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Children's Medical Services - Special services for children with special needs
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Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 6, Lesson 3


This lesson presents basic knowledge related to sensory impairments in infants and toddlers. The information provides a foundation for planning intervention strategies with the team for young children who are blind or visually impaired, or hearing impaired. This lesson provides the Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist (ITDS) with information to help the family understand and integrate developmental supports for their child.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, you will be able to:

  1. Recognize types of sensory impairments, their causes, signs, symptoms, and their effect on the child and family.
  2. Identify frequently used medications and adaptive equipment for children with sensory impairments including technological supports.
  3. Use diagnostic reasoning to fully participate in the development of an Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP) and Plan of Care within the context of family needs, priorities and activities to meet the needs of a child who is blind, visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing.
  4. Distinguish ways in which a child with sensory impairment affects the dynamics within a family, including the influence on the child.
  5. Identify national, state and community resources to assist families in meeting the medical and developmental needs of their infants and toddlers who have sensory impairments.
  6. Recognize the Part C/Early Steps eligibility requirements for children who have vision or hearing problems.
  7. Adapt the Part C/Early Steps assessment and ongoing monitoring process to include procedures appropriate to the child with sensory impairment.


The following resources are necessary for the completion of this lesson. Learners may wish to access and print a hard copy of the resources prior to beginning the lesson and for future reference. Some resource documents can be found in the Resource Bank. Others are available online.

Key Words

Definitions of key words are found in the glossary.

  • Albinism
  • Amblyopia
  • Auditory dyssynchrony
  • Cataracts
  • Chorioretinitis
  • Conductive hearing loss
  • Cortical visual impairment
  • Glaucoma
  • Mixed hearing loss
  • Optic nerve atrophy
  • Optic nerve hypoplasia
  • Retinal diseases
  • Retinopathy
  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • Strabismus


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