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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

eye tests for children with ASD

(10 Posts)
sphil Tue 20-Feb-07 23:22:51

Dh and I are both very short-sighted, which apparently gives our children a 75% chance of developing childhood onset myopia. As a result both boys are tested regularly (every 6 months). The actual sight test isn't a problem with DS2 - the orthoptist we see at the hospital is very sensitive to the fact he has ASD and has somehow managed to test his eyesight despite the fact he doesn't speak, point or even look in the direction of the thing she's trying to get him to see!

The problem is that they always want a consultant to look at their retinas and that means the dreaded eye drops - the ones that dilate the pupils and sting like hell. They have to be put in two hours before the appt and then a second time one hour before. This is hard enough for DS1 but he'll do it (for immense bribery). For DS2 it's practically impossible. The last time he had it done he was a young toddler and far more compliant - even so we had to hold him down. Then the consultant who saw him couldn't get him to open his eyes so he could shine the torch in. He was completely useless (would have been with any child not just one with SN) did a bit of vague soft toy waggling (cf Jimjams thread) and then gave up. So DS2 went through all that trauma for nothing.

This appt is coming up again in 2 weeks. We've already put it off 3 times . What do I do? I honestly don't want to hold him down and then hurt him (which is how he'll see it). And ESPECIALLY I don't want to do it if there's going to be no point when we get him there - he's no more likely to open his eyes now than he was then.

Am really hoping some of you are short-sighted

Jimjams2 Tue 20-Feb-07 23:27:42

DS3 needs this test as he has a squint and it is going to be bad enough with him.

Seriously for something like this I would take dh as well, hold him down for the eye drops (don't think there;s any choice) but tell them to ditch the explpanations and the soft toy wagging- it will only stress him out and they need to get on with it fast.

The opening the eyes for the torch is a problem. When trying to X-ray the other day we pinned ds1 down in position then one person ran to press the button whilst we counted down from 10.,That worked for two pictures. Would ds2 understand open eyes - or "do this" and pull the bottom lid down. DS1 would be dodgy now, and definitely wouldn't have at ds2's age.

Is there someone experienced with SN there? I find that at school they manage to get all sorts of tests done as they have very experienced people.

Good luck!

macwoozy Tue 20-Feb-07 23:52:51

Oh sphil, I have the same thing going on, my ds has one of those tests in a few weeks time in which we have to put in those awful eye drops, and there's no chance ds will allow it. He had squint surgery a month ago, and even though I had placed an eye drop in my own eye to prove it didn't hurt, he still wasn't having any of it. (Must add that these eye drops were not in the least bit painful, I wouldn't have been so macho otherwise) So I can't see any other option but forcefully putting these other eye drops in. My dp has taken half a day of work just so he can help me pin him down, I'm so not looking forward to it but I know there's no other way, I'm just as likely to put it off too, but I know it's got to eventually be done.

sphil Tue 20-Feb-07 23:55:10

He doesn't understand 'open eyes' I don't think - we're working on 'open mouth' in DTT atm!

I suppose I could do 'open eyes' or 'do this', pull his lid down and then reinforce? Or practise with a torch - would that be dangerous?

My temptation is to wait until we move and then ask advice. The consultant there can't be worse than the one here...

Jimjams2 Tue 20-Feb-07 23:58:00

That might be a good alternative if it can be left.

I'd work on "do this" then pull lids down for a countdown from 10 (although I'm guessing you might need to teach that separately). I think practicing with a torch will be fine. There's someone on youtube who does some therapy shining a torch into his ASD son's eyes- good video of it- might be worth chekcing that out!

sphil Wed 21-Feb-07 00:04:58

Will check that out. He does like torches

Trouble is, I don't know if it can be left. He sometimes holds books right up to his nose, but I think that's just an autistic thing. Please please let it be an autistic thing and not short-sightedness - DS2 and glasses doesn't bear thinking about...

wads Wed 21-Feb-07 19:08:31

went through this with DS & was hell. This week he's had conjunctivitis & was sticky eyed for 5 days because he refused to put in the eye drops & I couldn't be bothered with the torture session . I put a drop in my hand to show him it was "like water" & 5 mins later found him in the corner squirting drops onto his hand which he then rubbed on his eyelid!

sphil Wed 21-Feb-07 22:40:47

Oh bless him!

tomkat Thu 22-Feb-07 13:01:02

I can't comment specifically for children with ASD, but my dd has been up and down to the eye hospital pretty much since birth as sight probs are part and parcel of her condition. She is myopic and astigmatic and needs to be checked regularly for lens dislocation/retinal detachment. She is now on her 4th pair of glasses.

The drops do sting like hell and the last time she went, I volunteered to try putting them in at home before the appointment. Cue major struggle involving me, dh, and dd! It was still better than being tutted at by impatient medics. I was told that these drops can last for hours, so if you manage to get a drop in each eye they won't need to re-do it when you get to hospital. I don't know if it's safe to maybe get your ds used to it by having a trial run with Optrex at home?

sphil Thu 22-Feb-07 21:22:31

Thanks for all the ideas - I think we're going to postpone until we move in early April and ask the special school and opportunity groups advice about ASD-friendly opthalmologists (or whatever they're called).

I did show DS2 a picture card from about 20 feet away today and he told me it was a 'crock' (clock) .

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