Leon is a 16-year-old boy with autism, ADHD and global developmental delay. He found it very difficult to get his sight tested in a local optician's and the hospital eye clinic.

But SeeAbility sight tested Leon in his special school, even going into his classroom and carrying ‘acclimatisation visits’ that involved showing Leon different parts of the sight test on his teaching assistant. If it wasn’t a good time for him, they would return another day.

 

We quickly realised that Leon didn’t like tests involving people getting very close to his face. Using retinoscopy - shining a light into Leon’s eye from a distance and judging the level of refractive error - they found he needed a -5.00D prescription. He couldn’t see clearly beyond 20cm from his face.

SeeAbility had to help Leon get used to his glasses, and we replace any broken pairs as they are often the first thing he can grab if he gets anxious. So far he has gone through almost 20 pairs, but it’s ok because SeeAbility’s dispensing optician is often in school to supply replacement and backup glasses.

“I’ve noticed how much calmer he is,”

       says Leon’s mum.

“He’s more confident and a lot more sociable than before. He used to sit very close to the television and hold objects right up to his face.”

And she was shocked to discover sight testing doesn’t happen in all special schools:

“Without SeeAbility, Leon and I would be lost, their service is amazing!”

All of this costs SeeAbility £135. The NHS pays £21.31. This has to change.

Pledge your support. Add your name to the list of people and organisations supporting the case for improved national eye care.