special needs vision

Unique Vision Concerns Can Challenge Kids With Special Needs

Parents of kids with special needs understand that every day can present a new set of challenges and questions that need answers.  That is especially true when it comes to their child’s vision.  Vision is such an important component of daily life, and those with special needs often have specific vision issues to regularly contend with.  Therefore, it is important for parents to have as much information as possible to ensure the best quality of life for their children.

The term “special needs” can refer to kids who need assistance due to a range of physical, emotional, medical or learning difficulties or impairments. Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome or cerebral palsy are common examples of special needs that are often accompanied by vision complications.

Vision Exams for Special Needs

Regular vision exams for kids with special needs are very important. These exams can help to diagnose vision problems that when treated, can greatly improve a child’s quality of life. Some issues that can be discovered through a vision exam include:

  • Focusing issues – the inability to focus on objects that are either close up or far away
  • Tracking issues – eye movements may be slow, inaccurate or jump around
  • Poor visual attention – the inability to filter out non-essential visual information when viewing the world
  • Poor eye teaming and coordination – problems with both eyes working together in a coordinated way
  • Poor hand-eye coordination – difficulty completing a physical task based on the visual information received by the eyes

Vision Therapy for Quality of Life 

Vision therapy is an excellent option for treating a wide range of vision issues that kids with special needs are challenged by.  When developmental disabilities affect a child’s visual system, including the eyes, brain and visual pathway, it can lead to even bigger challenges at school, sports or even simple daily tasks.  A customized vision therapy program will use fun, interactive visual activities to help strengthen the eye muscles and improve alignment and focusing issues.  By enhancing a child’s visual skills, they will find greater ease in performing everyday tasks.  This can often improve their overall confidence, social skills, verbal skills and general happiness on a daily basis.

The Family Vision Development Center team has specialized experience in working with kids with special needs. When your child visits, we will examine their vision and create a personalized vision therapy program for their unique abilities and needs.  Contact us at 630-862-2020 to schedule your appointment or to request additional information.


Family Vision Development Center is a full-service vision center offering innovative vision therapy services, post-concussive vision rehabilitation, comprehensive vision exams for eyeglasses and contact lenses, management of ocular diseases including glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration and cataracts, and a state-of-the-art optical center offering the latest designs in eyewear.