Swanson, Mark W. OD, MSPH, FAAO,; Lee, Sarah Dille OD, MSPH, FAAO; Frazier, Marcela G. OD, MPH, FAAO; Bade, Annette OD, MS, FAAO; Coulter, Rachel Anastacia OD, MS, FAAO

Vision Screening among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

publication date
July 22, 2020
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Vision problems occur at higher rates in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than in the general population. Some professional organizations recommend that children with neurodevelopmental disorders need comprehensive assessment by eye care professionals rather than vision screening.


Data from the 2011 to 2012 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) were accessed. Logistic regression was used to evaluate differences between vision screening rates in eye care professionals' offices and other screening locations among children with and without ASD.



Overall, 82.21% (95% confidence interval [CI], 78.35 to 86.06%) of children with ASD were reported to have had a vision screening as defined by the NSCH criteria. Among children younger than 5 years with ASD, 8.87% (95% CI, 1.27 to 16.5%) had a vision screening at a pediatrician's office, 41.1% (95% CI, 20.54 to 61.70%)

were screened at school, and 37.62% (95% CI, 9.80 to 55.45%) were examined by an eye care professionals. Among children with ASD older than 5 years, 24.84% (95% CI, 18.42 to 31.26%) were screened at school, 22.24% (95% CI, 17.26 to 27.21%) were screened at the pediatricians' office, and 50.15% (95% CI, 44.22 to 56.08%) were examined by eye care professionals. Based on estimates from NSCH, no children in the U.S. population younger than 5 years with ASD screened in a pediatrician's office were also seen by an eye care provider.


If the public health goal is to have all children with ASD assessed in an eye care professional's office, data from the NSCH indicate that we as a nation are falling far short of that target.


  • Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

    Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

    Amanda T.

  • Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

    Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

    Alexa H.

  • Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

    He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

    It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

    Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

    Charlotte M.

  • Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

    Thank you!

    Olivia C.

  • Seems much less frustrated with life

    Reads non-stop and fast

    Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

    Seems much more confident

    Thank You!!!

    Kelly O.



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