The book Making it Work; educating the blind/ visually impaired student in the regular school by Carol Castellano is from the US, it’s very good on the practical adaptations that a child with a visual impairment, even those with relatively mild visual impairments, might use in school, how staff can include a child with a visual impairment in lessons and is especially good on the role of the classroom or learning support assistant.
Get up and go! Fun ideas to help visually impaired children to move confidently published by the RNIB and available from their shop is inexpensive, and as it says, is packed with fun practical things to do to help your child’s mobility.
Joe Cutter‘s book Independent travel and movement in blind children (also from the US) is recommended if your child is not as mobile and independent as other children the same age would be because of his or her visual impairment and you cannot access adequate mobility training for him or her.
Look at it this way by Roma Lear is full of toys to make for your child to stimulate his or her vision and that have great tactile and auditory qualities – good if you or a friend or relative like making things.
Show me what my friends can see by Patricia Mary Sonksen and Blanche Stiff is about visual stimulation and playing with babies with visual impairments. It’s not widely available online or in bookshops, but can be bought from: Eileen Carter, c/o Wolfson Centre, Level 10, Main Nurses Home, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3JH or phone and leave a message on 020 7405 9200 ext 1142
Children with visual impairments edited by M Cay Holbrook is another book from the US packed with lots of information and ideas about all sorts of aspects of parenting a child with a visual impairment, some of it very relevant (such as the emotional aspects and the practical ideas) and some of it (such as explanations of the US education system) much less so. The section on medical information on cataracts is inadequate, out of date and potentially misleading. There’s so much in this book though and the cost is reasonable, especially as there are usually plenty of second hand copies floating around online.
Early Support: Information for parents: Visual Impairment published by DfES is available free of charge through your health visitor, TVI or Sure Start. It does contain a good, simple quick overview of a lot of useful information for any parent of a baby or young child with a visual impairment.
Early Support Developmental Journal (also published by DfES) is also free of change and may be available though your TVI or through the NBCS. It’s a whopping, heavy lever-arch file full of checklists for you to assess your (birth to three year old) child’s visual and developmental progress with reference cards at the back with plans for the things you can do with your child to help his or her development, and a booklet of ideas to use if your child is having problems with nay aspect of their development. It would probably make sense to use this in conjunction with your TVI if you have one and if you don’t like paperwork, don’t go near it. It does provide a clear framework that is especially valuable if you don’t have the support of a TVI.
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Author: Anna, parent