Dele, Kelechi and Aisha had something in common – they were becoming defiant and falling short of expectations. And their parents could not fathom why.
Dele had always been an inquisitive, playful child who was well-loved by everyone. Sadly, he was beginning to change and this made Kemi, his mother, really worried. His teacher now constantly complained of his mischievous behaviour at school. He had become the chief noise maker in his class and preferred clowning around and playing pranks on his classmates to paying attention during lessons. Kemi also noticed that he often mysteriously developed headaches or tummy upsets just when it was time for his home work. Could he be feigning it all?
Kelechi was arguably one of the most controversial students in his Chemistry class. He recently transferred from another school where rumour had it he had been expelled for repeated truancy. He perpetually hung out and got into trouble with the “back benchers”. His female friends just loved the way he dimmed his eyes when they approached him from a distance. Kelechi never wrote his own notes in class, but copied from his classmates thereafter. This earned him the nickname – Mr Photocopy. His parents and teachers were at a loss what to do with him.
Aisha is a JSS 3 student. Her father had enrolled her in private boarding secondary school against all odds because he wanted her to have quality education. Some of his relations felt it was a waste of time but he knew what he wanted for his pretty daughter. However, Aisha’s behaviour in school was becoming a thorn in her father’s flesh. Her grades were going from bad to worse. She complained of headaches and eye pain so often. Her teachers reported that she sometimes refused to read during prep because of these. Her father worried that she was probably malingering and just wanted a reason to drop out of school.
Dele, Kelechi and Aisha’s parents were perplexed at their children’s change in behaviour. What could be the problem? Peer pressure? Failure of parenting?…Or something less obvious?
Fast forward to the future. These children had the opportunity of having their eyes examined at the eye clinic. It turns out they all did have something in common, just not the sinister verdict that plagued their parents’ minds. They had refractive errors and all they needed were spectacles.
Dele, the prankster and class clown became studious once more. With his hypermetropia corrected, he became his usual lovable self.
Kelechi moved up from “class tout” to “class brain”. With his myopia corrected, he began to take his own notes in class.
Aisha passed her Junior WAEC examinations in flying colours, the headache and eye pain precipitated by her astigmatism completely relieved by her glasses.
- the class trouble maker may not be seeing the board or his books clearly
- that cute boy squinting may have trouble seeing you
- that girl with headaches and eye pain may be not seeing her books clearly
#Act today to give a better life to our children and adolescents
#Think Refractive Errors
By Dr Folahan Ibukun