Resources for Parents

This page has links to resources that I’ve found to be helpful. Please leave a comment or send me a note if you know of other sources that would be good additions.  You may also want to check our archives for posts about specific topics.

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Young Children and Glasses

  • essential reading: A Child’s Eyes: Children and Glasses – a fantastic site written by a Master-certified optician who specializes in fitting and dispensing children’s glasses.  This page has links to tips on getting children to wear glasses, explanations of the types of frames and types of lenses, and information on how to know if your child’s glasses fit correctly.
  • Helping Kids Adjust to Wearing Glassesan article on helping your child feel better about wearing glasses.  Targeted more at parents of older kids, there are still some helpful tips.
  • Will My Child Actually Wear These Glasses- a book by pediatric eyecare and eyewear authority, Katheryn Schramm.  The book explains optical terms and techniques in a straight-forward, easily understood manner. She offers advice on frame and lens selection and details the technique of persuasion used to teach any aged child, regardless of mental or physical limitation, to successfully wear glasses.buy it from KatherynSchramm.com | buy it from Amazon.com

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Children’s Vision

  • Children’s Vision: What Parents Need to Know – a collection of information from All About Vision that covers a whole range of topics on children’s vision. All About Vision is owned by Access Media Group and the pages are written by journalists with experience in eye care. Health related articles are approved by one or more eye doctors on their Advisory Board.
  • Pediatric Ophthalmology Video – a great video about pediatric ophthalmology.  One of the best explanations of how vision and refraction can be measured in very young patients.  There is a companion text chapter on pediatric ophthalmology.
  • Your Baby’s Eyes – an overview of vision in infants, how vision is tested and assessed, and common problems. From the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary.

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Children’s Visual Disorders

General information
  • Common Eye Problems in Children – from the Prevent Blindness America website. Brief explanations of some of the more common vision problems for children.
  • Pediatric Eye Conditions – a nice list of children’s eye conditions, with links to information for each condition.  Most links go to children’s hospitals, with acclaimed eye care facilities.  Originally published by Contemporary Pediatrics, but now available from High Definition Vision.
  • Foundation Fighting Blindness – a foundation devoted to helping those with retinal degenerative diseases (Retinitis Pigmentosis, Macular Degeneration, and others).  Includes resources, local chapters, forums and others.
  • Children’s Vision Information Network – developed and maintained by the Wichita Vision Development Center and Child and Family Optometry of Wichita, Kansas. This site focuses on binocular vision disorders and advocates for vision therapy treatment. They have a good bibliography of studies supporting vision therapy.
  • All Children Have Different Eyes (book) – a story book about 2 children with visual impairments.  Includes a glossary of terms for parents and children.
The rest of the links are alphabetized by visual disorder
-A-
Albinism
  • Affects of Albinism on vision – from NOAH (National Organization of Albinism and Hypopigmentation), a brief description of how albinism affects vision and links to more information.
  • Albinism : Pediatric Visual Diagnosis Fact Sheet (pdf) – a very thorough and easy to understand factsheet from Blind Babies Foundation.
  • About Albinism – from the Vision for Tomorrow Foundation.  Contains links to an FAQ and a guide for those just diagnosed.  In particular, check out their page on Albinism’s impact on vision.

Aniridia

Amblyopia

  • Amblyopia – a good overview of the causes and treatments for amblyopia.  From the National Library of Medicine.
  • Amblyopia - information on Amblyopia from the National Eye Institute. It includes links to results of research into treatment for amblyopia.
  • Amblyopia – from Kidshealth.org
-C-
Cataracts
  • Pediatric Cataracts – information on pediatric cataracts from the Pediatric Cataracts & Glaucoma Family Association.  You may also want to check their Knowledgebase for more articles on cataracts.
  • Congenital Cataracts – a good overview of congenital and pediatric cataracts from All About Vision.

Cortical Visual Impairment

  • Cortical Foundation – dedicated to providing services to educate, advocate, support, and improve awareness of cortical malformations, including Cortical Visual Impairment.
  • Cortical Visual Impairment – Pediatric Visual Diagnosis Fact Sheet (pdf) – a very thorough and easy to understand factsheet from Blind Babies Foundation.
  • Little Bear Sees – The Little Bear Sees foundation was started by a family whose son was diagnosed with CVI.  Their goal is to pass along information to other families who are dealing with CVI.
-G-
Glaucoma
-N-
Nystagmus
-O-
Optic Nerve Atrophy
  • Optic Nerve Atrophy  : Pediatric Visual Diagnosis Fact Sheet (pdf) – a very thorough and easy to understand factsheet from Blind Babies Foundation.

Optic Nerve Hypoplasia

  • Optic Nerve Hypoplasia : Pediatric Visual Diagnosis Fact Sheet (pdf) – a very thorough and easy to understand factsheet from Blind Babies Foundation.
-R-
Retinopathy of Prematurity
  • Facts About Retinopathy of Prematurity – a great starting guide from the National Eye Institute, which includes information on the stages and treatment of ROP. Also of note are the sections on how to find more information, particularly on medical studies and medical literature.
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity :  Pediatric Visual Diagnosis Fact Sheet (pdf) – a very thorough and easy to understand factsheet from Blind Babies Foundation.

Retinal Diseases (includes Retinitis Pigmentosa, Sticklers Syndrome, Lebers Congenital Amaurosis, and others)

  • Retinal Diseases :  Pediatric Visual Diagnosis Fact Sheet (pdf) – includes information on Retinitis Pigmentosa, Sticklers Syndrome, Lebers Congenital Amaurosis, and many other diseases – a very thorough and easy to understand factsheet from Blind Babies Foundation.
-S-
Strabismus
  • About Strabismus – an easy-to-read site from the Optometrists network about strabismus. Includes links to learn about different types of strabismus and treatment options.

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Glossaries and other reference resources

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Parenting kids with health issues

  • Parenting children with health issues : essential tools, tips, and tactics for raising kids with chronic illness, medical conditions & special healthcare needs - this book comes highly recommended from one of our readers. One of the stories in the book is about a young child who doesn’t want to wear glasses
  • Early Intervention – Early intervention services are specialized health, educational, and therapeutic services designed to meet the needs of infants and toddlers, from birth through age two, who have a developmental delayor disability, and their families. Children with vision impairment (low-vision, partial blindness or blindness due to an eye disorder) can benefit from early intervention.  It is worth noting that if your child’s vision is fully corrected by glasses, then he or she does not have a vision impairment.
  • Dictionary for Parents of Children with Disabilities – originally developed by the South Dakota Special Education Programs.  The dictionary contains terminology used in the fields of testing/evaluation, early intervention, special education, medical services, therapeutic services, family supports, vocational training, independent living and guardianship.

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Children with Visual Impairment

Visual impairment is a specific term whichmeans an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness. (Definition from National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities)

  • Wonderbaby – Wonderbaby is an amazing resource for parents of children with visual impairments and multiple disabilities.  The site includes articles, news, a list of reader-submitted resources, and an wonderful Q&A page where readers can submit questions or answers.  Highly recommended.  Wonderbaby is funded by the Perkins School for the Blind.
  • Through Scarlett’s Eyes – A fantastic community out of the UK supporting parents of children with vision impairment.  The site provides information as well as a platform for creating blogs and sharing your own story.
  • Fred’s Head from APH – A blog from the American Printing House for the Blind.  This blog contains links to resources, tips, and resources of interest for and by blind or visually impaired people.
  • FamilyConnect – is provided by the American Foundation for the Blind and the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments to provide information for families with visually impaired children.  You can browse information by eye disorder or age ranges.
  • 4Sight – an organization that connects parents of children with vision impairments with services and resources.
  • LowVision – a collection of resources and information for people with low vision.  This site is not targeted at children, but it does have a lot of helpful information.

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Children’s Glasses Vendors

  • Children’s Eyeworks – glasses for children available online.
  • Erin’s World Frames - frames specifically designed for children with Down syndrome.
  • Kids Bright Eyes – children’s glasses frames and patches available online.
  • Miraflex – recommended by another reader as flexible, not expensive, and lots of cute colors.
  • Peeps Eyewear – frames for girls ages 3 – 7.  A line for boys is coming soon.  Each order includes the book Princesses Wear Glasses (reviewed here).
  • Solo Bambini - recommended by a reader, these are inexpensive, cute, and indestructible. They may also have the best sizing names: itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, toddler, scout, eagle scout, and scout master.
  • Taffy Eyewear – Children’s eyeglasses.  They allow you to order up to 5 frames to try on at home before purchasing.  Also generous warranty and return policy.
  • Tomato Glasses – Glasses for children aged 1 – 12.  They have adjustable ear pieces.
  • Tots specs – A UK-based company offering frames from a variety of vendors for babies and children in the UK.

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Financial Aid

  • InfantSEE – a public health program from the American Optometric Association. Participating optometrists provide free vision assessments for children in their first year of life. The site includes information for parents on what to expect at the vision assessments, and a way to search for nearby participating optometrists.
  • Financial Aid for Eye Care - a list of links to programs and resources that can help with the costs of eye exams, surgery, and glasses.

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Communities, Forums, and Listservs

  • Little Four Eyes facebook group – a group on facebook for this blog!  A space for us to share photos, stories, questions, etc more informally.  Now, over 5,000 members.

Communities for specific vision problems

General communitites

  • BabyCenter Community group: Vision Problems – a group for parents with children with vision problems.
  • Kids in Specs UK Support Group for Kids in Glasses – a facebook group  to ask questions and get support from others about glasses, vision, patching, contacts and all things glasses, especially for families in the UK.
  • Little Peepers Ohio – a support group for children with vision issues, started by the parents of a boy with cataracts and Lowe syndrome. While the group is located in Ohio, they are open to members from anywhere.
  • Prevent Blindness America Children and Eye Problems forum – mostly focused on strabismus and amblyopia issues for children.
  • Sovoto - a forum for people who want to “expand awareness and understanding for the impact of developmental vision problems upon lives.”  Patients, parents, and doctors are welcome.
  • FamilyConnect Community – provided by the American Foundation for the Blind and the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments.  The community section includes blogs and message boards.

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33 thoughts on “Resources for Parents”

  1. Prevent Blindness America’s website / forums for children and their eye problems have been useful for me as a resource.

    Also, another brand of eyeglasses that I recommend is Miraflex. That’s the brand that my daughter wears, and it’s been great – flexible, not expensive, and lots of cute colors.

    We also found some great elastic ties at the fabric store to use to tie her glasses to her head. The elastic band that came with her glasses has a “buckle” on it for adjustment and probably is not comfortable when she’s sitting in her carseat or leaning her head back anywhere.

  2. I forgot to mention that we got Kaelen’s glasses yesterday so I was rapidly reading up your website for hints and tips on how to keep them on, how to appease them, how to reward them etc etc and I truly thought that we would be returning to the store for repairs by today…..
    I am pleased to report that from the moment they have been placed on his beautiful little face, he has not flinched or tried to remove them. I am in total shock as this is so against his nature. Just shows me how little he must have seen before and that they are clearly making a difference for him. I also had his twin brothers on side to tell him how great he looks every time we put them on… It is nice to see the little smile come to his face when he hears them…

  3. Maybe this is already on here and I haven’t seen it but I was thinking that it would be neat to have a list of Eye doctors that we take our kids to and would recommend for other people that might be looking in the areas that we live. I know I have gone through two eye doctors and our first one was not that great for us. We love our new doctor and would recommend him to anyone. Just a thought.

  4. we took are 1 yearold in to see the eye doc and he said her eyes were at +3.00 on both eyes so he said that she will need to get glasses but an hour later he called and said that she dose not need to get them yet it will not make a diffrence in her but i dont want to get lost when im trying to teach her stuff like words to go with objects not see the right thing me and her dad both have to were glasses and most of are family my other girl is 5 and her eyes are -.75 and -.50

  5. My son is experiencing myopia because of frequent watching near the television. We consulted an eye clinic last month to diagnose his eye problem, because we wanted further examinations. We were advised to see a few optometrists. Indianapolis-based eye doctors are recommended by my brother, just near in Franklin where we live. Just a 30-minute drive.

  6. Took my four year old daughter to the eye doctor last week and he diagnosed her with farsightedness. He sent her a prescription of +4 in both eyes. The doctor told me that he was putting her in 60% of the prescription so her real prescription was going to be +6. I took her to a second opinion and that doctor said that her true prescription is going to be +10.5 and that he would start her at an +8. I don’t understand how the diagnosis can be sooooo different. This doctor said that with that prescription we should start considering contact lenses in the near near future. I made an appointment with another doctor for a third opinion because I just don’t see how both of those prescriptions are so different. Can anyone tell me how thick glasses with a prescription of +10.5 are? I’m just concerened how the other kids are going to treat her now.

  7. My son just got his glasses yesterday and i cant even count the times he has thrown them in the floor! They are +7 (left) +7 (right) do you think this may be to strong for him or any tips on how i can get him to wear them he is 18 months old.

    1. That is a strong prescription. I know some doctors prefer to prescribe a weaker prescription for farsightedness at first to help ease kids in to it. Of course, then you have to pay for a new prescription once your child is ready for full power.

      Honestly, i’d try waiting it out for another week or two to see if it gets better. I know how frustrating it is to see your kid throwing these expensive things that she really needs for her vision, over and over again. Believe me, I remember that stage. It got better for us after about 2 weeks. It’s enough to make you want to pull all your hair out (or it was for me). As hard as it is, try to stay positive and smiling when you pick them back up and set them back on his face – or give him a bit of a rest and don’t push the glasses for a bit. I bet it will get a little easier each day. Good luck, this is definitely the hard part.

  8. I would like to be listed on your resource board. My book, Will My Child Actually Wear These Glasses? (available at Amazon.com)answers every question a parent could ask about children’s eyewear–including lenses, frames, understanding the written Rx, common conditions,and most importantly, it explains how to get any aged child to wear glasses. According to a recent review:
    “In her new book, Will My Child Actually Wear These Glasses? Katheryn Schramm answers not only this question but every question a parent has regarding children’s eyewear. This book is the most complete, useful text published on this important topic and is the first to be written for the parent.”

  9. I have a suggestion to make for this page. I was wondering if we can have a list of optometrists/ optical shops; that us parents are currently happy with. Maybe we can list by State ?
    Since this is the first time DS will wear eyeglasses and is required to keep them all at all time; I have to ensure they are super comfortable and light ,so he doesn’t reject them outright.
    I live in the Bay area ( North California) and am having a really hard time finding comfortable , ( almost ) unbreakable eyeglass frames anywhere in my neighborhood ( East Bay ). We have been to 3 optometrists already including the one I go to for my glasses.
    Most of the optometrists have a miniscule selection of kids frames and they don’t know how to fit the frame on a child :(. Its so frustrating !! We finally located a store that has a good selection of frames for children but its 22 miles away. And we all know that this won’t be a one time trip. We have to be prepared to go to the optometrist multiple times for repairs.I know a lot of parents will relate to this situation.

  10. Hi! My daughter was born with a genetic disorder and her skull is shaped very different. I took her to the eye Dr, he said that she is “near sighted” and needs glasses (she has .5 in both eyes). I am not sure what degree that is, is that a lot?
    Well the biggest problem was fitting her for glasses. Her nose bridge is low and her eyes hit the lens.
    I am sad, I would love to find her some glasses that fit her and protect her eyes.
    Any recommendations?

    1. Hi Catalina, -0.5 is a very mild nearsighted. I’m not I have good advice about fit. Specs-4-us are designed for children with Down Syndrome, who have smaller noses and shorter temples. You might even contact them and see if they have any advice. You might also try asking Miss Danielle, who is a master certified optician who specializes in fitting children. I’m also happy to post your question to the front page of the blog and see if anyone else has better advice.

  11. I love this game.No wonder you can’t sleep when you eat so much.I’ll just play it by ear.It’s very kind of you to help me.Don’t be so modest.What I want to do is different from those of others.How about a drink tonight? The ice is hard enough to skate on.He was not a little tired.The salve will heal slight burns.

  12. Your website is very informative. Perhaps I missed it, but you might wish to direct parents to the AAPOS website (American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus). There is an excellent FAQ section and all sorts of resources for parents.

  13. My name is Daniela and I am the mom of two daughters who were diagnosed with lazy eye (Amblyopia) and had to patch their eyes from a very early age. Because I found that it was so difficult to keep up with the sticky eye patches, which irritated the skin around their eyes, I came up with a safe and fun solution. I hand crafted eye patches made of 100% cotton fabric. This has been such a success that I decided to make them for other children who also had to patch their eyes. All parents know when it comes to eye patching, how difficult it is for children not to “peek” or keep the patches on.
    EYE LOVE MY PATCH,is designed with characters that kids can relate with and are big enough to avoid peeking from the sides. It is designed not to shift for glasses with nose pads: they attach with a buttonhole through the nose pad, for glasses without nose pads:they attach with a velcro button. Patches are made with a breathable fabric of 100 % cotton. (I’ve tried other eye patches made of felt and these cause the eye area to sweat and stain the skin). I also design eye patches for children who don’t need to wear glasses: they attach with bands to the back of the head.
    Check my website for pictures and video instructions.

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A community for family and friends of babies, toddlers, and young kids in glasses, eye patches, or contacts.

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