According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 6.8% of children younger than 18 years in the United States have a diagnosed eye and vision condition and 3% of children younger than 18 years are blind and visually impaired. Visual disability is one of the most prevalent disabilities disabilities among children.
According to IDEA’s definition, visual impairment is defined s including blindness means an impairment in vision that even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The World Health Organization (WHO), classifies visual impairment as occurring when an eye condition affects the visual system and one or more of its vision includes both partial sight and blindness
The World Health Organization uses the following classification based on visual acuity in the better eye:
20/30 to 20/60- mild vision impairment
20/70 to 20/160- moderate visual impairment
20/200 to 20/400- severe visual impairment
20/500 to 20/1,000- profound visual impairment
More than 20/1,000- considered near-total visual impairment
No light perception- considered total visual impairment or total blindness
Types of Visual Impairment
Strabismus– a condition when the eyes do not align with each other (crossed eyes)
Congenital cataracts– a clouding of the eyes natural lens present a birth.
Retinopathy of prematurity– a blinding disorder that affects prenatal infants that are born before 31 week of gestation.
Coloboma- a condition where normal tissue in or around the eye is missing at birth.
Cortical visual impairment– a visual impairment that occurs due to brain injury.
Signs of Visual Impairments
Appears “clumsy” in new situation
Shows signs of fatigue or inattentiveness
Does not pay attention when information is on the chalkboard or reading material
Is unable to see distant things clearly
Eyes may appear crossed
Complains of dizziness.
The causes of childhood blindness or visual impairment is often caused by Vitamin A deficiency which is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children. Other causes include genetics, diabetes, injury and infections such as congenital rubella syndrome and chickenpox before birth.
Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI)
Cortical Visual Impairment in children is attributed to brain dysfunction rather than issues with the eyes. Causes included hypoxia, traumatic brain injury, neonatal hypoglycemia, infections and cardiac arrest.
This blog article is an introduction to cerebral palsy. In the past, very few educational programs offered courses on specific information pertaining to disabilities. I am hopeful this is beginning to change. Ions when I started working in the field, I felt that there was simply not enough information so I started to do my own research by reading books, journal articles and talking to both professionals and parents.
Here, I have included a short PowerPoint presentation on a brief introduction of Cerebral Palsy. The objectives include, the definition, prevalence and causes, types and the causes. This format can be used in various ways including a teaching course since most of us are currently learning online, or as a self-study course. Below, you will find a quiz along with the quiz answers.
Today is World Autism Awareness Day. It is a recognized day sponsored through the United Nations to bring awareness about people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
The day serves to bring individual autism organizations together around the world to aid in research diagnoses, treatment and acceptance. More than ever in these challenging times we face, tolerance, compassion and acceptance is needed to provide people with autism with necessary support.
The following fact sheet provides information on facts, prevalence, timeline, co-occurring disorders and the definition.
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness month! Although I blogged the definition of developmental disabilities here, I wanted to give you more information besides the Federal regulation. Quite often, people are confused between the definition of an intellectual disability and a developmental disability.
A developmental disability is described as an assortment of chronic conditions that are due to mental or physical impairments or both. For example, you may have a child or an adult with an intellectual disability or perhaps a person diagnosed with cerebral palsy and an intellectual disability. It is also considered a severe and chronic disability that can occur up to the age of 22, hence the word developmental. A developmental disability can occur before birth such as genetic disorders (i.e. cri du chat, fragile x syndrome,) or chromosomes ( i.e. Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome); during birth (lack of oxygen) or after birth up to the age of 22 (i.e. head injuries, child abuse or accidents).
The disability is likely to occur indefinitely meaning the person will require some type of ongoing service throughout their lives. Finally, the person must show limitations in 3 or more of the following areas of major life activities:
Self-care– brushing teeth, hand-washing and combing hair independently
Receptive and expressive language-ability to understand someone talking and to also be understood
Learning– ability to read and write with understanding
Mobilityability to move around without any assistance
Self-direction– time management, organization
Capacity for independent living– requiring no supervision
Economic self-sufficiency – having a job and purchasing what one needs
Here are some examples of a developmental disability:
Does everyone with a disability also have a developmental disability?
The answer is no. there are people with disabilities such as epilepsy and cerebral palsy simply have a disability based on the criteria listed above. However, many people with developmental disabilities quite often have a combination of disabilities. For example a child with autism may also have seizures and an intellectual disability or an adult may have cerebral palsy, intellectual disability and epilepsy. In addition there are many people in the spectrum of autism who also have ADHD and so forth.
So what’s the difference between an intellectual disability and a developmental disability?
A person with an intellectual disability falls under the category of a developmental disability meaning you can have an intellectual disability and a developmental disability. check here for the definition of an intellectual disability, you will see they are quite similar. Below is an infographic created by Centers on Disease Control:
October is Dyspraxia Month. Developmental Dyspraxia also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) , is a neurological disorder that affects fine and gross motor skills and organization. A child may have difficulty in sing scissors, riding a bike or learning and recalling information.
Medical Sites- The following sites include information on causes, treatment, test and diagnoses of Dyspraxia: