Tips for parenting a child with sight loss

Child’s drawing of sunshine

Child’s drawing of sunshine

  1. You are the expert, your child’s development is unique, regardless of their level of vision impairment. You will have a different knowledge of your child and this information and your perceptions on him/her gives you this unique expertise no matter how many professionals are involved.

  2. Let your child explore and learn, focus on their current skills, and involve them in everyday activities to promote their learning further. Encourage efforts towards independence by letting them have a go at dressing, undressing, feeding, and washing.

  3. Get your child’s attention by calling their name first, this lets them know you are speaking to them directly. Use language your child understands to describe what you are doing so that they can begin to make associations with the tasks.

  4. Take your time; daily routines, learning new experiences and play activities are likely to take a bit longer if you have a child with a visual impairment. Vision helps us to make sense of other sensory inputs that we experience, like where the loud noise came from, so when vision is weakened your child will struggle to make sense of the world around them. Give them time and verbal explanations.

  5. Colour and contrast, uncluttered spaces, hands on experiences and giving your child plenty of opportunities to explore through their other senses will help them make sense of the world around them.