Opticians and Glasses


As parents ourselves we know that finding information on vision for children with Down’s syndrome and getting correctly fitting glasses can be a minefield. Like we did, you may have questions such as:

  • Where can I get information on vision and eye tests?
  • Are there any specialists I can contact for information?
  • Are there specialist glasses for children with Down’s syndrome?
  • What is the Special Facial Characteristics supplement?
  • Where can I go locally to get glasses for my child?

As well as answering the questions above, our aim is to create a database by area within Kent of opticians that our members use for their children and where possible to include what specific brand of glasses they stock or can get.

Where can I get information on vision?

The Down’s Syndrome Association has a wealth of information on their website. As well as having general information there is a  printable booklet called Children Vision Eye Tests and Glasses, which you can link to here file:///C:/Users/David/Downloads/Children%20Vision%20Eye%20Tests%20and%20Glasses.pdf

Did you know that people with down’s syndrome see the world differently – their world lacks fine details and sharp contracts. Does your child’s school know this? The DSA did an awareness campaign called Think BIG Think BOLD. For more information click here http://www.downs-syndrome.org.uk/about/campaigns/vision/visual-acuity-thing-big-think-bold/

Are there any specialists I can contact?

Your optician might be your first port of call for any questions you may have or the Down’s Syndrome Association have a help line that you can call.

Have you heard of Maggie Woodhouse? For over 20 years Maggie Woodhouse has been running a study of visual development in children and young people with Down’s syndrome at the University of Cardiff. She also works with the Down’s Syndrome Association. Although, unfortunately Maggie is not in our area she does do specialist eye examination at Cardiff University. If you wish to contact her, her contact details, including her phone number are on the internet.

Are there specialist glasses for children with down syndrome?

Yes. Children with down’s syndrome tend to have certain facial characteristics and there now glasses on the market that are manufactured with that in mind. There are brands such as:

Miraflex – UK distributor – http://www.dibbleoptical.co.uk/miraflex_paediatric_frames_C178.html

Tomato Glasses – www.tomatoglassesuk.com/

Erin’s World – www.erinsworld.co.uk/

You may find these brands are more readily available through smaller high street opticians.

What is the Special Facial Characteristics supplement?

When your child has an eye test, you are normally given a prescription so you can go and pick your child’s glasses for free. However, the prescription may not cover the entire cost if you get a specialist frame or if you have adaptions made to frames. On the prescription there is normally a tick box called “Special Facial Characteristics”. If your optometrist ticks this box it will give you extra financial support towards the cost of specialist glasses or having adaptions.

For more information click here http://www.downs-syndrome.org.uk/news/downs-syndrome-campaigner-sparks-change-in-eye-support/

Where can I go locally to get glasses for my child?

The information below has been provided by members of 21 Together.


  • I-Zone Eye Wear – Stocks Miraflex and will order other specialist frames.
  • Brownbills Optometrists


  • Cargills Opticians – Stocks Miraflax


  • Optima Opticians – Stocks Miraflex, Tomato Glasses and Erin’s World


  • Linda Pope Opticians – Exceptionally helpful

Hempstead Valley

  • Leightons Opticians – Stocks Erin’s World

Herne Bay

  • Sanford Opticians – Stocks Tomato Glasses


  • Cargills Opticians- Stocks Miraflex


  • Patrick Duff Opticians – Stocks Miraflex


  • Vraitch Vision – Stocks Tomato Glasses, Erin’s World and Centrostyle


  • Vraitch Vision – Stocks Tomato Glasses, Erin’s World and Centrostyle