Warrington Orthoptic department leads a Special School Eye Care Service across Warrington, Halton and Widnes for children aged 4yrs - 19yrs within the SEN school.
Assessments take place in the school environment minimising disruption to education and reducing anxiety and stress levels for child and parents caused by frequent visits to hospital.
The team consist of an Orthoptist, Optometrist and dispensing optician if glasses are required.
Our SEN team cover numerous schools in Warrington, Widnes and Runcorn.
Studies have shown that there is higher incidence of vision related problems in children with special needs. These may go undetected. An Orthoptist is specially trained to identify any vision / eye problems.
Orthoptic Assessment: This comprises of a vision examination of the child’s eyes using pictures, letters, and observations. They will show the child objects and vision cards and specially designed tests in order to establish how the child uses their eyes and their vision. An Orthoptist can measure a squint and look at how the eyes move. They specially trained to detect where the vision is best used. The outcome of their assessment will determine whether further tests need to be carried out. Parents do not need to attend this appointment but this can be arranged if preferred.
Optometrist Assessment: This examination requires the child to have eye drops instilled. This dilates their pupils, and temporarily stops them from focussing. The Optometrist will then make their assessment using a special light and lenses. This will establish whether the child needs glasses. They can also check the health of the eyes. Parents will be invited to attend if they wish.
Consultant Ophthalmologist Assessment: This examination may require the child to have eye drop. The Ophthalmologist will check the health of the child’s eyes using a special light. He will also offer advice on any further treatment that the child may require. Parents will be invited to attend if they wish.
Signed consent forms and questionnaires are required from all parents / carers of children who wish to access the Eye Care Service. These are sent out through school post in child’s school bag and must be completed in order for the assessment to take place.
Parent / Carers will be kept informed by a letter or telephone call of outcome of the child’s assessment.
School Eye care Service is offered in the following Special Schools
Foxwood Special School
Green Lane Special School
Cavendish High Academy
Brookfields Special School
Ashley Special School
Chesnut Lodge Special School
Frances Midgley - Advanced Orthoptist Lead for SEN Services
Rob Gargon - Specialist Orthoptist
Tracey Parry – Specialist Orthoptist
Frankie Reed – Specialist Orthoptist
Clara Cassidy- Specialist Orthoptist
Jenny Shave- Specialist Orthoptist
- Ensure timely access to relevant Optometry and Ophthalmological service within the school setting.
- Identify and develop strategies for the adaption of the child’s visual condition if needed.
- Work with other therapists and teachers to provide child centred approach to their care, this may require a referral to and joint assessment with the Qualified Teachers of Children with Visual Impairment (QTVI)
- Offer teaching to health and educational professionals involved in SEN care about the relevance of vision defects to the child’s education
- Provide family support and understanding of the condition and liaise with families as the child develops.
- The service is led by the orthoptist team and each school has an assigned orthoptist, optometrist and dispensing optician. This means a full eye assessment is done in school, from vision test to glasses fitting
- The Orthoptist identifies the vision needs and deficits in children who are unable to perform a standardised vision assessment.
Studies have shown that there is higher incidence of vision related problems in children with special needs. These may go undetected. An Orthoptist is specially trained to identify the vision needs and deficits in children who are unable to perform a standardised vision assessment.