The UMeyecare clinic runs a Paediatric and Vision Therapy clinic. It is open to all children, 0-16 years of age. We are happy to take referrals or appointments can be made directly. Initial consultations are covered under Medicare. The paediatric clinic is run by Christine Nearchou, lecturer in children’s vision at the University of Melbourne. It is supported by final year Optometry students who are directly involved in assisting and conducting consultations under supervision. Services provided and some information regarding vision are described below.
Regular Eyecare for Children
We recommend that all children be examined:
- In infancy if there is any concern
- Aged 3 or before commencing school
- Every 2 years during school
- Every 2 years thereafter
For further enquiries about any of our services or for information regarding any aspect of your child’s vision care, please do not hesitate to contact us.
To book for an appointment call UME at +61 3 9035 6666.
- The First Visit
This consultation includes a complete assessment of Visual Integrity (eye health) and Visual Efficiency.
Although you do not need a referral to attend our centre any information you can bring is useful. Any previous glasses or reports from Doctors, Optometrists and other Health Care Providers will give us a better understanding of your current concerns and ongoing needs.
- Visual Efficiency Therapy
Vision Therapy (VT) for visual efficiency helps children fulfil their potential by minimizing the effort needed to control the eyes’ ability to focus and maintain alignment. It is particularly helpful when distance or near vision is variable and difficult to sustain. It is also of benefit to adults who may have difficulties with visual efficiency.
In-Office Vision Therapy is carried out over 4-8 sessions and usually requires weekly appointments. Homework for this therapy is normally 15 minutes per day, 5 days per week.
Sometimes computer software is recommended for Home-Based Vision Therapy or in concert with in-office vision therapy. This may also be prescribed instead of in-office vision therapy. Home-based vision therapy may take between 8 -12 weeks to complete.
In-office VT Program Fee: $50.00 Non-refundable fee payable at first session
Please note: The program fee charged includes the preparation and maintenance of the therapy program, all the materials used and the maintenance of the equipment needed.
Consulting Fee: Bulk-billed to Medicare for each session attended.
Home-based VT: $150.00 HTS Computer Software. (Note: This software is heavily subsidised as we are a teaching clinic).
If patching is reccomended this is a good online source of information and patches:
- Visual Processing Assessment
A full visual processing assessment (1 hour) by the Optometrist is recommended when a child has been referred to us with specific learning concerns associated with visual information processing, or when our initial consultation indicates. This assessment includes screening of auditory, language, sensory and motor processing.
Following this assessment, an appointment with the Optometrist is beneficial to discuss findings and recommendations. A written report is included. These recommendations may include offering Vision Therapy or may involve referral to other associated professionals (eg. Occupational Therapist, Educational Psychologist, Speech Pathologist, Audiologist, Pediatrician).
Visual Processing Assessment Fee: $100 Includes written report.
Please note: An initial consultation with the Optometrist is necessary before we undertake a Visual Processing Assessment. This is because visual processing is inter-dependent upon healthy eyes and clear comfortable vision. We need a complete understanding of a child’s Ocular Health and Visual Efficiency to interpret the findings of a Visual Processing Assessment.
- The Three Key Areas of Vision
Visual Integrity – eye health and visual acuity
Assessment of eye health is a very important component of any eye examination, even in children where eye disease is relatively uncommon. Visual acuity can be affected by refractive errors such as Myopia, Hypermetropia and Astigmatism, and when necessary these conditions are treated with spectacles and/or contact lenses.
Visual Efficiency - clear and comfortable vision
Blurred vision and poor focussing skills are common problems in children with and without learning difficulties. In some children these difficulties are a barrier to learning. More commonly children can develop focussing problems after they have learnt to read resulting in reduced comprehension and inability to sustain reading. Glasses and eye exercises help children maintain clear and comfortable vision for learning and enjoyable reading. Treatment of minor focussing problems can also help reduce the risk of myopia and the development of other visual disorders.
Visual Information Processing - understanding and analysing what we see
Problems with visual processing are common in children with learning difficulties. These problems include visual thinking, visual sequencing, visual spatial organisation, reading eye movements and visual motor integration. Vision therapy can help develop and integrate these skills, so that children become more visually ready to learn. Visual information processing problems often occur in association with language, auditory and sensory/motor integration difficulties. If any such concerns are observed, children will be referred to the appropriate allied health professionals.