How will my baby's diagnosis affect development?

There are 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. Children with vision impairment might need extra support in their development, for the issues that are raised by having reduced or no vision.

It may take your child longer to complete activities and you may be tempted to step in to help, in order to speed things up, but try to let your child do things for themselves as much as possible. Practising is the best way that they can learn and develop their independence.

Being able to understand social cues and habits such as eye contact, facial expressions, body language and gestures are important in forging relationships, and may go unnoticed or be misinterpreted. Your child may need some help in understanding how non-verbal communication affects the way that people interact.

A child with severe vision impairment might reach developmental milestones a little later than sighted children, due to this need for additional and more active support to develop their skills and understanding of the world. Nevertheless they can be supported to thrive and reach their potential.

Further information and advice regarding visually impaired children and babies with sight loss including a 'Guide for Parents' booklet can be found on RNIB's Children, Young People and Families web pages and Guide Dogs Children and Young People web pages.

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