What support is available for parents whose baby has been born with a visual impairment?

The most important thing for a baby and young child is to find meaning in what they experience from the earliest days. As a parent, you have a very important role in making the world meaningful for your child.

Your child’s QTVI and Habilitation Specialist will be able to offer you tailored advice on how to play and interact with your baby. Both roles sit within your local authority’s sensory services, who should be contactable during school term time. You can use RNIB's Local Offer directory to find the contact details of your local service.

The Developmental Journal for babies and young children with Vision Impairment (DJVI) offers lots of ideas for supporting your child’s learning. Please see What is DJVI and how can it help the development of a baby with a VI?

Further information on support for families of babies and young children with vision impairment can be found on RNIB's Early years webpage and on Guide dogs Early years development and habilitation webpage.

RNIB also offer a course for parents of babies and children who have recently been diagnosed with vision impairment called Living Well with Sight Loss Parent Pathways course.

Guide Dogs’ My Time to Play is a free service that helps children with sight loss aged from birth to four develop a broad range of skills through play in a group setting (both in-person and online). My Time to Play also enables parents to meet people who are in a similar situation and share experiences with them. As well as pick up the skills and knowledge that will help support a child’s early years development with confidence.

Speak to your Health Visiting Team as they might be able to recommend other local services and support groups for parents of babies born with a vision impairment. Your GP should be able to put you in touch with your local Health Visiting Team.

For further information please also see How will my baby's diagnosis affect development? and What support should I receive from a nursery or pre-school, for a child with a vision impairment?

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