By Carmen Willings
Updated October 4, 2017
The process of referring a student with a suspected visual impairment for school based vision services begins when there are concerns about a child's vision or the lack thereof. If you have a concern about a child's vision, the first step is to take the student to an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
For younger children in particular, it is important to find a doctor who specializes in working with children. If the child has additional disabilities, it is particularly important to locate a doctor who specializes or is experienced in working with students with multiple disabilities. The ophthalmologist or optometrist will need to determine the cause, receive a visual diagnosis, approximated visual acuity, and determine if the student needs to be referred for school based vision services (or early intervention for children birth through age 2). The following is a list of the ABC'S of vision problems. Some of these concerns may be related to other medical conditions or medications. It is always best to address any concerns with the student's pediatrician as well.
This checklist, available free for download on the Printables page, can be used to help those outside the vision field identify vision concerns and know when to make a referral for vision services.
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