How Can a Parent Help a Child with Vision Loss?

There are many things parents can do to help a child with vision loss learn more about the world around him.

  • Use a wide range of voice tones, inflections and volume and talk to your baby during feeding, dressing, or diapering.
  • Be specific when talking to your baby so he or she begins to develop a sense of the variety of words.
  • Encourage your baby to explore objects with her or his hands and learn the feel of different textures, such as a wet/dry washcloth, different articles of clothing or food tastes and textures.
  • Involve your baby, even when she’s very young, in things you do around the house. Describe what you are doing, such as setting the table, so she begins to make associations.
  • When you want to show your baby something, try to relate it to what he knows.
  • Give your baby hands-on experiences.
  • When you show your baby an object, use the techniques called hand-under-hand or hand-over-hand. In hand-under-hand, your child’s hands are placed on top of yours, and she can feel your movements. In hand-over-hand, your hands are placed over his to guide him.
  • Look for places to take your child that have things for her to touch. If you have other children, make sure they are part of the experience, too.

Find Support

Have questions about vision loss?

Visit the My Child Without Limits support community and talk to parents, caregivers, and professionals about their experiences with vision loss.

Resources:

Want to learn more about vision loss?

American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
www.aapos.org

FamilyConnect (For Parents of Children with Visual Impairments)
www.familyconnect.org

Prevent Blindness America
www.preventblindness.org

The Association for Retinopathy of Prematurity and Related Diseases
www.ropard.org