Reader request: advice for keeping glasses on a severely disabled child

SNP Teacher left a comment asking for some advice.  I’m hoping someone out there has some experience and insights to share.  – Ann Z

Do you have any advice for keeping glasses on a severely disabled child? She is almost 5, but functions more in the range of a 12 month old. I am her teacher. The parents are unable to keep them on her either. Her vision loss is in the – 6 range and she has amblyopia as well, so I understand how important it is for her to wear them. Our longest period of wearing the glasses was 45 sec with adult support during a preferred activity. Any suggestions are welcome!


3 responses to “Reader request: advice for keeping glasses on a severely disabled child

  1. The child you describe is one of my hardest patients to help. Reason, logic and direct orders rarely have any effect. The only thoughts I can offer I will do with empathetic thoughts and good wishes. 1st ensure the glasses are comfortable, not leaving red marks or indentations, if there are ask the parents to get them adjusted. 2nd consider a silicon tube spectacle strap, they are hollow tubes that get squeezed over the tips of the arms and can be tightened with a toggle, if they break you trim them with scissors and they are good as new. 3rd could you consider a glasses day at school? Lots of pictures in the media of tv stars, pop stars, etc wearing glasses at the moment. I have parents buying clear glasses for their kids to wear because it is cool. May or may not work but peer pressure and fun often work wonders on children of all days. My apologies if I have miss judged the situation, it is never easy in the beginning but often things get better with time. Good luck. Martin (optometrist)


  2. My son use to be just like this child you are describing, His vision was 20/800 in the weak eye he would absolutely refuse to wear glasses with or without a patch.
    We got him miraflex frames which come with built in straps & completely plastic & I think they are much better than metal frames. We had to make him wear arm restrains for him to leave his glasses on. It was very very tough in the beginning but as his vision came up it was easier. Now his vision in the weak eye has come up to 20/80 & now my son wears his glasses all the the time. He refuses to remove his glasses even when he goes to sleep. Every night he goes to sleep with his glasses on and I remove them after he falls asleep and put it on the nightstand & when he wakes up in the morning the first thing he does is puts his glasses on.
    I really think this is for the child’s parents to do because it is extremely difficult & may not be for a classroom setting where you have to attend to other kids are well.


  3. copying and pasting Lisa’s comment from the fb group:
    The kind of glasses you use may help. We used solo bambini, miraflex are similar. All plastic with a band. Our disabled kiddo finds these to be more comfortable than wiire frames.


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