How will my baby's diagnosis affect development?

Children who have a visual impairment develop much like other children, but there may be some differences in the way that they develop. There is a wide variety of visual conditions which can 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" naturally 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 be prepared that 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 important to support your child's whole development, as eye contact, facial expressions, body language and gesture may go unnoticed or be misinterpreted.

Understanding your child's vision impairment and the effects it may have will help you to support them in play and learning.

Further information and advice regarding children and babies with sight loss including a 'Guide for Parents' can be found on our Resources for parents of blind or partially sighted children web pages.

You can also contact our Children, Young people and Families team:

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