always like I need to find my place in the world again, and the ground looks like it is rising or sinking although I know it is level. Not only do my eyes have to get used to a new prescription, but I am also adapting to the lenses I am looking through and the picture I get when I look outside of that lens. I have to learn how to look through my glasses and use that information and not at the image outside of my glasses (if that makes any sense). It is an adjustment when anyone gets new glasses, but probably much more so for a child. Give Nick some time to get used to his glasses, and I believe he will adjust and adapt and learn how not to be afraid to walk anymore. If you have any doubt that the prescription is correct, you can take them to your PO and ask them to check that the prescription is correct. Although our daughter had been wearing glasses since she was nine months old, she was terrified of learning to walk. We knew she could do it, but she was just never brave enough to try. The few times she would be brave, she would end up missing her mark by a couple of inches and needing stitches instead. 🙂 One thing we did to help our daughter have the confidence to walk is that we got her a pair of squeaky shoes. They make a squeaky sound every time she makes a step which in turn encouraged her to do it again and again and again until she lost her fear of the ground and found that her lack of depth perception could be overcome by learning other cues to tell her whether the ground was going up or down or level. (The other advantage of squeaky shoes is that you always know when your toddler is on the move and what general vicinity he/she is in 🙂 ) I also learned how to give her cues to warn her when we were in a new environment of tricky places that would be hard for her to distinguish. I think if you give Nick a little time and a lot of encouragement, your son will adapt and use his glasses to his advantage and not be afraid to walk, run, jump, and be the cute little two year old he is! All the best to you!

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    • I LOVE the squeaky shoes idea! I just love squeaky shoes period. They are also great when you have friends over that aren’t really used to little ones. They are less likely to trip over those busy little bodies!

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