What various miscellaneous reasons are there to prescribe very weak prescriptions for early elementary schoolchildren?

I work part-time for a K-12 tutoring service, and we have an 8-year-old boy who has been coming in regularly for the last couple of academic years, and has glasses. He has a very inconsistent track record of remembering to wear them, and we have set up a reward system to encourage him to wear his glasses to his tutoring sessions. Most recently, he lost them.

I have in past sessions given him some ideas on how to help himself remember to wear his glasses (he tells me his parents do not remind him). He has told me before that he forgets to wear them to tutoring because he forgot to put them on in the morning (and thus wearing them to school, and then to tutoring right after). But I have been left wondering if he really needs glasses (not to suggest that I think that he does not need them, but I figure any kid who actually needs glasses would be self-motivated to wear them).

I did get an impression from working with him before that his prescription is extremely mild, to the point that I could not tell if his lenses have a plus or minus prescription. Usually, when working with a kid with glasses, I can easily tell if their prescription is at least plus or minus (at least along the horizontal meridian).

He also tells me he can’t really tell a difference. When he comes to his tutoring sessions without his glasses, he never seems to strain to see. I don’t notice him rubbing his eyes after extensive periods of close-up work, or gives off any hint whatsoever that he struggles to see. His performance does not seem affected at all when he does not have his glasses on.

In fact, his last couple of sessions with me (after he had already lost his glasses), he has been playing around with writing as small as possible. Think of a high school student cramming math notes on a 3"×5" notecard, and he is challenging himself to write smaller. Wouldn’t this indicate that his near vision is fine? If this is the case, it makes me wonder why our center set up a reward system to get him to wear his glasses to his tutoring sessions.

I do not interact directly with his parents (this is the responsibility of the lead teacher and center director), so I do not really get the opportunity to inquire about what his vision problem might be, nor are there notes in his binder explaining the situation with his vision. Our lead teacher doesn’t even have any information beyond the reward system that was set up.

What reasons might a child need a prescription so weak that he can’t tell a difference? Please don’t take this as me doubting the need, just that I want to understand what other needs exist.

submitted by /u/caretaker82
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