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Wow. I spent two weeks or so reading through every single post. As a new minister, I felt as though I should make a pilgrimage to learn everything, and I feel like I finally have. Now, I will spread my message to all who will listen!
Sauce be with you, and don’t forget your eye-patch.
Specialists at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, have warned the family that if the eye has not improved by the time Alicia is eight-years-old, she will be ‘stuck’ with that level of vision for the rest of her life.
Mrs Blanco-Clements, who also has an 18-month-old son named Teddy, added: ‘Alicia is so, so, vulnerable because of her eye patch. It has made her very self conscious and timid anyway.
‘So to have that comment said in front of the whole school was the worst thing imaginable. It could make life so much harder for her – she said “mummy, it’s made me feel scared and sad”.
AMBLYOPIA: IT’S A CONDITION THAT CAN AFFECT ONE IN 50 CHILDREN BUT WHAT CAUSES A LAZY EYE?
The childhood condition amblyopia, or more commonly known as a ‘lazy eye’, occurs when the vision in an eye doesn’t develop properly.
This usually means that the child can see less clearly out of one eye and relies more on the ‘good’ eye.
David Allamby, a leading London-based laser eye surgeon, explained the condition develops when the brain connections responsible for vision are not made properly.
‘You need good vision in each eye to develop clear vision,’ he said. ‘That develops during the first six or seven years of life. The occipital lobe at the back of the brain processes visual imagery and it learns to see by getting clear images from the retina and through the optic nerve.
‘That process is learned over time and if anything interrupts that, such as a squint, the eye can’t see as well as the other and the brain doesn’t get the image it needs to process clear vision.
‘The developing will stop at the age of six or seven so an eye patch has to be done before then to stop it being permanent.’
He noted that there is a social stigma attached to eye patches and in some cases using eye drops to temporarily impair the vision in the strong eye also works effectively.
Dr Susan Blakeney, clinical adviser to the College of Optometrist, added: ‘We put a patch on the good eye to force the bad eye to work and improve the vision.
‘Having a lazy eye is like having a low megapixel camera – it’s not well defined. Eye patches increases the number of ‘megapixels’.
‘The earlier it’s noticed the more effective the treatment can be, so if anyone notices a turn in the eye or the child not paying attention or poor hand eye co-ordination they should make a visit to the opticians. Also, parents who had childhood eye problems should consider taking their children for a test early.’
‘I am worried she will now be subjected to bullying because of the comment as the children will have heard what the deputy head teacher said and think it is somehow acceptable to behave like that.’
Mrs Blanco-Clements, a mother-of-three, and her HGV driver husband Liam, 29, confronted Mr Davies, who is also a triathlete, at the school later that day and were disappointed by his ‘flippant’ attitude.
She added: ‘When I found out what had happened, I went straight to the school to speak to the headmistress.
‘She was not available so I actually spoke with Mr Davies – he came into the room and said “I think I know what this is about”.
‘I said “what on earth do you think you are doing talking like that to a child with a visual impairment, who is scared already, in front of the whole assembly?”
‘He said he did not know her name and did not know whether to call her “patch” so instead called her pirate girl.
‘I just could not believe I was hearing this from a deputy head teacher. He did apologise, but he said ‘there’s nothing I can do about it now’ which seemed very flippant to me.’
But she added that although her husband was fuming with the response, they did not want the father-of-three to lose his job.
She added: ‘He has a family to think about but he should undergo some kind of awareness training to make him understand his actions.
‘We’re so protective of Alicia because of everything she’s been through. She’s already got enough on her plate.
‘We went back later that afternoon and had a meeting with the head teacher, but it was too late by then. The wrong message had already been sent out to the children that bullying is okay.’
The couple attended the school for a second time, where they were able to speak to headmistress, Sharon Tyler.
Mrs Blanco-Clements added: ‘Her jaw was on the floor when I told her about what happened as she had not even been told about it.
‘She said the school would be reminding Mr Davies of its policies. They sent me a short letter about what happened which, to be honest, is a load of rubbish and says to me that they have not taken the matter seriously.’
Sharon Tyler, the school’s head teacher, said: ‘We accept that what was said was inappropriate and have apologised unreservedly to the pupil and her parents.
‘While the comment was not malicious or intended to cause offence, the teacher in question has been reminded of our expectations.
‘As a school, we actively promote equality and I can assure all parents this was an isolated incident which will not be repeated.’
And this involves the Flying Spaghetti Monster because…
Dear Rasputin, that’s what I said. He must be out of breath by now.
Dear Sauceror, I didn’t read the entire article until now. It appears as if a little girl is in trouble and has been bullied at school because she was wearing an eye patch. Is this religious victimisation of little children because they wear Pastafarian attire? What’s going on here? I often wear an eye patch over both eyes when I’m driving my car. Is somebody going to tell me I’m not allowed to? It’s an Audi LBGT coupe, so I’m allowed to drive on both sides of the road.
Please John Smith, give us an update. And keep it shorter.
I caught the business about optimal nerves and megapixies. I see big pixies every Friday night. Isn’t ambylopia a whale ancestor?
Dear Keith, I’m pretty sure that Ambylopia was the name for Jonah’s pet whale that he kept in the Sea of Galilee. Ambylopia also doubled as a camping trailer when Jonah wanted to take road trips with Noah. I swear to FSM that this is true.
Dear John Smith, I now see the point you were trying to make about discrimination and bullying of young pirettes. Perhaps a brief introduction and a brief summation before launching into the full text would have provided some useful context. I also hope that you will provide some updates regarding this young pirette and her now pirate-friendly school.
I did read through the article before posting my last comment and I can sympathise with Alicia. When I was seven I was prescribed spectacles and had to walk around for about a year with my right lens covered in sticking plaster. To this day I don’t know why they bothered to put a lens in.
Awesome Man, keep on provoking, and promoting critical thinking!
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