University of Edinburgh

Functional Vision Assessment

Observation as part of FVA


Is that assessment going to be appropriate for them? That's something that we can speak to the orthoptist about. If a child is only functioning at level A or pre-level A or away down in the early stages; what's the point in giving them a test that's meant to be used by a child that can read? You're not going to get an answer. And equally so I've seen people say "oh yes they've got good visual acuity" and they're showing them a single Kay Picture test, when they're 12. That isn't any good if you're asking them to read from a blackboard, if they're looking at a single object. So you need to work as a team to do the assesment. Are there any other additional needs that we should be aware of? If the familiar person is in the room with them, they'll be able to tell you; is that usual behaviour? Is it normal or is it abnormal? They can provide appropriate language or motivators that are going to encourage the child to participate. And sometimes the child will behave differently in different situations. In watching the assessment, if the parent is in the room, you're also helping to prepare them for the report that they're going to receive. So that it doesn't come as a big shock to them. And they're going to feel more responsible because they're going to be part of that assessment. And the class teacher if possible so that they're anticipating what you're going to say to them at the end of it. It's not coming as a big shock. Sometimes the presence of a family member can have a calming influence. We were talking about this earlier. Sometimes it can have exactly the opposite effect. We've all been there. Sometimes you can get another member of the team who is there, to take the parent aside and talk to them. To let you get on with the proper assessment. Maybe distract them by saying "we need to check a bit of the information"; the history that you'd taken earlier. It takes quite a while to build up the trust of the team that your working with, but once you have that trust in your colleagues; they can see when maybe it would be appropriate to step in and suggest that they take them aside.

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