Ocular disorders in children with learning disabilities in

Gogate, Parikshit; Soneji, Freya Rao; Kharat, Jitesh; Dulera, Hemant; Deshpande, Madan; Gilbert, Clare
May 2011
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology;May2011, Vol. 59 Issue 3, p223
Academic Journal
Aim: The aim was to study and treat ocular disorders in children with learning disabilities (cLDs) and explore associations with their perinatal history. Materials and Methods: cLDs attending 11 special schools were examined by a team consisting of an ophthalmologist, optometrist, and a social worker in 2007 and followed up in 2008. The students' intelligence quotient (IQ) and their medical histories were noted. Distant visual acuities were measured using Kay pictures or Snellen's tumbling E chart and complete ocular examination was performed. Students were assessed at the pediatric ophthalmology unit and low vision center, if needed. Statistical analysis was done with SPSS and the Chi-square test for ordinal data. Results: A total of 664 students were examined, 526 of whom were <16 years of age; 323 (61.4%) were male. A total of 326 (60%) had moderate-to-severe learning disabilities (IQs <50), and the mean IQ was 45.4. Two hundred and thirty-eight (45.3%) had ocular disorder; 143 (27.3%) had an uncorrected refractive error, followed by strabismus in 83 (15.8%), nystagmus in 36 (6.8%), optic atrophy in 34 (6.5%), and congenital anomalies in 13 (2.5%), 103 children had more than one abnormality. Only 12 of the 143 students with refractive errors were using spectacles. A total of 132 (48.7%) children with a history of perinatal insult had ocular problems. Ocular disorders were also common in those with a history of epilepsy, Down's syndrome, and cerebral palsy. Conclusion: Nearly half the cLDs in this study had ocular disorders and one-fourth had their vision improved.


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