The following common sense ideas are included to get you started if there are no services readily available to you now.

  1. Direct indoor lighting or sunlight coming in through the windows may affect any child's ability to use his vision effectively. Always try to place your child in a position where the light is coming from behind him (over his shoulder), but not casting his shadow on his toys.
  2. It is much easier to see things that do not have a glare effect. Glare is produced when the light is reflected off of an object. If you have the choice of a bright laminated top or a wood surface to play on, choose the wood, it will not cause glare.
  3. Black and white toys and decorations are the most visually stimulating in the first few months of life.
  4. When you go to buy things for your child to play with or to decorate her room try to choose objects that are red, blue, green, yellow or black and white. All young children are attracted to primary colors. Many children see bright red or bright yellow objects most easily. Watch your child to see if there is a color that she responds to more readily, but often red is the color ROP children respond to first.
  5. Try to limit the number of toys your child is playing with. Too many toys just cause clutter and make it difficult to focus on a task.
  6. Remember that it is easier to see objects if there is an obvious difference between the object and the background on which the object is presented. Try to always provide the most contrast you can as you play. You may have to change the color of the surface you are working on by placing either a light cloth or a dark cloth over it.
  7. The more familiar your child is with a toy, the better he will be able to start looking at smaller parts of that toy. Don't expect him to identify parts before he is really familiar with the whole.

One of the most important things you can do for your child is to become the "narrator" of the things she cannot see. Talk to your child, even though she may not be old enough to understand what you are saying. This will help you to begin this narrative habit and it will soon become natural for you.

This may seem awkward at first, but early conversational skills enhances all learning for all children. As an example, when you are in the supermarket explain to her what you have bought, let her feel the size and weight of the objects. Talk about the difference in temperature as you walk to the freezer aisles. Have fun, talk, and learn from everyday experiences.

Gradually you should start to relate new objects and experiences to familiar ones. Try to use color words to describe things. You can use small models or pictures for things that are too big to touch, but you must always tell your child that the real object is much larger.

It is extremely important to allow your child to spend tummy time playing on the floor. This play time on the floor is very important for all children. This is how children learn to move their own bodies. When she begins to crawl and later to walk, she will learn to create a mental map of her environment. This is the same thing we do, for instance when we give someone directions to our home.


  • Try to incorporate a multi-sensory approach to learning. Toys that make noises when they are moved or manipulated are excellent for this. For example, look for toys that have interesting textures and make noise when they are squeezed.  Remember, too, that many kitchen items have interesting textures such as wooden spoons, metal whisks, scrub brushes, and of course pots and pans.
  • Explore body parts on yourself and on your child. Take turns touching each other. There are many traditional songs and games which make this a fun activity (i.e. heads, shoulders, knees and toes).
  • Go outside in all kinds of weather and explore the textures and smells of nature.
    Activities for toddlers could include:
  • Real life activities like sorting clothes, and silverware.
  • Present big and little versions of familiar things like brushes, combs, rocks, slinkies.
  • Present unfamiliar things like sea shells and other objects with unusual texture to broaden your child's experiences with unfamiliar textures. This will prevent him from being afraid of touching things that are not, like most toys, made of plastic. Having lots of experiences touching a variety of textures will help him learn to want to explore things on his own. Provide objects that are prickly, smooth, bumpy, cold, warm, and sticky and then make comparisons.

Help your child to become a "wild child" by incorporating the techniques used in the DVD "Letting Your Child's Wild Side Out".   Go to:  Letting Your Child's Wild Side Out and you may also want to read the blogs that Milagro's mother wrote about her at either:  Milagro's blog or Milagro's 10th birthday


Hospitalizations

While you might assume that people who work with children and adults with visual impairments will know this, it is not always the case. If your child is about to have drops placed in his eyes, or be given a shot, and the medical professional does not provide a verbal description to him, you should give your child a verbal warning of what is to come. This will help your child, and may also teach that medical professional a new skill! It may also be helpful to lightly, but firmly-, touch the area that is to be affected. A very light touch is more difficult to tolerate than a firmer touch. If your young child needs to be hospitalized, you may want to put a sign over his hospital crib or bed which says something like:

"Hi!

I am Sam. I do not see very well. Please talk to me before you do any medical procedure on me. A firm touch of my body at the spot that you are going to do the procedure will help me know what is coming. It's also very nice if you tell me what you are about to do.

I also like just hearing people chat with me. Having people talk to me usually makes me happy.

Thanks."