Children with neurological impairments often have visual deficits that are difficult to quantify. We have compared visual skills evaluated by carers with results of a comprehensive visual assessment. Participants were 76 children with mild to profound intellectual and/or motor impairment (33 males, 43 females; age range 7mo-16y; mean age 5y 1mo [SD 4y 2mo]) who completed a visual skills inventory before attending a special vision clinic. The inventory included 16 questions about visual skills and responses to familiar situations. Responses were augmented by taking a structured clinical history, compared with visual evoked potential (VEP) and/or acuity card measures of visual acuity, and examined using exploratory factor analysis. Acuity ranged from normal to no light perception, and was positively associated with responses to individual questions. After excluding four uninformative questions, an association between the remaining questions and two significant independent factors was found. Factor 1 was associated with questions about visual recognition (e.g. 'Does your child see a small silent toy?') and these items were correlated with both the VEP and acuity card thresholds. Factor 2 was associated primarily with questions about visually mediated social interactions (e.g. 'Does he/she return your silent smile?'). Evaluation of visual skills in children with neurological impairment can provide valid information about the quality of children's vision. Questions with the highest validity for predicting vision are identified.