Blind - Low Vision Program
Blind - Low Vision Early Intervention Program
Ontario's Blind - Low Vision Early Intervention Program is designed to give children who are born blind or with low vision the best possible start in life. Specialized family-centred services are funded by the province and are available for children from birth to
The program provides education and support for parents so they can encourage the healthy development of their children. Parents learn to help their children develop the skills they need for daily activities at home and in early learning and care settings.
Without special support from an early age, a child who is blind or has low vision may have trouble learning to talk, explore and make friends when he or she begins school. A child who is blind or has low vision is at a significant risk for difficulties in all areas of development, including :
- communication and language
- fine and gross motor skills
- understanding and thought processes
- social skills
- emotional development
- self help
With the right intervention from skilled professionals, parents can learn how to encourage the healthy development of their children, and help them learn the skills they need to succeed in school.
To learn more about the Blind Low Vision Program check the link below:
When Children are diagnosed with blindness or low vision, a referral can be made to the local Blind - Low Vision Program by a physician, opthamalogist, optometrist, parent or caregiver.
The Blind - Low Vision program offers three types of services :
- Family support
- Intervention services
- Consultation Services
The program provides support to parents when their child has been diagnosed with blindness or low vision. These services are provided by family support workers who are specially trained in the impact of a visual impairment on child development.
The family support worker will help the family understand and cope with the implications of the diagnosis and help them make informed decisions about support services.
For a child with visual impairment, touch, hearing and the use of remaining or residual vision are critically important for learning and development. Support by trained and knowledgeable professionals in the area of visual impairment is essential to help the child develop these senses to the best of his or her ability.
Intervention services are provided by specially trained early childhood blind/low vision consultants in the family's home. The consultant teaches parents how to support their child's development in the following areas
- intentional movement (orientation and mobility)
- development of motor skills (e.g. rolling, reaching, crawling, walking, and use of hands to manipulate and explore objects
- daily living skills (e.g. eating, dressing, toileting)
- concept development (e.g. object identification, function, and characteristics)
- social and emotional development
- language and communication development
- how to make the most of residual vision
- how to use all the senses to promote development
When your child enters a child care or early learning centre, Blind - Low Vision Program staff will help the early childhood educators at that centre learn how to best work with and teach your child.
As their vision develops, babies enjoy
|By 6 Weeks||
|By 3 Months||
|By 6 Months||
By 12 Months
|By 2 Years||
You should continue to monitor your child's development
It is important to monitor your child's visual development, since early identification of a problem can sometimes eliminate or decrease the risk of long term complications. If you notice that your child has any of the following symptoms, talk to your doctor immediately:
- swollen or encrusted eyelids
- bumps, sores, or styes on or around the eyelids
- drooping eyelids
- does not make eye contact with you by three months of age
- does not watch or follow an object with the eyes by three months
- haziness or whitish appearance inside the pupil
- frequent "wiggling", "drifting" or "jerky" eye movements
- misalignment between the eyes (eye turns or crossing of eyes)
- lack of coordinated eye movements
- drifting of one eye when looking at objects
- turning or tilting of the head when looking at objects
- squinting, closing or covering of one eye when looking at objects
- excessive tearing when not crying
- excessive blinking or squinting
- excessing rubbing or touching of the eyes
- avoidance of or sensitivity to bright lights