How do I know what my child can see?

Your child's ophthalmologist (a hospital consultant specialising in eye conditions) will work to find out how much your child can see. However it often takes time to work out the exact nature of your child’s condition.

Sight continues to develop after birth, and research suggests that vision must be stimulated to reach its potential. Seeing also requires perceptual skills to make sense of images sent from the eye to the brain. This means it’s often months, sometimes years, before parents know the extent of what their child can see.

Total blindness is rare. Most children can see something, although it may not be much. Whatever sight a child has is likely to be useful. For example, children who can only see light and dark may be able to tell where a window is, and find their way around a room.

We have information to help you find out about your child's eye condition and you can read parents' tips about what to ask at the eye clinic. It is important to ensure you are linked into the local authority sensory (VI) team. You can search for your local team in our Sightline directory. They can support you with understanding the eye condition.

Read more about who can help you and your child.

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