When your child first learns they need glasses, eye surgery, or eye patching therapy, it can be an overwhelming time in their lives. They can experience slight physical discomforts, such as itching or the feeling of pressure, making them reluctant to adhere to treatment. As their unpatched eye is forced to work harder, they can temporarily lose some sharpness in their vision and find it disorienting, becoming frustrated with the process. Children may also be fearful or resentful of their condition if they do not fully understand it and try to avoid necessary therapy.
Often, emotional and social concerns are the biggest barriers to children refusing to adhere to treatment plans. They may feel self-conscious about looking different from their peers, worry they will be teased or excluded from their friends, and avoid wearing their eye patches out of fear of bullying.
How Children’s Books Help
Reading age-appropriate children’s books about their medical condition helps them understand and make sense of what is happening with their vision, why treatment is necessary, and how it will correct the problem. Books targeted at specific visual concerns and written in an engaging, relatable tone can demystify the situation by offering complex information in simple terms, removing the fear of their condition, and empowering them to self-advocate when questioned about therapies like eye patches.
Reading stories about characters who successfully undergo the same treatments and face the same troubles can provide a sense of inclusion, as the child will know they are not alone and that others have faced similar challenges. It can help lower their resistance to treatment by normalizing what is happening and building their self-esteem.
Sharing Stories Helps Friends and Caregivers
Providing books to teachers to read in class can help other children understand your child’s need for eye patching, creating a scenario where classmates are more likely to be empathetic and inclusive. As a classroom becomes more sensitive to your child’s needs, you may find your child is willing to branch out into bolder and more unique patch designs as a way to express themselves.
Reading children’s books about medical conditions can also benefit parents and caregivers. These books can provide valuable insights and strategies for supporting their child, as well as help them develop a deeper understanding of the child’s experiences. This knowledge can lead to more effective and empathetic caregiving, ultimately strengthening the bond between the child and their support system.
Empowering Caregivers to Participate in Care
These types of books are excellent conversation starters for families as well. They often weave medical and treatment insights and strategies into the overall story, providing caregivers the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the condition, potential resistance, and methods of managing treatment plans. Caregivers who read targeted books to their children also develop the confidence to work more closely with medical professionals and voice concerns as they arise.
Please check our selection of books today to help your child during their treatment journey.