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2019 Preschool Vision Screening Ambassador – Ellie

Ellie’s Story

Prevent Blindness Wisconsin is excited to introduce our 2019 Preschool Vision Screening Ambassador, Ellie. Ellie McGinty is an enthusiastic and inquisitive 5-year-old who enjoys art projects, reading books, and spending time with her family and the family golden retriever and cat. Thanks to a certified vision screening provided by Prevent Blindness Wisconsin community volunteers at her preschool in Menomonee Falls, Ellie is now seeing the things she loves more clearly!

Ellie’s vision screening went well until it was time to screen her left eye. That’s when the usually confident and outgoing Ellie became shy and quiet as she was unable to name the shapes she was seeing on the screening chart; Ellie did not pass her vision screening and received a referral to further vision care. Upon reading the results from Ellie’s vision screening, Ellie’s mom took her to the pediatric ophthalmologist for a complete eye exam. During the appointment, Ellie was diagnosed with amblyopia (lazy eye) in her left eye.

To treat Ellie’s vision problem, her eye doctor prescribed glasses. At first, Ellie was very upset that she needed glasses especially since no one in her class had glasses and she is very particular about what she wears. To help encourage Ellie to wear her glasses and make her more comfortable with the adjustment, her mom let her pick out the color and style frames she wanted. Ellie found a pair of purple frames that fit just right. According to Colleen, “Ellie loves putting on her purple glasses and matching her outfits to the color of her frames each day that she goes to school!”

Ellie’s diagnosis was a surprise to Ellie’s parents because she had never complained and didn’t seem to be having difficulty with everyday activities like coloring. “Ellie struggled with certain letters and numbers that looked similar, but I thought that it was just normal preschool confusion,” said Ellie’s mom Colleen, who like many parents we serve, had no idea her daughter was actually struggling to see. “As soon as she got glasses, this went away. Her vision was blurry and that was the reason for the mistakes. She gets her letters and numbers correct 100% of the time now!”

Without the free vision screening from Prevent Blindness Wisconsin community volunteers, Ellie’s vision problems may have gone undetected, untreated, and could have resulted in permanent vision loss. Ellie’s parents are appreciative for the work done by Prevent Blindness Wisconsin saying, “We would absolutely recommend a Children’s Vision Screening to friends or family with children in a preschool or a school. The vision screening at Ellie’s preschool was not stressful but fun for her to participate in!”