Autism and Vision
At Bellaire Family Eye Care, our mission is to provide exceptional eye care and personalized service in a friendly and professional atmosphere, and that is for ALL patients! April is Autism Awareness Month so we turn our focus to this special population.
Autism is a developmental disability which impacts brain functions and all sensory systems. The cause of autism is still not clearly understood, but how autism manifests in life is understood. We often focus on children when discussing autism, but of course it is present throughout in all ages. Growing up has its challenges for every human, but for children with autism, normal life experiences can be very overwhelming. A typical day at the park for most children, can be overwhelming for a child with autism.
The same can be true during an eye exam, so we strive to make the experience as comfortable, safe, and soothing as possible. We have high quality lighting in all areas of the office with dimmer switches and adjust our testing to fit each patient. Our fish tank is a popular stopping point as a calming spot before the exam begins. Our doctors are highly trained to work with patients with special needs to assess their vision and eye health in creative ways.
Some common visual symptoms we see with autism:
- Reduced eye contact
- Difficulties with tracking and scanning
- Visual stimming (flapping hands, rubbing eyes, spinning objects)
Glasses are often prescribed to help reduce visual stimming and improve central focusing. Vision therapy is also a wonderful avenue to help children with autism better assimilate visual stimulation and improve visual functions of eye contact and visual tracking skills.
If making an appointment, please let us know of any special needs your child has and we will work to provide the best experience possible for you and them.