News about Eli

I have some news about Kelli’s little guy Eli.  You all might remember that our daughter Kelli had twin boys in April, Eli, and Emmett.

For the most part, the boys have been doing good, minus chronic ear infections that won’t go away.  Poor Eli has had ear infection since late September and can’t get it to completely clear.

Both of the boys are slated to get tubes on January 21st.  YAHOO!  The goal is to keep them cough/cold-free until then.

Although Eli has been developing, we’ve always wondered if something was up with Eli.  He hasn’t progressed as far as Emmett but we decided that it was likely because kids just grow differently.  We didn’t know if maybe it was because his hearing is impaired because of the ear infections.  He was tested and we were told that his hearing is about the same as if you put your fingers in your ears and then listen.  They expect that will improve after tubes so that’s why we are pushing to get the tubes.

We’ve always known that Eli might have a little bit of trouble as due to the circumstances of his birth, he might have been deprived of oxygen for a little bit so we didn’t know if it might be something like that happening with him.  Whatever it was, we were determined to do all we could to give him a happy life…and we knew whatever it was that made him a little different, was mild enough that he might have some bumps in the road but nothing that would stop him.

Recently Kelli took the boys in to get their eyes checked.  We have a family history on my husband’s side of the family for lazy eye, in that the optic nerves don’t develop equally.  Kramer’s dad had it, Kramer had it, our son Buck has it.  So far, we test the grandkids early on and none of them have had it…until Eli.

What prompted Kelli to get the boys checked was their family history AND there is a program called Infant See.  You can find them online.  Eye doctors have gotten together to provide free eye exams for infants so they can catch problems early.  I highly recommend the program.

After going to the eye doctor we found out that Emmett is okay but Eli needs glasses.

Kelli wrote on Facebook:
This little guy has some new gear to sport! We had an eye appointment last week and happened to find out that Eli has two lazy eyes that don’t focus well, leaving him with the inability to focus on things that are close to him. I think it’s going to take some getting used to for everyone, but seeing him “see” for the first time was literally amazing. I could watch his eyes “seeing” me for the first time and his giant smile afterward is one I will remember forever!


Kelli said that …when they put the glasses on him, he totally sparked up.  He got a huge smile and the real Eli jumped out.  I think we’ve all seen videos when deaf children get a cochlear implant and their faces light up.  Eli did just that only with glasses.


Eli isn’t doing the best with leaving them on…Emmett isn’t doing the best with leaving Eli’s glasses alone.  Right now, the bows of the glasses are a little long so Kelli has plans to order him some prescription goggles with the hope they might work a little better.


Kelli writes:
You guys—this kid is something else! It breaks my heart to know that he couldn’t see for so long and was struggling without my even knowing it, but it makes me so exponentially happy to know we are on the upswing and proud of the progress he has made in a few short days!
He has started crawling, picking things up with his finger (not his whole hand), standing on his knees, and standing along objects all in the past few days since we got his glasses!  He still takes them off a ton, but is doing better at keeping them in because he knows he can see so much better!

Watch out world—this kid is gonna do BIG things!


I have talked with Eli on Facetime a few times since he’s had his glasses.  Oh my.  What a changed boy!!  He’s so much quicker to smile and be happy.  I am so impressed with the change his glasses have brought about.


Already, even through Facetime, he doesn’t seem “off” anymore.  I’m so excited to see all the things Eli will be!!

Please check and see if there is an Infant See program in your area.  I highly recommend getting infants’ eyes checked before they turn one.

52 thoughts on “News about Eli

  1. Donna

    Hello!
    You all will have to watch the boys for reading difficulties later on because quite a few children who have had tubes end up with them. It is because they do any phonological or phonemic awareness activities which are what lays the groundwork for reading. I teach reading so I thought I would mention it. I would make sure you do lots of rhyming games, read rhyming poems, clap each sound and syllables they hear in words, sing songs, etc. I would continue to have their hearing tested regularly, too. Just Google phonological and phonemic awareness activities. Lots will come up!

    Reply
  2. Arline

    Oh my goodness this is truly amazing. Who would have ever thought that such significant progress could happen in such a short time. A whole new word has opened up for Eli.

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  3. Stearns Carol

    He is so cute in his new glasses and you can tell he is more alert. I always thought he had more of a sadness in his eyes. No wonder. My great nephew was about 6 when he was having trouble hitting the ball off the tee. Took him for an eye exam and found him near blind in one eye and the other needed help as well. Parents have to be so diligent with noticing things about their kids and its hard to admit something is wrong. Good on Kelly.

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  4. Donna

    I am sorry but I am experiencing a computer glitch that won’t allow me to send a follow-up. Autocorrect strikes again. The sentences should read that they CAN’T do phonological and phonemic awareness activities because they can’t hear. These activities lay the groundwork for reading.

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  5. Helen

    Jo that is so exciting! Bless the little fellow’s heart….and sweet mama’stoo! We cannot know these things without help from the professionals. I am so glad they found out so early. My nephew struggled with this till he was about 5 and it was like the whole world opened up for him when they got him glasses. Thanks for sharing this good news. I pray his ear tubes will be done on time and produce the best results. God bless you and your sweet family!

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  6. Peggy S

    Oh, my!! Poor little sweetheart! This is such great news & to be able to notice the difference so quickly. He will be a much happier little boy.
    It’s amazing what the medical field can do these days.
    Peggy S

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  7. Marybeth

    I worked at a Vision Center that did Vision Therapy and it would be cause for celebration to see the progress the kids made. Even did some with adults who say saw great changes. With all the new equipment and knowledge that is available at this date Eli will be just fine!!!

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  8. Ellie

    What a sweetie pie he is! It’s easy to understand why he is so much more responsive now that he can see better! Give him a hug and kiss for me!

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  9. Pat Hemza

    Bless his little heart, and yours too. Reading your post was so heartwarming. You people are abolutely wonderful! You are in my prayers.

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  10. Kate

    What wonderful and exciting news! It has to be a joy for everyone to see him catching up with his brother and to know it was such an easy fix and that it is something that could be diagnosed at such a young age. I can tell that you are excited, Jo! What a cutie he is with his glasses.

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  11. Jazz

    WHAT good news! I’m so happy that Kelli was diligent in determining the cause of Eli’s “difference”. I was middle-aged before I was accurately diagnosed as deaf. (Previously I was accused of being “smart but lazy” because of my academic failures, and “bad” because I responded to verbal communication only “when she wants to” i.e. when I heard them).

    Hearing aids made the whole world make more sense to me. I often wonder how my life could have been different if anyone recognized my disabilities (including ADD and dyslexia) in my childhood.

    I wish Kelli had been my mom.

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  12. Jeri D

    Jo, little Eli is so darling! God bless him and his brother Emmet. Once they get ear tubes, they will be all set. It is so great to see Eli’s new interest in all that he sees. It is wonderful that they can do so much to help our little kids.
    Two of my sons had to have ear tubes and they made a world of difference for them.
    God bless all of you!

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  13. Elle

    Praise the Lord! That Kelli is so attentive and that this eye program is available. The village is strong in your family. :-)

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  14. Judith Fairchild

    Praise the Lord ! Having been terribly nearsighted all my life it’s 3 cheers for Kelly, Eli, and the baby see program. The puzzled look is gone from Eli’s face. He has so much h to catch up with and he’s doing as fast as he can. Go Eli go. Such good news to hear.

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  15. Kathy Shelton

    What a sweetie and I’m sure Emmett is too. So glad he got glasses. I’m going to tell my son about this as he has
    8 month old twins.

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  16. Dot

    What happy news! Good for Kelli for getting her boys checked. My son, many years ago, had all the normal pediatric checkups, but when he was in first grade, the school did a vision test, and found that he was extremely nearsighted. When he got his new glasses, we walked outside, and he said “I can see the leaves on the trees!” I felt so guilty that I hadn’t known earlier.

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    1. Toni W.

      That sounds exactly like me, except I was in the 2nd grade. I don’t think it was unusual back then to rely on school vision tests unless there was something drastic that brought the problem to someone’s attention. I remember being stunned at how much I could see once I got glasses.

      Reply
  17. Cindy F

    He looks adorable with those glasses and great on Kelli for getting him checked out! Once the boys get their tubes, watch out world!!

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  18. shirley

    My youngest, at 18 months, wasn’t saying words but was making gibberish noises and pointing what he wanted. His sisters would get it for him. I wanted them to encourage him to say the words. One day the cordless phone was ringing, and it was 5 feet from him, and obvious he did hear it. Other wise he would run to try to answer it. His sister had both had tubes a couple months earlier. So I took him to their ear doctor. Tests showed he had about 70% hearing loss. Since he had repeated ear infections, they put tubes in his ears also. The 1st couple days after, he held his hands over his ears and said “too loud”. Within a week he was beginning to make 3 word sentences. The doctor said he was talking in the form he could hear the words and the tubes cleared that up for him. He also said his sisters understood him because that is probably how they originally heard speech before tubes. He progressed very quickly and ended up strait A’s all the way through college. Crazy how those little adjustments early can make all the difference.

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  19. Carla

    What a happy outcome for the precious little dude! So glad he’s getting his vision sorted and praying the ear procedures go well.

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  20. Mary Ann Mettler

    Eli’s smile tells it all – absolutely love it!!! I bet you are very anxious for February Jo. Your teary smile tells it all. What cute kidos!

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  21. Melody

    My daughter had this. Started wearing glasses at 12 months. After frequent lense changes early on (sometimes in 2 months) by 6th grade her optic nerve had developed & became normal so she no longer needed glasses. She is 40 now & has normal vision. Thank you to a great pediatrician & opthamologist!

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  22. Rosalie

    Thank you both for sharing this information about Infant See and the good news that Eli Can See with the help of glasses. Fantastic strides he is making now.

    Reply
  23. Linda

    There are better fitting glasses for small ones. My grandson has had them early due to nystagmus and not enough pigment in irises (lens change to sunglasses) They have a built in strap and are flexible. Made all the difference for my precious one.

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  24. Linnea

    Oh Jo what a joy to read about little Eli! The two boys I nanny for ages 2 &5 both wear glasses. The 5 year old has eye exercises we do daily. Total time is 2 hours but we break that up into 30 minute intervals. Don’t be surprised if they prescribe eye exercises for him. It’s mostly hand and eye coordination exercises with one eye covered with a nifty patch that slides on the boss of the glasses. What a joy to see Eli with a smile on his face! He is adorable which I’m sure you already know.

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  25. Kim from TN

    Who knew such a wonderful program existed for infants? Eli is a very handsome dude with his glasses and the world better get ready. Go Eli Go

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  26. NJ

    At 9 months, I think his vision troubles were caught early on. His glasses will make a world of difference and he’s just adorable in them.

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  27. Linda in NE

    Eli is just so cute in his new glasses. And to be able to see! Such a wonderful world changer for him. Even in the pictures I can see that he is looking right at the camera/phone and REALLY seeing.
    Our oldest grandson had one lazy eye and had to wear glasses for a while. He might have been two when he got them. They did the job and his sight has been fine since. We always thought he looked like a wise little owl in his glasses. :)

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  28. Lace Faerie

    I am so glad his vision can be corrected with glasses!! Sweet boy, I love the pictures!

    I, too had amblyopia or crossed eyes. Mine started at age 3.I remember thinking that the door on the right of my double vision was the correct one, the one on the left was a trick. 2 years of eye muscle exercises and patching my strong eye to make the one that turned in work harder. At age 5 I had eye surgery. It didn’t work. More eye strengthening exercises. At age 7 it was decided to go for a cosmetic surgery to shorten the muscle on the side that was pulling the eye over. We were told that by age 7 the brain is “set” and even if the surgery stopped the crossing, it wouldn’t fix my vision. They were wrong. It worked. We now know just how elastic our brains are, especially in children! I have straight eyes and no double or trick doors!

    Now, I understand they use Botox to paralyze the strong muscle to stop it from pulling the eye over. Seems preferable to 2 eye surgeries!!

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  29. Brenda King

    I can so relate to little Eli’s vision situation, and how you felt, Kelli, when you witnessed him first seeing clearly. My little girl, (who is now 51 yrs.!) was having trouble with reading in 1st grade. She’d excelled in kindergarten, so we were stymied. Found out, when her eyes were checked in the kindergarten line, she memorized what the other kids said, so she would pass the test! We discovered her vision problem when I took her to our eye Dr. I cried when her glasses were placed on her face and she suddenly brightened, saying, “Mom! There’s a tree, and a stop sign, and all kinds of things I’ve never seen before!” She was six yrs. old! Needless to say, there were no further reading problems! She was reading several grades up in no time, and has become a life-long reader, and lover of books! I pray for the same success for your precious little Eli! I know he’ll do great! (HUGS!) Best wishes for the ear tube placements too! : ) Brenda

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  30. Donna

    What a blessing to find out that he was able to get glasses to help him see. I had never hear do this organization before but will definitely pass it along.
    Love and prayers

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  31. Patt Weimer

    My son , born hearing, had spinial meningitis at 15 mths. Basically totally deaf. Had ear infections, ear tubes 11 times till outgrew the need. About 9ish. 47 now. Hears basically nothing, had implant, removed because improperly placed & defective. Installed at Yale/New Haven, they refused any wrong doing, told us try & sue us ,we have more lawyers. He was 25 at the time. 18 mths later lossing sight in left eye, had to have implant removed ( father paid for, $86,000), he reads lips ( oral school till 6yrs.), we never learned sign, he speaks clearly. He is a fantastic dad, husband, tax paying adult, fantastic work ethic adult. Both my twin cousins had lazy eyes, orphaned at 6. Lived with our grandmother, she did eye excercises for maybe 3ish yrs. They wear glases, but not for lazy eyes. The exercises worked for that problem. . Both did military, 1 ,6 yrs., 1 ,26 yrs. Can’t do that with lazy eye problems. Eli has a great life ahead of him. He will rock his world. DO NOT blame yourself for what God gives us, nothing is given that we cannot handle well, IF, we try.

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  32. Penny

    What a miracle! You tell Kellie to continue to advocate for her little one. A a former teacher and school counselor I know the parent knows their child best and can really help with his education by demanding what works best with their child. I always listened to the parent.

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  33. DebMac

    I still remember the day I got my first pair of glasses 57 years ago and what a difference it made. Our neighbor happened to be at the house when I got home with the glasses and for years she talked about how amazed I was seeing things I had never seen before. I could see leaves on trees! I couldn’t read going into 3rd grade but no one had any idea it was because I couldn’t see. I grew up between 2 brothers and did everything they did. My grandmother was the motivation behind us going to the eye doctor; she thought we sat too close to the tv and insisted our parents take us to be checked out. My brothers were fine but the doctor couldn’t believe that I was even able to function because my eye sight was so bad. I still remember how he chewed my mother out for not noticing and she kept telling him that I was doing what ever my brothers did so how was she supposed to know I couldn’t see. You can bet I was proactive with my 2 children’s vision. When our son became vague and drifty just before his 6th birthday, our pediatrician pooh poohed me and did a routine eye check which didn’t show any problems. I made an eye appointment for him anyway and he did need glasses. I wish Eli good luck with his vision quest.

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  34. Ginny Andersen

    I am so happy for your little guy Eli. I bet he is in wonder at all that is clear to him now in the world around him! My boys both had tubes and it should have happened sooner, so I am happy for you that it is being addressed while they are so young!
    Blessings to you and all of your family, Jo!

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  35. LolaZ

    My son was in 2nd grade when I realized he had vision problems. I still feel guilty I wasn’t aware of the problem sooner. The eye doctor said he couldn’t see anything clearly over 2 feet away. No wonder he could never see the ball in the outfield when he played t-ball. He was astonished that the trees had individual leaves.

    Reply

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