Visual impairment support service

Use this guide to find information and support if your child or young person has a visual impairment.

Diagnosis and assessment

Most visually-impaired children are referred to us by health professionals, following eye checks at birth, at 6-8 weeks and at two years. If you are concerned about your child’s vision, speak to your health visitor or doctor (GP) who may refer to a specialist eye clinic.

Your child’s vision is tested again at school during their reception year.

This screening detects childhood eye problems, such as strabismus (squint) and checks if your child has a refractive error (is long or short-sighted) and needs glasses to help them see.

If your child’s eyesight can be improved with glasses, you will need to take them to an optician. NHS eye checks are free for children under 16 years and for young people under 19 years who are in full-time education.

The NHS provides a voucher towards the cost of the glasses. Children who have been prescribed glasses are offered a yearly checkup and new voucher by their optician.

If your child has a problem with their eyesight that can’t be improved with glasses, the optician will suggest a referral to a specialist eye clinic.