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Refusing Glasses


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I have a little boy in my glass with learning difficulties and behavioural problems who also has a fairly severe visual impairment and needs his glasses for both distance and close work. All these things are obviously linking together as he gets more and more frustrated, but we are banging our heads against a brick wall trying to encourage him to wear his glasses. I've never known a child so young refuse glasses before.

So far we've tried: sticker charts and lots of praise for short spells of wearing them, (by short I'm talking 2 mins maximum before he throws them across the room).

Maximising his learning through other senses - he loves getting all gooey, and enjoys "sniffy" experiences, but can't sustain listening for long.

Making a big fuss of the TA and how proud she was of her new glasses.

Asking other children to explain why they like wearing their glasses so much (there are 4 other children in the class who wear them - boys and girls)

Backing off completely until he starts squinting at something he really wants to see/do before saying "Perhaps if you got your glasses that might help?"


Other ideas we've had but haven't tried yet are:

Having an optician's role play area.

Having a special "look after your eyes" day where we all wear sunglasses, etc. and invite an optician in to school.


I'm getting so upset because I really feel I'm failing him.


Any ideas would be very welcome!

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Rather than 'failing him' I think you deserve the 1st prize for stamina and determination. :o:(


Could you possibly use a visual timetable, he can choose pictures of say 3 favourite activities which he gets to do when he's got his glasses on. Have a picture of him in glasses (if you can get one) make lots of copies, get him to post his picture in his special box each time he wears them, a reward of his favourite activity each time he puts a pic in the box (plus he keeps them on whilst he plays his favourite activity).

How about a photo of him with glasses on next to a big smiley face, a photo without them on next to a 'straight face' (rather than sad face).

How is he with them at home?

Could parents get him some with frames of his favourite characters? ie: Bob the builder, power ranger ones, maybe he has a favourite colour. Some frames have twiddly bits at the side on the arms that children like to fiddle with. (My son had these- bought at Asda optitions). Would he like a 'special' 'chain' (for want of knowing the proper name) that when he takes his glasses off they at least hang around his neck. My song had a leather string tied to each arm, which he said was 'cool'. We did this because he kept 'twisting' his glasses when taking them off, this help him to lift them 'straight' off his head, plus if they fell off they didn't end up on the floor trodden on. (we came up with these strategies after he got through 3 pair of glasses in about 3 months!!)

Have they been checked and double checked for comfort? (obvious I know)

Can he 'voice' what he doesn't like, what would he like, can he 'decorate' the arms in any way to make him feel 'proud' of them. (grabbing at straws now xD )


Hope some of these help, I think your ideas are good too.



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Peggy, that was a magnificent effort!!



Gee thanks :( (No I'm not in love- a 'blushing' smiley :oxD )


Experience of an 11 yr old foster son with special needs AND glasses. :(



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Hi tracylu


This may sound like a silly question - but experience tells me it's not!


Are his glasses actually helping him - are they the right prescription - have parents been back to optician - I ask this because I have recently had a little boy who wore his glasses quite happily but looked over the top of them or turned his head so that he could see out of the sides - needless to say parents questioned this with optician and his prescription was changed - now v. happy to use correctly. Should have said these were 'brand new' glasses - so it wasn't that his needs had changed - they had just somehow or other got the prescription wrong.



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I know this may sound daft but I know how he feels. I have worn glasses since I was two and hated wearing them when I was in school I would do anything to not wear them, hide them, sit on them , drop them anything. I must have grown out of it as I still wear glasses and feel naked without them - if you know what I mean!!!


Great ideas from Peggy though! A friend of mine has a really funky pair the have an intergral string and they join together at the bridge by a magnet!!!!


good luck tracylu with your patience I am sure you will get there! :o

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Must add to that comment, Emilia.


I was prescribed glasses at eight, in the 50s/60s crossover - ugly NHS things ! Then I moved away, where I was bullied for everything from the way I spoke to the colour of my hair. Of course the glasses were in there. But I was so bloodyminded I carried on. (my story - not relevant!! sorry)


Is there, as has been said, any reason why he might not like them?



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