University of Edinburgh

Disorders of Vision in Children

Presented on Monday, 14th November 2016


Dr Andrew Blaikie delivered the first session on various eye conditions including the causes of childhood visual impairment, and followed with methods to support children with a visual impairment.

In the afternoon Dr Jennifer Skillen talked about common orthoptic issues, for example, squints/amblyopia (what they are, types, how you assess for them, treatment, impact they may have on a child and what teachers need to be aware of/strategies to help); and the same for convergence, accommodation, visual stress. Referral procedures if a teacher suspects a squint, etc.

Participants said:

"Understanding the medical underpinning to e.g. Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) has made it much easier to understand the visual needs of children with CVI."

"Will feel more confident in reading orthoptic reports/speaking to them for colleagues."

"Very relevant, focussed information vital to my role as a VS teacher. Very well presented. I found out so much today and want to follow it up with personal reading."


Target Audience

All those working with children and young people with visual impairment, including teachers, support staff, habilitation specialists, voluntary organisations and parents/carers.


Dr Andrew Blaikie, Consultant Ophthalmologist, NHS Fife; Senior Lecturer, Global Health Implementation, University of St Andrews, and

Dr Jennifer Skillen, Head Orthoptist, NHS Fife


10.10 am Eye conditions - the medical perspective Andrew Blaikie
11.30 am Supporting children with visual impairment

1.30 pm Common orthoptic issues: assessment; treatment Jennifer Skillen
2.30 pm Impact on learning & Referral procedures

3.30 pm Course Evaluation and close