Archie and his Mum

Archie’s equal right to sight

When Archie was visited in school by our eye care team, it challenged the idea that children with complex conditions don’t benefit from glasses. 

13-year-old Archie finds it extremely difficult to engage with his classroom, teachers, family and friends. Archie’s cerebral palsy is believed to limit his vision and his ability to control his eye movements. In addition to this, he is significantly long-sighted which makes it impossible to see detail, such as recognising the faces of his favourite people.  

However, despite this, until SeeAbility stepped in Archie had never been prescribed glasses. Our optometrist and dispensing optician were able to see Archie at one of the regular visits they make to the special school he attends in south-east London.  

Archie having a sight testProviding eye tests in a familiar environment like school means the team can often obtain results that might not be possible in a high street opticians. For many children with learning disabilities and autism, a clinical environment can be unsettling and alien, whereas at school they are with people they trust, in a place they know. 

Lisa Donaldson, our Head of Eye Care says:

“Our team can take their time, get to know someone like Archie and make sure he is relaxed. We have techniques and equipment that mean we can conduct eye tests in different ways, depending on what’s best for him.” 

After his eye test Archie received his new pair of glasses to wear at home and at school. Our specialist dispensing optician made sure they were a good fit and comfortable and compatible with his wheelchair head support. He was then given support to get used to them, which was important as wearing glasses was a new experience for him. Since then, those close to him have noticed a difference.  

Archie’s mum Donna says:

“He’s definitely been more ‘head up’ - looking around and just more interested in the world around him. Everyone has noticed the change. He doesn’t find the glasses distressing at all – in fact he is more comfortable with them on than without.”