How do I know what my child can see?

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

Total blindness is rare. Most children can see something, although it may not be much. But 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.

Information about the different eye conditions can be found on our eye conditions web page.  Tips from parents about what to ask at an eye clinic appointment can be found on our eye clinic appointments: a guide for parents web page. 

It is important to ensure you are linked into your local authority sensory (VI) team, as they can support you with understanding your child's eye condition. Find your nearest local team on the Sightline Directory by entering your postcode and the search words 'local authority' or 'sensory services'.

Further information about other services and how to get help for your child can be found on our Your child and vision impairment - first steps web page.

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