Low Vision Program

Pediatric Low Vision Program

The Pediatric Low Vision Program provides expert, specialized care to young people with low vision and blindness in an interdisciplinary practice.

Conditions We Treat

If your child has substantial limitations in their vision – or if you suspect them – your child may need the coordinated, interdisciplinary care that only our clinic offers. Our unique approach uncovers ways a child, their family, and their school can capitalize on each child’s usable vision. We get this 360-degree view of your child’s vision by bringing the eye doctor together with occupational therapists (OT), orientation & mobility (O&M) specialists, and specialized teachers of students with visual impairment (TVI).

Why Choose Us

  • Our Interdisciplinary Team of Pediatric Experts: At each clinic, you will meet our in-house TVI, an O&M professional, an occupational therapist, and of course our eye doctor & technician. All of them work together to make your child feel safe and valued, and work with them to find out what makes their vision tick, and how to help them access the visual environment.
  • Integration with Your Child’s School: If your child is educated outside the home and has a teacher (like a TVI, TSVI, etc.) or other professional who works with them on their vision, we can include them in the assessment in-person or via Telehealth at no charge. We find this “closed-circuit” approach drives positive change in our kids’ schools and drives successful implementation of our team’s recommendation.
  • Relationships with Community Partners: We live by the old saying, “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together. In some circumstances, your child may need additional things that our team cannot directly supply, which is why we collaborate with area blindness nonprofits, adaptive sports providers, braille producers, and others who can offer quality, vetted products and services that help raise your child’s quality of life.
  • Treating the Whole Child: Your child is not just a patient to us. We recognize that all young people in our care have rights, responsibilities, passions, and dreams. We see it as our mission to treat them as such.
  • An Easy Visit: We pride ourselves on being both light-hearted and child-centered. Typical visits include active and passive observation of your child’s vision through a comprehensive vision assessment. We base our targeted 1-1½- hour visits on one-on-one conversations about how to work within the young person’s usable vision.
  • No-Cost Vision Aids: During your time with us, we may discover your child would have improved school or social activities through the use of a lap desk, monocular telescope, magnifying, or lighting devices. If that’s the case, we will provide them for you on the spot for you to take home.

What to Expect

Making an Appointment

Your child’s optometrist, ophthalmologist, or other healthcare or education provider can refer your child for a low vision evaluation. Once we process the referral, our office will contact you to schedule an appointment. The only requirements are that your child meets the clinical guidelines, and we can obtain records of a comprehensive eye exam within the previous year.

Contact us at 513-636-3513 or email* pediatriclowvision@cchmc.org to get started. One of our team members will guide you through the process.

*Please remember that information sent via email is not secure or confidential.

Preparing for Your Visit

There are just a few things to do prior to your child’s low vision evaluation:

  1. If we do not already have access to them, please tell us where to get records on your child’s recent vision exam or have your provider fax them to us at 513-636-7911 – just ask them to note the Pediatric Low Vision Program. If your child hasn’t had one recently, we can refer you to a quality eye doctor by contacting us, or you can see someone in your local community (just have them send the results to us) – this helps us place your child in the proper low vision clinic.
  2. Give some thought to your child’s vision - how they use it at home, in school, in the community – if you notice and changes or noticeable habits.
  3. Also think about other vision or education specialists you would like to have in the room (either in-person or virtually) – we can arrange invitations for you.
  4. If your child wears glasses or contacts, please bring them to the appointment.
  5. If you are coming with a young child and they have favorite toys, please bring those as well.

If you are traveling a long way to come for a low vision assessment, please consider contacting Concierge Services to help plan your visit: they can assist with all aspects of travel, lodging, and recreational activities in the local area.

On the Day of Your Visit

A set of interdisciplinary professionals gather from multiple departments and locations in the Cincinnati Children’s network come together for these clinics. For this reason, you may experience a substantial wait on our waiting list, and a challenge in rescheduling an appointment: we see dozens of young people per month with hundreds on our wait list.

  • Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your appointment time for parking, proper check-in, etc.
  • Have a second look at your appointment – we hold clinics in three separate locations, and we want to make sure you are headed to the right one.
  • Please let us know immediately if you are running late for your appointment or need to reschedule.
  • Our appointments typically run 60-90 minutes each, and our team may not be able to accommodate late arrivals.
  • Repeated last-minute cancellations and/or no-shows may result in reduced position on our wait list.

At Your Appointment

Young people and their families who come for a Low Vision assessment will meet a team of professionals:

  • An optometrist or an ophthalmologist who specializes in pediatric low vision, either optical or brain-based.
  • A technician who works with your child and helps the doctor measure and document aspects of your child’s vision.
  • An occupational therapist who helps patients, their caregivers, and TVIs learn about cutting-edge technology, tactics, and strategies to get the most out of each young person’s usable vision.
  • An orientation & mobility specialist who helps each young person with navigating the physical environment, using vision aids whenever appropriate.
  • Our in-house TVI (teacher of students with visual impairments) will concentrate on tactics and strategies for better school performance and collaborate with your child’s school based TVI, if they have one.

While each of these specialists bring a unique perspective to your child’s vision, we work together on your child’s care as soon as we schedule them, collaborate during the appointment, and again to create a comprehensive summary report after the appointment.

After Your Visit

About two weeks after we see you, we will deliver the team’s comprehensive vision report to you, your child’s eye doctor, primary care provider, and/or TVI – and whoever else you would like to receive it.

We will also follow through with any referrals, whether it be behavioral health, adaptive sports and recreation, academic, job-related, bioptic driving, and more.

Contact Us

If you’re new to the Pediatric Low Vision Program, please consider the following steps:

  • Please have your child’s eye doctor fax your child’s most comprehensive vision exam to the attention of the Pediatric Low Vision Program to 513-636-7911.
  • You may email* us at pediatriclowvision@cchmc.org at any time.
  • Call the department office at 513-636-3513.

*Please remember that information sent via email is not secure or confidential.