How can Partners for Pediatric Vision help my child?
Children with visual impairment and those with multiple disabilities that include visual impairment can benefit from knowing what can be done to overcome the challenges of vision loss. Partners for Pediatric Vision provides a Vision Educator for every family who requests services. Vision Educators are available at the offices of our partner pediatric eye doctors and through video and phone chat. Vision Educators help identify the unique learning needs of babies, young children and teens with visual impairment and provide individualized information, resources and support to help you and your child with the tools to succeed.
What types of visual interventions are available for children with vision loss at home and at school?
Every child experiences vision loss differently. Our Vision Educators have specialized training so that
recommendations are made for each child based on the latest research and evidence-based strategies
that have been proven to be successful. We provide parents, family members, therapists, teachers, and
others with information on how to modify your child’s environment to use their vision whenever possible. A wide range of suggestions may make a significant difference in your child’s ability to gather and learn information such as knowing the best lighting conditions, preferred visual fields, whether large print, high contrast, audiobooks and/or Braille are recommended, and when a consultation from an orientation and mobility specialist is needed.
What types of services do you provide for family members?
Thanks to the generosity of individual donors and foundations who contribute to Partners for Pediatric Vision, we offer free education and support services to families throughout your child's development,
from early childhood to high school graduation. A Vision Educator will talk with you by phone or video chat to offer help with resources and referrals, collaboration with professionals working with your child, answer questions about your child’s diagnosis and how to access beneficial accommodations. In addition, we offer parent support groups in English and Spanish and family events throughout the year
including a Build a Bear workshop, annual holiday Audio Described movie and more opportunities for children and families to meet.
What is the difference between a pediatric ophthalmologist and a pediatric low vision optometrist?
Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in the medical treatment of eye diseases. They may prescribe medications, glasses, prescriptions, perform laser treatment, or eye surgery to manage
your child’s eye disease. Low vision optometrists specialize in determining the extent of your child’s functional vision. They prescribe glasses or other low vision devices like hand-held or video magnifiers or telescopes to allow your child to use their vision to the greatest extent possible. They also provide recommendations for how your child can best use their vision during everyday activities at home or at school and how to strengthen the use of their vision in cases where vision can improve. Testing may include evaluating visual acuity, peripheral vision, contrast sensitivity, glare sensitivity, color vision, depth perception, eye alignment, and eye movement skills. It is important for your child to receive care from a pediatric ophthalmologist, and the additional recommendations from a pediatric optometrist can support how your child uses his/her vision every day.
Can a child who is non-verbal or multiply disabled benefit from a low vision exam?
Yes. Partners for Pediatric Vision and the low vision optometrists we work with have experience examining children who are non-verbal and those with special needs. The doctors use a variety of tests that have the special accommodations necessary for an accurate assessment of a child with special needs. Our Vision Educators work alongside the eye doctors to demonstrate and recommend learning strategies that focus on how each child with multiple disabilities learns best.