Tips for parents raising a child with visual impairment
Once born, the baby gets into the world of bright colors, sounds, odors, movements and tactile impressions. All these feelings become the basis of its development. Hearing is the basis for developing speech and visual information, in Association with others, is the basis of thinking. Basic information about the world children receive up to three years, and more than 90% of this information is through vision. That is why it is important today to talk about the visual analyzer, specifically about its peripheral division – the eye and the visual impairments associated with it.
The most common form of visual failure, as amblyopia and strabismus, nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), near-sighted and far-sighted astigmatism, nystagmus. In the great majority of children these disorders are congenital.
Even a small reduction in visual acuity in infancy retains the ability to recognize and remember the shape, size and color of surrounding objects, evaluate their position and consider moving objects. Adult, removing his glasses, still distinguish the shape of one object from another – he has experience and knowledge. A young child has almost no visual experience, knowledge, and blurred vision prevents him from obtaining it. That’s why the kid without special exercises and vision correction it is difficult to determine whether what is in front of it is the subject or is it just a spot of color. Only repeatedly sensing objects, the baby starts to allocate them.
A characteristic feature when visual impairment are secondary deviations in mental and physical development of children. The child who receives a fuzzy visual information about the world, not sure in their movements, decreases motor activity, violations of speed, precision, coordination, pace, possible violations of posture. Can be weakened cognitive processes (perception, imagination, visual-figurative thinking, is limited to the acquisition of social experience, disturbed emotional perception of reality, of others.
Therefore, these children need additional studies on the development of visual perception.
If the ophthalmologist has made its diagnosis, you and the teacher know that you need to take to prevent secondary disorders. But it also happens that the teacher has long drawn the attention of parents to the possible violation of view and asked them to go to the doctor, and visit all delayed. Therefore, delayed and remedial work.
If the kid, especially with myopia or strabismus, prescription glasses, then they definitely need to wear. You may have to spend a lot of effort and patience, but it’s worth it.
^ A few tips on how you can teach a child to wear glasses:
° Eyewear should be comfortable and match the configuration and size of the face. Glasses should not press on your temples and the bridge of the nose, otherwise the child may receive a headache.
° So that it is well kept – the glasses frame should be rounded.
° Attach to the ear pieces elastic, then the child will not be able to reset the points on the floor.
° Start pre to wear glasses themselves. Mom, dad, grandma in glasses is so interesting.
° Wear toy sunglasses on a favorite Teddy bear, doll, etc.
Children with myopia and strabismus wear glasses should be mainly on the street and in the classroom when looking at distant objects. At the time of reading, writing, drawing and playing with small objects on the table, the glasses can be removed.
For myopia: it is desirable that the toys were of large size, calm tones, use yellow and green. Note that a child with nearsightedness gets tired quickly, an eye should be gentle. It depends on the age. At preschool age, it can be 10-15 minutes of intense visual load, for example, stringing beads or reading small text.
With hyperopia: toys should be bright yellow, orange (if the child is not raised intracranial pressure), figures should be kept away from the eyes. The distance depends on the visual acuity and may be recommended by the optometrist.
When esotropia: it is very important that during the lesson the child is not leaning over the table.
Offer your child a book and pictures on a stand. To draw better on an easel or on the wall.
In divergent strabismus: children need to look at the books, the pictures on the table. Paint is also better on the table.
A few words about color vision. The first two months of the baby prefers to look at contrasting simple shapes in black and white. According to Professor E. I. Kovalevsky “first more or less marked reaction on the red, yellow and green appear the child to the first half of his life.” Remember that if the newborn is constantly in a room with poor lighting, the development of colour perception is delayed. For the proper development of color vision necessary to ensure good lighting and from an early age to attract the children’s attention to the bright toys, hanging them at a distance of 30-50 cm from the eye and changing their color. (Close the dangling toys can promote the development of strabismus.) After three months toys should hang so that the baby can reach them, so the sight of the toy supplemented by tactile information.
E. I. Kovalevsky argues that “children’s garland should be in the center of yellow, orange, red and green balls, and balls with a touch of blue, blue, white, dark must be placed at the edges”.
^ Things to remember:
° Playing with the child, refers to its position and the distance with the visual abilities of the child.
° When visual impairment toys should be brighter by increasing the contrast and color matching depending on the impairment.
° Do not forget that man is the best and the favorite toy of the child. Do not leave the baby alone for a long time, place the child so that he could see and hear you.
° Put the baby in the crib so that he, surveying the room, had to turn my head to the left.
° If the child is not interested in the toy, place it in front of his face. After some time, stop talking to the baby, to look him in the eye and smile, then he gradually focus on the toy.
° When playing “peek-a-Boo” use a fabric that contrasts with your face, hair. The child must understand that your face is covered. If you need it – talk with your child.
° In parallel with the work on visual perception have to work on auditory and tactile perception.
The child with impaired vision, a regular toy that is age-appropriate. They can pick up and use, based on the recommendations of the doctor, the teacher and the advice given above.