‘I Am Not A Pirate’ spreads awareness of Amblyopia

JASPER CO., Ind. (WLFI) – At age two and a half, Madison Anderson was diagnosed with Amblyopia. The condition, also known as lazy eye, required her to wear an eye patch to help correct her vision, but it became a struggle for the preschooler.

“I thought I looked really different and I would get made fun of at school,” said Madison.

After seeing her daughter’s struggle, Shannon Anderson wanted a way to spread awareness of Amblyopia and help children cope with the frustration of an eye patch.

“It’s hard to bring something positive to something like that. But if there’s a way of showing how someone else did it, maybe that would help,” said Anderson.

Inspired by her daughter’s sense of humor, Anderson wrote “I Am Not A Pirate.” The book tells the story of a little girl’s struggle and acceptance of wearing an eye patch to correct her Amblyopia.

“It was just a matter of putting it together somehow that I could bring through a message that you’re not alone,” said Anderson.

Anderson hopes the book will encourage parents to get their children’s vision checked early. As a toddler, Madison’s older sister Emily,was diagnosed with another type of eye disorder called Strabismus. Anderson knew what to look for with Madison, and said she noticed the signs early. Noticing early lead to Madison’s diagnosis of Strabismus and Amblyopia.

“I really didn’t know about going to the eye doctor that early. So had we not been watching for it, we wouldn’t have been able to catch hers early enough to be able to make a difference and restore as much vision as we have,” said Anderson.

Madison no longer has to wear an eye patch, and most of the vision has been restored to her eye, but the 10 year old has some advice for anyone feeling down about wearing a patch.

“It’s going to turn out better, and once your eye is better you can take it off and you won’t have to wear it anymore,” said Madison.

For more on “I Am Not A Pirate,” click here.

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