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Swanson, Mark W. OD, MSPH, FAAO,; Lee, Sarah Dille OD, MSPH, FAAO; Frazier, Marcela G. OD, MPH, FAAO; Bade, Annette OD, MS, FAAO; Coulter, Rachel Anastacia OD, MS, FAAO

Vision Screening among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

publication date
July 22, 2020
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Vision problems occur at higher rates in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than in the general population. Some professional organizations recommend that children with neurodevelopmental disorders need comprehensive assessment by eye care professionals rather than vision screening.


Data from the 2011 to 2012 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) were accessed. Logistic regression was used to evaluate differences between vision screening rates in eye care professionals' offices and other screening locations among children with and without ASD.



Overall, 82.21% (95% confidence interval [CI], 78.35 to 86.06%) of children with ASD were reported to have had a vision screening as defined by the NSCH criteria. Among children younger than 5 years with ASD, 8.87% (95% CI, 1.27 to 16.5%) had a vision screening at a pediatrician's office, 41.1% (95% CI, 20.54 to 61.70%)

were screened at school, and 37.62% (95% CI, 9.80 to 55.45%) were examined by an eye care professionals. Among children with ASD older than 5 years, 24.84% (95% CI, 18.42 to 31.26%) were screened at school, 22.24% (95% CI, 17.26 to 27.21%) were screened at the pediatricians' office, and 50.15% (95% CI, 44.22 to 56.08%) were examined by eye care professionals. Based on estimates from NSCH, no children in the U.S. population younger than 5 years with ASD screened in a pediatrician's office were also seen by an eye care provider.


If the public health goal is to have all children with ASD assessed in an eye care professional's office, data from the NSCH indicate that we as a nation are falling far short of that target.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

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Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

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Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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