Vision screening services in special needs schools in Western Saudi Arabia
Objectives: To evaluate the current status of vision screening services in special educational needs (SEN) schools in the western region of Saudi Arabia.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study that involved distribution of a questionnaire to all 30 SENs schools in the western region of Saudi Arabia between April and May 2018.
Results: Twenty-three schools responded to the questionnaire (77% response rate). The number of pupils represented in the surveyed schools was 1831. On average, 10.8% of pupils were reported to wear eyeglasses. Approximately 60.9% of schools reported that vision screening was not offered at their schools. The percentage of students who used optical, non-optical, or high-technology low-vision aids was less than 2.7%. Most participants (78.3%) reported that no one in their schools had received some form of training to work with and support students with visual impairments.
Conclusion: In the western province of Saudi Arabia, the vision care status of individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) in SEN schools is poor. To better serve this underprivileged group, the necessity of implementing vision screening programs on a larger scale should be considered.
Saudi Med J 2019; Vol. 40 (4): 385-390
How to cite this article:
Algethami MR, Raffa LH, Alhibshi RH, Baabdullah MY, Alobudi AH. Vision screening services in special needs schools in Western Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med J. 2019 Apr;40(4):385-390. doi: 10.15537/smj.2019.4.24076.
Fazzi E, Signorini SG, LA Piana R, Bertone C, Misefari W, Galli J, et al. Neuro-ophthalmological disorders in cerebral palsy: ophthalmological, oculomotor, and visual aspects. Dev Med Child Neurol 2012; 54: 730-736.
Marasini S, Optom B, Paudel N, Optom B, Adhikari P, Optom B, et al. Ocular manifestations in children with cerebral palsy. Optometry & Vision Development 2011; 42: 178-182.
Das M, Spowart K, Crossley S, Dutton GN. Evidence that children with special needs all require visual assessment. Arch Dis Child 2010; 95: 888-892.
Sandfeld Nielsen L, Skov L, Jensen H. Visual dysfunctions and ocular disorders in children with developmental delay. II. Aspects of refractive errors, strabismus and contrast sensitivity. Acta Ophthalmol Scand 2007; 85: 419-426.
Sapkota YD, Adhikari BN, Pokharel GP, Poudyal BK, Ellwein LB. The prevalence of visual impairment in school children of upper-middle socioeconomic status in Kathmandu. Ophthalmic Epidemiol 2008; 15: 17-23.
Nielsen LS, Skov L, Jensen H. Visual dysfunctions and ocular disorders in children with developmental delay. I. prevalence, diagnoses and aetiology of visual impairment. Acta Ophthalmol Scand 2007; 85: 149-156.
Gogate P, Soneji FR, Kharat J, Dulera H, Deshpande M, Gilbert C. Ocular disorders in children with learning disabilities in special education schools of Pune, India. Indian J Ophthalmol 2011; 59: 223-228.
Ostadimoghaddam H, Mirhajian H, Yekta A, Sobhani Rad D, Heravian J, Malekifar A, et al. Eye problems in children with hearing impairment. J Curr Ophthalmol 2015; 27: 56-59.
Salt A, Sargent J. Common visual problems in children with disability. Arch Dis Child 2014; 99: 1163-1168.
Puri S, Bhattarai D, Adhikari P, Shrestha JB, Paudel N. Burden of ocular and visual disorders among students in special schools in Nepal. Arch Dis Child 2015; 100: 834-837.
Woodhouse JM, Davies N, McAvinchey A, Ryan B. Ocular and visual status among children in special schools in Wales: the burden of unrecognised visual impairment. Arch Dis Child 2014; 99: 500-504.
Khandekar R, Kishore H, Mansu RM, Awan H. The status of childhood blindness and functional low vision in the Eastern Mediterranean region in 2012. Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol 2014; 21: 336-343.
Alrahili NHR, Jadidy ES, Alahmadi BSH, Abdula’al MF, Jadidy AS, Alhusaini AA, et al. Prevalence of uncorrected refractive errors among children aged 3-10 years in western Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med J 2017; 38: 804-810.
Aldebasi YH. Prevalence of correctable visual impairment in primary school children in Qassim Province, Saudi Arabia. J Optom 2014; 7: 168-176.
Vora U, Khandekar R, Natrajan S, Al-Hadrami K. Refractive error and visual functions in children with special needs compared with the first grade school students in Oman. Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol 2010; 17: 297-302.
Kaur G, Thomas S, Jindal M, Bhatti SM. Visual Function and Ocular Status in Children with Disabilities in Special Schools of Northern India. J Clin Diagn Res 2016; 10: NC01-NC04.
Bardisi WM, Bin Sadiq BM. Vision screening of preschool children in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med J 2002; 23: 445-449.
- There are currently no refbacks.
Saudi Medical Journal is copyright under the Berne Convention and the International Copyright Convention. Saudi Medical Journal is an Open Access journal and articles published are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (CC BY-NC). Readers may copy, distribute, and display the work for non-commercial purposes with the proper citation of the original work. Electronic ISSN 1658-3175. Print ISSN 0379-5284.