A great resource for parents with a child with a vision impairment. Click on the link below to read the full fact sheet:

My Child and Vision Impairment

As a parent, you are your child’s best source of nurturing and learning. While your child may not respond in the typical way to interaction with others and their environment, they are undoubtedly aware of it. You can assist your child to understand their world by building a trusting relationship with them, being supportive of their needs, and by following their lead.

It is important that their visual and non visual senses are encouraged to develop as much as possible. Appropriate adaptations to your child’s environment will assist them to better understand and/or anticipate what is happening around them.

Here are some ideas that you can use with your child;

VERBAL CUES

Explaining what, when and where you are doing a task will help familiarise your child to their environment.

Explain to your child before a change is about to occur.

Utilise the natural sounds of the activity as much as possible.

For Example: At bath time, allow your child to hear the bath filling up with water as an additional cue that its bath time.

Being touched without warning can be startling and/or distressing for a child who has reduced vision. Verbally prepare your child and ensure that your touch is firm and reassuring:

For Example: Prepare your child by saying “Mummy is going to pick you up now” just before picking them up.

VISION

Enhance the visual properties of toys and everyday objects that they come into constant contact with.

Colour contrast is an important consideration for improving the visibility of an object. A dark object on a light background (and vice versa) is easier to detect.

 

Although black and white provides the greatest contrast, also use colours of different intensities.

For Example: Play with a light blue ball on a dark green mat.

It is best to avoid heavily patterned or busy rugs or carpets if possible. You may need to place a plain coloured blanket or material on the floor when playing with toys.

Reflective material, mirrors or paper can be used to enhance the visual properties of an object.

FOLLOW

When your child is looking at an object or face, encourage them to follow the slow movement of the object. This will help them to visually interact with what they see, as this may not come naturally. Overtime, it may also encourage your child to learn to reach for objects

TOUCH

Encourage your child’s sense of touch by exposing them to different textures such as grass, sand, concrete, carpet, tiles and explain what they are touching so that they become more aware of the environment around them. ‘Touch and Feel’ books are also another way of encouraging tactile exploration.

SOUND

Toys that also have sound and vibration may motivate your child to visually look for them.

For Example: Wind up toys that move along the floor and vibrate may encourage your child to watch the toy moving around.

ROUTINE

Children with reduced vision use repetition and routine to help them become familiar with new objects and people in their environment. Try to have a familiar routine for regular activities so that your child can learn to anticipate what is going to happen next.

For more information please contact: The Orthoptic Department

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead

Ph: (02) 9845 2270

Vision Ed

Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children

Ph: (02) 9871 1233