SEND vision impairment

Bromley council, the NHS and the education advisory support service for vision impaired children and young people (aged 0 -19 yrs) work in partnership to provide help and support to children and young people who have vision impairments.

Concerns about your child’s vision

If you have a concern about the vision of your baby, child or young person, a referral will need to be made to an ophthalmologist (eye specialist). This can be done by your GP, an optometrist at a high street optician or a paediatrician.

If your child is under 2 years and 6 months, please contact your health visitor. For children under 5 years, please contact your GP or, if your child attends an educational setting, nursery or pre-school contact the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO).

Referral and assessment

Your child may be referred to an ophthalmologist. In Bromley this is likely to be at the West Kent eye centre in the Princess Royal University Hospital. 

The consultant ophthalmologist specialising in children and young people’s eye problems works with a team of other ophthalmologists, orthoptists and optometrists at the West Kent eye centre.

Children and young people with suspected vision problems are assessed by the team and have an eye examination which includes an assessment of vision and measurements taken where they assess a need for glasses.

Where further investigation or treatment may be required a referral may be made by the ophthalmologist to one of the London hospitals.

Next steps

If your baby, child or young person is confirmed to have a vision impairment the ophthalmologist will talk to you about a possible referral to the Vision Team, part of Bromley’s SEN Advisory team. You can also contact them directly.

The vision team is a team of specialist teachers who provide teaching and support for children and young people with vision impairment from birth to 19 years old.

Support and advice is given to children and young people and their families from the time vision impairment is diagnosed or there is a concern about a child or young person’s vision.

The vision team work closely with schools, settings and families to ensure that children and young people with vision impairment are included socially, emotionally and educationally, enabling them to succeed in line with their sighted peers. 

Vision team appointments

The vision team will usually contact you within 48 hours of receiving the referral from the ophthalmologist. An appointment will be made to meet with you and your child and to make an assessment of how they are using their vision in the home or in an educational setting.

If a child or young person has been referred to a London hospital, in some cases their care returns to the ophthalmologist at the Princess Royal University Hospital. They will liaise with the vision team to update visual information.

If the child or young person remains under the care of a London hospital, the vision team will liaise with the hospital either through the family support service of the eye department or the ophthalmologist.

How we use your details

The parents of children from 0-5 years old are asked to sign a form for the child to be referred to pre-school services, which maintains records of all children under the age of 5 with special educational needs (SEN) and disability.

For young people from 5-19 years old, the parents (or the young person themselves if they are over 18) are asked to sign a form agreeing to information sharing between other professionals who are involved in their child or young person’s care. The vision team log their involvement and the young person’s SEN on the Bromley reporting system.

Equipment

Some children and young people benefit from an assessment within the paediatric low vision clinic, where magnifiers and other equipment may be offered to provide practical help.

The vision team will work with your child, you and staff at their educational setting to assess need and make recommendations for equipment where appropriate.

Transition to adult services

Young people who leave full time education or move to local further education colleges will continue to have access to the vision team to ensure a smooth transition to adult services.

The vision team support applications for the disabled students allowance and provide written reports for families and young people considering university or residential settings.

A transition review meeting introduces the young person and their parents or carers to our adult service provider the Kent Association for the Blind

Find an optician

The SeeAbility database provides details of optometrists and dispensing opticians who have shared information on their services for people with learning disabilities. You can search on town or postcode within a range from 5 to 50 miles. 

Kent Association for the Blind

Kent Association for the Blind provides information, advice and guidance for children and families and registration as sight impaired or severely sight impaired

Need more help?

The Information, Advice and Support Service provides confidential and impartial advice and information to support parents or carers and children and young people who have, or may have, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) aged 0 – 25.

Vision team

Email:

Tel: 01689 889856

Griffins, Lovibonds Avenue, Orpington, BR6 8ER

Information, advice and support service

Email:

Tel: 020 8461 7630

Visit: https://bromleyiass.org.uk/

6th Floor, Central Library, High Street, Bromley, BR1 1EX