Having a wonderful time with good friends and VHG colleagues at the Hyatt Regency on beautiful Clearwater Beach. We’re here to figure out better questions to ask in order to derive better answers to a wide variety of issues. The catalyst for our discussion is a book written by Warren Berger.
Why does kids’ questioning drop off so precipitously after age 3? Do we stifle open inquiry or encourage it? Is it annoying when a child incessantly asks … “but, why?” … or should it bring a smile to your face that a child has this innate thirst for knowledge?
Take for example the concept of occlusion for amblyopia. When a doctor or vision therapist or parent puts a patch over the “better eye” to force the brain to only tune in to the “lazy eye”, what is the first thing that comes to a a child’s mind. It might be something like this: “What is wrong with these adults?” Because the natural question is: “If I see perfectly fine with both eyes open, what’s the point of punishing me by forcing me to use only the amblyopic eye?”
It turns out that the young child’s questions in this case are well founded. The AOA has a Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) on Amblyopia of which two of our VHG members are co-authors, but that hasn’t been updated since 2004. The trend now is toward “Evidence-Based Guidelines”, so what is the evidence that we’ve answered the child’s questions appropriately? If we still identify amblyopia only as poor eyesight in one eye, and treating the child with the punishing action of occlusion, are we treating amblyopia with an archaic model?