Refractive Errors in Children with Intellectual Developmental Disorders Attending Special School in Puducherry

Arthur Dinu Kumar, Ganapathy Kalaiselvi, Selvaraj Vennila
2020 Journal of Evolution of Medical and Dental Sciences  
BACKGROUND Vision plays a major role in acquiring various skills as the child grows, like understanding facial expression and communication. In children with intellectual disabilities, vision problems would further impair their social and learning activities. We wanted to assess the refractive errors in children with intellectual developmental disorders attending a special school. METHODS This was a cross sectional study which included the children aged between 4 and 15 years with intellectual
more » ... evelopmental disorders (earlier referred as mental retardation) who were attending a special school. After taking permission from the school director and consent from parents or guardian who accompanied the child, detailed ocular examination was done. Visual acuity assessment and cycloplegic retinoscopy of all children was also done and spectacles were prescribed. Children requiring further evaluation were referred to base hospital. RESULTS A total of 50 children with mental retardation were enrolled. There were 28 (56%) male and 22 (44%) female children in the study. 40 (80%) children had ocular problems, 28 (56%) children were unable to cooperate for visual assessment. Refractive error was the commonest ocular disorder noted in 22 (55%) children followed by strabismus in 7 (17.5%) children and nystagmus in 5 (12.5%) children. Among the refractive errors, myopia was noted in 64.1% of children, followed by astigmatism and hypermetropia in 23.1% and 12.8% children respectively. CONCLUSIONS The ocular abnormalities noted among these special children increases with the severity of the disability along with worsening of their communication and cooperation. Early identification and correction of the treatable visual problems would benefit these children in their training, communication and thus helps in their rehabilitation.
doi:10.14260/jemds/2020/148 fatcat:4om24kzk6jhfjof5mcffngs2zm