Children with cerebral palsy can be at risk for vision problems both with how the eyes are working (i.e focusing), referred to as ocular impairments, and with how the brain processes and interprets incoming visual information. This is referred to as cortical or cerebral visual impairment (CVI).

Professionals Who Evaluate and Support Cerebral Palsy Vision

  • Neuro-Ophthalmologist — An MD who treats eye and visual function issues in the brain. They do not treat the eyes.
  • Ophthalmologists — An MD who can treat with surgery, lenses, medicine or corrective treatments, such as patching the eye for strabismus.
  • Optometrist — Licensed for eye exams and vision tests, as well as prescribing and handing out corrective lenses. They are also able to diagnose eye problems.
  • Optician — Trained to create, verify and fit eyeglass lenses, frames, contact lenses, and other options to correct eyesight. They are not able to diagnose or treat eye diseases.
  • Low Vision Specialist — An optometrist who specializes in the needs of those who have vision problems and those who need special lenses and other magnifying options.

Cerebral Palsy Vision

Talk to your child’s medical team about who to consult with for vision services and support including comprehensive evaluations and treatment.

Vision Specialists Who Help with Classroom Support

These specialists can help with both vision evaluations and educational assessments:

  • Teacher of the Visually Impaired — A teacher who typically has a Master’s degree in educational services. They work with ocular and cortical forms of visual impairment.
  • Orientation and Mobility Specialist — A person certified in teaching skills that helps those visually impaired and blind. Teaching them how to move in their space safely and by themselves in their world.

They can also look at how the child is using their vision. They can then help figure out how to help the child be most successful in the classroom.

Resources for CVI

For more information, download our free cerebral palsy tool kit.