Sankara Nethralaya clinic for children with special needs

By NT Bureau Published on Aug 02, 2018 12:59 PM IST

Chennai: The eyes are an extension of the brain and the vision accounts for 80 per cent of learning during the developing years of a child.

Sankara Nethralaya opened a Special Children clinic yesterday at its hospital premises.

The pediatric Ophthalmology department of the hospital treat children with special needs such as Dyslexia and other cognitive issues.

The clinic was inaugurated by Professor of Optometry and visual sciences, Anglia Ruskin University, UK, Peter Allen.

Allen is an expert in dealing with the special population of dyslexic children and has numerous publications in this specialty.

Head of Department of Binocular vision/ Vision therapy clinic, Sankara Nethralaya Dr Jameel Rizwana Hussaindeen said,”The Special Clinic will treat children with delayed development, Cerebral palsy, Mental Retardness, Autism and Dyslexia. We have a specific set of assessment to find how such children are ustilising the vision for mobility, contrast and navigation.”

“These children need a lot of understanding and care, for example, high power glasses are used by such children and in most cases they cannot be articulate and an untrained person will not be able to detect their problems,” she added.

Rizwana said,”We have a trained set of people who run Functional Vision Assessment on them. They can find out Hand-eye co-ordination, visual motor co-ordination.” Children as young as six months up to 18 years- can seek treatment here.

The department will also co-ordinate with other departments such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy as well.

A press release said, children born with complications such as pre-term delivery, respiratory distress, seizures at birth, etc are at high risk of developing vision related disorders.

Cortical visual impairment (CVI), which represents damage to the part of the brain that processes vision, is found in a higher percentage of children with multiple disabilities, and cerebral palsy. These children also require modifications to the vision assessment techniques, and thus need a trained team of qualified eye care professionals. Early diagnosis of CVI plays an important role in planning appropriate rehabilitation measures, the release said.

At the event, Professor Allen spoke about Management of Visual Issues in Dyslexia and Sports Vision.

NEED FOR EARLY DETECTION

Absence of eye contact at the age of 3 months.

Poor visual fixation/following by the age of 3 month

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