So as it turns out, my assumptions at story-time were correct. We went to Perkins School for the Blind last week for a visual assessment, and the results were not what we had hoped for. We were told that Rebecca’s visual acuity is 20/190+ and that she is right on the fence of being legally blind. We were told that her peripheral vision is restricted, and that she has very little night vision. We were told that Rebecca needs to start mobility training, possibly using a cane, and that we need to have our house assessed to see what changes we can make to accommodate her. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go. We were supposed to have at least until she turned ten. Will she even remember having her sight? Will she remember what we look like? We had put so much emphasis on sign language and her visual skills, what do we do now? I have so many thoughts running through my head. Where will she go to school? Do we move into a house with a more open floor plan? Do we stay and make changes? Do we take her to see some beautiful places now while she has her sight? Will she even remember them if we do? There are so many things to think about.
I have to remember though, legal blindness is not darkness, it just seems so close.
Rebecca is full of energy and she runs around the house constantly at full speed, climbing everything, almost as if she is trying to get as much in as possible. I love her spirit and recklessness but cant help to wonder if she is somehow trying to fit it all in before she inevitably needs to slow down.
Rebecca’s Teacher of the Visually Impaired just called to tell us that she will be bringing a “pre-cane” and a cane for her at our next visit. She explained that she will most likely just need to use the cane at night for now. Rebecca does great at our house because she is familiar with the location of things. She knows when to step up or down, and for the most part, I try to keep the floor clear. But at places like the library and the playground, she has a much harder time.
With all this being said, and even though her vision is a lot worse than we had thought, Rebecca is going to be just fine. We will figure it out. Answers for all of our questions will come in time. We will get through it and she will have an amazing life, just like we had planned from the very moment we laid eyes on her. We will have to adjust things, make changes and adaptations, but we will be great. We are so lucky to have her and Reagan, and even through all of this, I feel so blessed and so grateful.