How will my baby's diagnosis affect development?

Children who have a vision impairment develop much like other children, but there may be differences in the way that they develop. There is a wide variety of visual conditions which affect children in different ways. It is important to remember that each child is an individual and even children with the same eye condition may develop very differently.

Many skills which children may be expected to "pick up" must be taught to children who have a vision impairment, such as the daily routines of eating, bathing and dressing which lead to independence, and they may be less sure of moving around their physical environment. So your child's development may take place more slowly and unevenly than you expect, with possible gaps in understanding.

It may also take your child longer to complete activities. This can be frustrating for you and for them! Understanding the effects on communication and making relationships are also important to support your child's whole development, as eye contact, facial expressions, body language and gesture may go unnoticed or be misinterpreted.

You may wonder how you and your child will cope, but the important thing to remember is that your child is a child first. Understanding the vision impairment and the effects it may have will help you to support your child in play and learning. For more information, download the materials for parents of children with vision impairment that we have developed as part of the Early Support programme.

You can also contact us at cypf@rnib.org.uk.

Did this answer your question?

Your feedback will help us to keep improving this website.

Make a donation

Right now we can only reach one in three of the people who need our help most.

Please make a donation and help us support more blind and partially sighted people.

Regular donation Single donation