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Shata Roopa reddy Pebbeti, Kiran Challa, Gowthami Vatti, Priyanka Jagana, Geeta Vemuganti, Autistic Children; A study on visual status in children with autistic spectral disease at Shraddha Center in Hyderabad City. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):5122.
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To evaluate the visual skills and binocular vision performance in children with Autistic spectral disorder (ASD) at Shraddha Centre (SC).
Fifty children having ASD with an age range of 4 to 15 were identified from Shraddha centre for exceptional children,a day school, in Hyderabad city. Children with neurological disorders other than autism were excluded. Received an approval from IRB, University of Hyderabad. Informed consent was obtained in written from all the subjects and their teachers/parents. High (100%) and low contrast visual acuity (10%) was assessed with a log MAR Chart and refraction was performed to quantify the refractive error. After funduscopy, gross Stereo acuity was assessed using Lang’s horizontal two pencil test and Colour vision was performed using Ishihara’s colour plates. NPC and accommodative responses were obtained using push up test and spherical lenses respectively. NSUCO scoring criteria was used for direct observation of the saccades and pursuits.
Results showed that the mean age of the subjects was 12±3 yrs and 80% were males. Binocular visual acuity was better than monocular. High and Low contrast visual acuity ranged from 6/6 to 6/48 and 6/9 -6/60 respectively. Refractive error was measurable in all the subjects and a significant refractive error was found in only 8% of children with Myopia being more common. The mean spherical equivalent of refractive error was -1.50±0.37 D. All children, except 2, demonstrated Saccadic and pursuit movements. Strabismus for distance was found in 20% (10/50) of the children and commonest was intermittent exotropia with a degree of 15. The Gross stereopsis was found positive in 90% (45/50) subjects. Except one subject, all of them exhibited normal range of NPC. The mean accommodative responses were +2.00 and -1.75 diopters. Complete assessment was not obtained in 2 out of 50. None of the autistic children had ocular disorders.
In summary, this study has shown visual performance of ASD children at SC and support that "atypical" visual behavior by them is entirely not due to the consequences of the refractive error and /or binocular visual performance. The study limitations are measurement of fusional vergences and gaze pattern . Our multi-centered study, in near future, may bring insights to the existing..
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