Crucial Eye Exam Techniques For Special Needs Children

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After we started having kids, I realized that we needed one doctor that really understood our family history. My son had a severe peanut and soy allergy, and so we wanted someone who could carefully track his symptoms. Instead of working with specialists who were difficult to make appointments with, we chose an excellent, highly-recommended family doctor in our area. The difference was amazing. Our doctor paid close attention to his symptoms, and he was able to live a largely symptom-free life. My blog is dedicated to helping people realize the importance of primary care physicians so that you can keep your family healthy.

Crucial Eye Exam Techniques For Special Needs Children

5 January 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Visits to the eye doctor are very important for special needs children; a good visual exam can help you determine whether any of your child's developmental difficulties are due to a visual problem. However, it takes some special care to deliver a good eye exam for a child with special needs. Here are some ways that your doctor can help to conduct a great eye exam with your special needs child.  

Tailoring the Tests to Your Child's Abilities

The first thing that your doctor can do to improve the test's accuracy is to change the standard test format to suit your child's verbal skills and cooperation. For instance, your eye doctor may need to use testing methods that use non-verbal tactics. The doctor may have your child follow shapes with their eyes, try to focus on blurry shapes, or test their reactions to bright lights in order to glean the most information possible. 

Working with a Third Party to Increase Communication

The doctor can sometimes get a lot out of working with one of the child's trusted mentors, such as a speech pathologist or counselor, to help the child communicate better. During the eye exam, your doctor and the second adult will need to be careful to make sure they are getting reliable information from the child. 

Being Flexible about Scheduling

If your child is experiencing a bad day or having trouble focusing for some reason, your doctor should be flexible about rescheduling the visit. Some tests require excellent attention and cooperation, so rescheduling the appointment can be very important for delivering the best eye care possible. 

Testing for Disability-Related Eye Conditions

Another way that your doctor can help during the eye exam is to assess and track the progress of certain disease-related conditions. For instance, there is a link between autism and strabismus, or cross eyes, in children. If your child has been diagnosed with a specific syndrome, make sure that your eye doctor knows about it so that they can better protect your child's eye health. 

Recommending Additional Care

Finally, your doctor can help you take care of your child's health further by recommending some additional care. The eye tests may indicate some developmental issues with eye teaming, tracking or other skills that could be helped with glasses or visual therapy. A close relationship with an eye doctor (such as one from Quality Eye Care) and frequent checkups can help you rule out developmental issues that are related to poor sight.