Sankara Nethralaya
Sankara Nethralaya
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The Special Children Clinic

What do we do?

We are well known for our comprehensive eye and vision care services provided to the pediatric population. We have now expanded further to a unique initiative that we proudly refer to as the “Special Children Clinic”. This clinic provides the much needed special attention and functional vision assessment for children with special needs like cerebral palsy, cortical visual impairment, Autistic spectrum, Attention deficit, ADHD, multiple disabilities and vision impairment, and delayed milestones. We have been doing this to a certain extent so far in the OPD itself and now have felt the need to consolidate this under the “Special Children Clinic". This clinic will pave ways to come out with defined protocols for assessment and management of this population.

Scope of the clinic

Our team has adopted a comprehensive protocol to understanding the functional vision needs of the special population. Through this, we are able to provide recommendations about best practices for assessment and early intervention methods for children with multiple disabilities, delayed development, and vision impairment. It is important to identify children with vision impairment as early as possible so that appropriate assessment and intervention can be initiated. The clinic is also involved in optimizing protocols for assessment and intervention in liaison with the multidisciplinary team.

Cerebral visual Impairment (CVI) is emerging as a leading cause of Visual impairment in children in our country and we need to equip our system to handle challenges

  • Children with CVI have more difficulty in understanding the world around them using vision since they lack some of the important visual information and have difficulty in interpreting and understanding what they see.

  • Many a times, these difficulties are also associated with difficulties in processing sound and a several other motor, sensory and cognitive issues associated with brain damage.

When to refer

  • When there is a suspicion of delayed visual development
  • History of neonatal respiratory distress, and postnatal complications
  • History of preterm delivery and associated visual difficulties
  • Established diagnosis or query regarding cortical visual impairment
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple disabilities and visual impairment
  • Autistic spectrum
  • Attention deficit with or without hyperactivity
  • Delayed milestones and associated visual issues

Suspect a visual problem if the parent is concerned about

  • Absence of eye contact at the age of 3 months.
  • Poor visual fixation/following by the age of 3 month
  • Insufficient accuracy in reach after 6 month of age
  • Not responding to familiar faces
  • Bumps into object while moving
  • Not able to reach to object/fixate directly
  • Shaking of eyes associated with visual concerns

Activities of the clinic

  1. Detailed medical and developmental history
  2. Details regarding ongoing rehabilitation and support services
  3. Documentation of visual status including assessment of visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, visual fields, gaze preference, gaze tracking and scanning. Age appropriate tests will be utilized
  4. Comprehensive functional vision assessment
  5. Visual rehabilitation and lifestyle recommendations based on the results of assessment
Glimpse of Assessment in Special children clinic

No of Children underwent Assessment: 1195

No of children Received visual rehabilitation: 46%

No of children Referred for other therapies: 29%

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