At Simon's last regular eye exam, the doctor made a good catch that was probably missed the last few years. The doctor saw what appeared to be esophoria, which is a condition where the eyes tend to naturally look further inward than they should. A deeper diagnostic with a referred doctor confirmed it, using a number of eye-tracking mechanisms and tests. One of the most telling was one that tracked his eye movement while reading. You could see that he would often back up and rescan words, presumably because his brain didn't process what it saw the first time.
There's good and bad news with this. The good news is that this could be the source of a number of issues that he has with learning, and his aversion to it. It's probably exhausint for him. The testing included comprehension, which was fine, but from a developmental standpoint, he falls in the bottom 1% for eye movement for his age. It can also explain headaches, his lack of concentration (beyond ADHD) and certainly his slow reading speed. If this assessment is correct, it confirms what I observe (in a biased fashion) about his robust intelligence, but the ADHD is only one problem.
The bad news is that this requires therapy over the course of nine months. It's not clear that it will be covered by insurance. It also comes in two flavors, which is professionally conducted on-site, 45 minutes each way. If he started this week he'd basically miss a day of school a week, or he could start in March, by which time most of the school year is over. The alternative, which costs less but requires a great deal of Diana's time and some training (as well as software), is to do it at home. None of these options are great, but it's probably going to be the latter.
This news is difficult, because the kid can't seem to catch a break. This is on top of the adjustment of middle school, the onset of puberty, social awkwardness, a serious problem with him compulsively picking his arms, and the constant battle to get him to take responsibility for school work. Adolescence can suck in the best of conditions, but I worry that he's going to be miserable all of the time. I can only take solace in the fact that he has great people looking out for him at school. I'm also hanging on the ideal that this therapy could unlock a brilliant kid trying to break out.
I know that there are definitely worse things a kid could go through in terms of health, but knowing that doesn't make it easier for him. I just want him to win at something (other than killing me in Halo). It's hard to find ways to reward him when he's so negative about school work, or even taking a shower without being told.