Case history

In developed countries, the child's medical history is usually summarised by his/her ophthalmologist or paediatrician and the glasses and optical devices provided by the low vision optometrist and the low vision trainer/therapist. There may also be reports from previous or present mobility instructor(s), vision teachers and social workers. Such documents contain important information, yet they may not communicate the case history seen from an important view point, that of the child. When collecting the information and writing a summary it is worthwhile discussing with the child his/her experiences, in order to learn what (s)he knows and thinks about the disorder, its treatment, the disability, low vision services, previous school(s), teachers, teachers' aids, camps, peers, siblings, parents etc. Today's children are often surprisingly knowledgeable about technical questions related to their disorders and devices and have equally surprisingly mature thoughts about their care.

In developed countries, refugees and war victims may not have any medical information from their previous examinations and may not have relatives or other persons knowing their past history so the case history is based on what the child can remember.

In developing countries, if the child's parents are not available, it is sometimes impossible to get reliable information on the cause of visual disability and on the early development of the child. Many children, however, know at which age they became visually impaired, some are aware of the illness involved, often measles, or trauma. Usually they know, whether they have been seen by an "eye specialist" or whether they have received medications or traditional healing. It is also important to learn from the child if (s)he believes that the cause of the visual disability is curse or witchcraft.

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