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Vision testing

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

DS has Down Syndrome.  He is 7.  He's never worn glasses, has been followed by a pediatric Ophthamologist every 2 years, and has no eye issues other than mild farsightedness.  The ped Ophth. no longer comes to our area, so this year we are seeing a new doctor who is testing DS using the Allen Preschool Vision Test.  We actually had to take it home with us to teach him because he did not catch on while we were at the office.  So now he gets it, and I tested him today to find he only sees the image up to 7 feet away from him.  Both eyes were nearly equally poor.  I tested with three images, and he identified 2 correctly with his right and only one with his left.  At ten feet he did not get any correct at all.  The test says a 3 to 4 year old child should see the cards at 15-20 feet... Charlie is 7!  I am so surprised!  We do not go back in to the doctor for another week, but I can't wait... is this not a pretty poor result?  The instructions say the distance is the numerator over 30, so 5/30 vision (or 7/30 if you count that he did get a couple right at that distance).  What does that equate to?  It said a result of 15/30 is the same as 20/40.  I CANNOT figure out this math.  I gotta know, though.  Anyway, not sure what I am asking.  I was just surprised and I don't know what this means.

post #2 of 4

I'm not really sure about this but 15/30=0.5 and 20/40=0.5, so 7/30=0.23 and 20/86=0.23 so maybe it's equivalent to vision of 20/86? I guess you can Google visual acuity to see what that might mean.

post #3 of 4

In most vision tests, the numerator is the distance away from the chart the test is taken at (usually 20 feet), the denominator is how far away a person with "normal vision" can read that line.  So if your vision is 20/40, you can read at twenty feet, what someone with "normal" vision can read at 40 feet.


OK, so here is my opinion on the Allen test.  It sucks.  You are asking a child to identify a whole out of parts, which can be difficult (the way the picture is put together is not clear).  If your child can not identify letters, I prefer the tumbling E chart.  My non-special needs child had an awful time with the Allen chart.  He saw things we did not (i.e. he kept calling the phone a penguin).  His results were much better at identifying letters.  My little one is non-verbal, so we have a special pedi optho who deals with her condition.  We have to drive to get to her, but it is only once a year and her dilated eye exams are very thorough.


So your child may have vision problems, but it could also be problems with the test.  There are other tests they can do.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thank you.  He has Down Syndrome, and we were sent home with the Allen Test and the tumbling E.  He just does not understand the tumbling E.  I had the bright idea to call the school nurse who I figure has a lot more experience testing children with special needs, and specifically Down Syndrome, than the doctor we have been referred to.  She is going to test him with the Lea chart.  I agree that the Allen card sort of suck.  Add to that the poor convergence people with Down Syndrome have anyway, even with glasses.  I just don't think it has potential to be a very meaningful test for him.

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