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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Finding Help: Advice for Parents

Many public and private agencies have special programs for blind or visually impaired infants and preschoolers. To find out what is available in your community, check first with your doctor or eye specialist. Ask if he or she can recommend an early intervention (also called early education, infant stimulation, child development, or preschool) program for your child. You may also find an appropriate program by:

  • Contacting your state department of education
  • Consulting AFB’s Directory of Services on this web site
  • Calling the superintendent or director of special education of your local school district

Here are some basic elements of a good early childhood program:

  • A certified teacher of the visually handicapped and an orientation and mobility specialist should be involved in assessment, planning, and consultation. No other teacher is trained to understand how visual impairments affect development, or how children can learn to compensate for their visual impairment.
  • An occupational or physical therapist should be available to answer questions about your child’s motor development and to work directly with your child if your doctor prescribes it.
  • You should be involved in choosing which program your child receives and what goals your child works on.
  • The program should include suggestions for activities you can do with your child at home.
  • The curriculum should cover self-help skills as well as development of motor, visual, social, language, communication, emotional, intellectual, orientation, mobility, and sensory abilities.

Learn more on FamilyConnect.org.

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Tactile Learning StrategiesInteracting with Children Who Have Visual Impairments and Multiple Disabilities

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