26.10.2018

Report Claims Special Needs Children Aren’t Getting The Eye Screenings They Need

Even though special needs children are at a greater risk of developing visual disorders, they are less likely to get an eye screening when compared with normal children. That’s according to a new report put out by the charity group SeeAbility which shows that about 44 percent of children with learning disabilities have never had an eye exam.

Recent estimates suggest there are about 100,000 children in special needs schools across Great Britain. Doctors working at SeeAbility estimate that these children are at least 30 percent more likely to develop visual disorders than healthy children.

Sadly, many special needs students who have issues like myopia or farsightedness aren’t getting the treatment they deserve. Not having proper glasses at a young age can have lifelong effects on a student’s social skills and emotional health.

Although all students in England can get their eyes screened for free, the people working at SeeAbility say the standard eye care test doesn’t take into account the needs of children living with mental handicaps. To try and remedy this situation, SeeAbility has formulated a new eye test specifically designed for students with disabilities.

These specialized eye tests take place in special needs schools so students feel as safe and comfortable as possible. These complimentary tests cost SeeAbility £135 per screening. The NHS currently provides £21.31 in subsidies for these tests.

Over the past few years, SeeAbility has been able to successfully screen 1,200 special needs kids in England with these eye tests. The charity hopes the NHS will help spread this test all around the UK in the near future.

Unfortunately, many people in the UK don’t understand that children with learning handicaps have a higher risk of developing eye disorders. Even people who understand the risks don’t know where to go to get a thorough test tailored for their special needs child.

If any parent is struggling to find a visual screening that works for their special needs child, SeeAbility recommends giving their office a call. Anyone can contact SeeAbility using the telephone number 01372 755 000 or the email address enquiries@seeability.org.

Founded in 1799, SeeAbility was the first in England to set up a school dedicated to helping people with sight issues build skills and find jobs. SeeAbility is now headquartered at Newplan House in Epsom, Surrey.

People interested in reading more about SeeAbility’s findings on visual screenings and special needs children should check out its Children In Focus paper.


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