Vision is the main source of information for most children. Basic life concepts and tasks are learned incidentally through vision, which children with poor vision or no vision may miss out. Hence, infants who are blind or are visually impaired are at risk of delayed or aberrant development. Areas where visual impairment may impact development include: speech and communication, mobility, social skills, independent self-help skills, and cognitive skills.
A developmental assessment appropriate for infants and young children with visual impairments is crucial, in addition to the functional vision assessment as well as a learning media assessment. Based on the assessment, an intervention programme is designed for the individual child.
The early childhood years are crucial to the overall development of a child as skills and knowledge that are required for later learning are acquired during this period. Specialist intervention is required to plug the gaps to the acquisition of these skills.