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Vision Screening. By Brandy Flood. Basic Facts. One in four school aged children have a vision impairment that gets in the way of their learning Vision problems more common in children with disabilities

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Vision screening

Vision Screening

By Brandy Flood

Basic facts
Basic Facts

  • One in four school aged children have a vision impairment that gets in the way of their learning

  • Vision problems more common in children with disabilities

  • An infant’s eyes should be checked as soon as possible for abnormalities and muscle imbalance to reduce risk of permanent vision loss

  • Early detection improves success of medical treatment

Take notice
Take notice!

  • The child’s teacher is usually the first to notice clues in a child’s behavior that might suggest a vision disorder

  • Unlikely that young children will recognize when their vision isn’t normal

  • Special attention should be paid to children with known physical disabilities

  • Delays in identifying vision problems could affect learning process

Methods of assessment
Methods of Assessment

  • Any concerns should be discussed with the child’s family

  • Routine screenings are essential

  • Teachers and volunteers can be trained to administer many standardized visual acuity tests

  • Children’s eyes should be checked for

    • Convergence

    • Depth perception

    • Binocular fusion

    • Deviations in pupil position

Common disorders
Common disorders

  • Amblyopia

    • “lazy eye”, approximately 2% of children younger than 10 have this.

    • Caused by a muscle imbalance or childhood cataracts resulting in blurred/double vision.

      • Refractive Amblyopia: One type of lazy eye, called refractive amblyopia, is caused when one eye is more nearsighted or farsighted than the other, making it difficult for the eyes to focus together.

      • StrabismicAmblyopia: Another common cause of lazy eye is strabismus.  Strabismus, often referred to as a crossed or wandering eye, is a condition in which the brain is unable to properly align the eyes.

  • Treated by having the child wear a patch over the stronger eye until muscle strength improves in weaker eye . Other methods for treatment include eye drops, corrective glasses, and special eye exercises

  • Teachers may be asked to help give treatment, be supportive, and make accommodations for students.

Common disorders cont d
Common disorders (cont’d)

  • Strabismus

    • “crossed eyes”, causes observable misalignment of the child’s eyes . May experience double or blurred vision, images from weaker eye ignored by brain, and gradual loss of vision

    • Children with obvious crossed or wandering eyes have to deal with the self-consciousness arising from questions, stares, and teasing from their peers. 

    • Early recognition is essential for restoring normal vision

    • Several methods are used to treat strabismus:

      • Surgical correction

      • Patching of unaffected eye

      • Eye exercises

Common disorders cont d1
Common disorders (cont’d)

  • Myopia

    • “nearsightedness”, meaning they can see near objects but cannot see far clearly

    • Problematic for young children because they move quickly

    • Squinting is common

    • Teachers can note these behaviors and refer children for screening


  • Families should be counseled and encouraged to arrange for professional screening

  • Teachers can help families understand why it is important to follow through with any recommendations

  • Arrangements can be made through pediatrician’s office, public schools, etc.

  • Children who don’t pass initial vision screening should be retested

  • Results should be read with caution because it does not guarantee that there is or isn’t a problem

  • Visual acuity changes over time; VERY important for teachers and families to be aware of children’s visual performance

How would i address this as a teacher
How would I address this as a teacher?

  • I would address the importance of going to the eye doctor and making sure that your vision is okay.

  • If necessary, if children give those with visual impairments any problems or grief, I will construct the class not to.

Sources cited
Sources Cited

  • Marotz, R., L. (2008). Health, Safety, and Nutrition for the Young Child. Wadsworth Pub Co.

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