Fraud Blocker Special Needs Eye Doctor in Fair Lawn, NJ

Special Needs Eye Doctor in Fair Lawn, NJ

Understanding Special Needs Eye Care for Children and Adults

When you have special needs children, it is crucial to address their visual needs early. Proper eye care enhances your child’s life in and out of school. The right diagnosis and treatment can lead to significant improvements.

Specialized eye care is vital for children with special needs due to unique challenges they may encounter. At PressVision, we are experts in special needs eye care and offer services to help your family members with special needs.

Special Needs Eye Care at our Fair Lawn, NJ Office

Children and adults with special needs often experience eye conditions that result in vision challenges at a higher rate than the general population. Understanding these conditions can better equip you to seek appropriate care.

The Special Needs Community is on Average Much More Likely to Experience Serious Eye Conditions. Fortunately Those Issues Can Usually Be Effectively Addressed with Early Intervention and Treatment.

Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy Patients

Amblyopia and Strabismus are More Common Among Those with Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy

According to a study published on the NIH website, pediatric aged patients with Down Syndrome are much more likely to experience Strabismus or Amblyopia than their pediatric counterparts without Down Syndrome.

A study on visual disorders from the British Journal of Ophthalmology finds that children with cerebral palsy had a much higher incidence of amblyopia than children without cerebral palsy. In fact the study states that just 20% of the school children with Cerebral Palsy had no Disorders.

Strabismus or eye turns, affects your loved one’s ability to align both eyes correctly. This condition can occur more frequently in individuals with cerebral palsy or Down Syndrome. Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, often pairs with strabismus, leading to reduced vision in one eye.

We have experience treating special needs children and adults (including Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy).

ADD, ADHD, Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) Patients

Refractive Errors and Vision Conditions are More Common with ADD, ADHD and FXS patients (in addition to strabismus and amblyopia)

A study on FXS eye problems on revealed that over half of FXS patients suffer from visual problems. This includes strabismus and amblyopia (linked to above) – as well as refractive errors like nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.

These conditions alter how light bends into their eyes, impacting vision clarity. Individuals with ADD, ADHD, or fragile X may also experience visual processing issues, complicating their visual perception.

A similar study published by Optometry and Vision Science and presented on showed that children with vision problems are twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.

Autistic Patients

Autistic Patients commonly suffer from amblyopia, strabismus, eye teaming and tracking problems, blurred vision and double vision.

In many cases it can be extremely challenging to determine if those with autism are experiencing vision problems. The Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus found that it is very common for people with autism to have undetected vision problems.

A comprehensive eye exam at our office in Fair Lawn can help to detect any eye issues that your loved one has been silently suffering with. Tailored treatments and aids, such as glasses or vision therapy are often employed to address any vision issues.

Cortical Visual Impairment / Traumatic Brain Injury Patients

Cortical visual impairment (CVI) refers to a visual impairment that occurs due to brain damage. The brain struggles to interpret what your eyes see. In addition to being caused by Trauma, CVI often links to cerebral palsy or from a genetic disorder like Down Syndrome.

Amblyopia Can Lead to Long Term Vision Loss and is Important to Address as Early as Possible (Video Courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medicine)

Comprehensive Special Needs Eye Examinations

Our team of eye doctors tailor exams and tests to meet your loved one’s unique needs in vision care.

Customized Eye Exam Approaches

Our eye doctors use a range of vision tests to assess different aspects of your loved one’s vision. A comprehensive eye exam will include tests for visual acuity to determine how sharply they see.

Our doctors will also conduct tests for eye teaming, tracking, and vision therapy suitability, especially in cases of special needs vision challenges. Each test provides insight into your family member’s eye health and visual function.

To conduct these tests with special needs patients, we introduce unique approaches to assist with the overall vision assessment. Your special needs loved one’s eye exam will likely differ from standard eye exam procedures to ensure comfort and accurate results.

Dr. Knapp’s team of optometrists and vision therapists are skilled in developmental optometry and may alter the exam environment to meet your loved one’s specific needs.

We also use highly specialized equipment that allow us to adequately assess and treat younger patients with special needs. This allows us to address the challenges your family member might face with communication or comprehension during the exam.

As an example, we tailor eye exams to account for behavioral and attention challenges. This may include using images or toys to hold gaze and assess visual information processing. These adaptations ensure that vision issues don’t go unnoticed and that special needs patients receive the eye care they need.

Communication Strategies with Nonverbal Patients

Effective communication forms the foundation of quality eye care, especially with nonverbal patients. Our eye doctors are adept at using alternate methods of communication like pictures or assistive technologies to engage in meaningful exchanges.

Effective Vision Solutions

Access to specialized eye care helps ensure that you receive effective solutions for your unique visual needs. These services include both corrective devices and therapeutic approaches.

Corrective Lenses and Optical Aids

Optical aids like prism lenses target eye teaming and depth perception issues. They direct light to the right location on your family member’s retina, improving how your eyes work together. This also enhances visual processing and perception.

Therapeutic Interventions for Visual Improvement

Therapeutic strategies focus on more than just focusing and clarity. Visual therapy addresses accommodative dysfunction, helping you control eye focusing over time. If you struggle with eye coordination, therapy can improve how your eyes move and align. Programs often include exercises to sharpen skills like eye teaming, which is vital for effective depth perception.

Eye Care Tips for Parents of Special Needs Children

As a parent or guardian, you play a vital role in your child’s eye health, especially if they have special needs. Here’s how you can support their vision well-being:

Monitor Changes: Regularly observe your child’s visual behavior. Look for signs like squinting, eye rubbing, or difficulty focusing. These could indicate a need for an eye exam.

Consistent Check-ups: Schedule eye exams yearly or as advised by your child’s eye doctor. Regular check-ups help track eye health and update prescriptions as needed.

Opt for Protective Gear: Ensure your child wears protective eyewear during sports or activities that could harm their eyes.

Establish a Routine: Create a comfortable routine for your child when administering eye drops or handling eyeglasses. This helps them adapt better to necessary eye care practices.

  • Promote Sunglasses: Encourage your child to wear sunglasses with UV protection to safeguard their eyes from harmful sun rays.
  • Encourage Breaks: Suggest regular breaks during screen time to reduce eye strain.
  • Advocate Proper Lighting: Use adequate lighting while your child reads or does homework to prevent eye fatigue.


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