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Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 6, Lesson 3

Visual Impairments and Blindness

little boy with paper towelsA visual impairment refers to a functional loss of vision rather than to a disorder of the eye. The eye disorder is what leads to the visual impairment. Any influence that restricts or obstructs vision may affect an infant's window of opportunity to develop normal visual cortical function. The window of opportunity for this development is the first six months of life. Although the sensitive period for the development of visual acuity is during the early years of life, families should not give up on encouraging their child to use whatever vision they have through support of interaction with vision stimulation activities.

Required reading for this lesson includes the Pediatric Visual Diagnosis Fact Sheet from the Blind Babies Foundation Other required reading material to assist the ITDS in learning about common visual diagnoses, their definitions, causes and visual and behavioral characteristics are also found in the Resource Bank. Of major importance to the ITDS are the teaching strategies. These will assist in planning effective interventions. The six common diagnoses and their accompanying information are as follows:

The ITDS is also required to read a fact sheet about Eye Specialists While reading this information, note the roles and training required of an ophthalmologist, an optometrist, and an optician.

Detailed drawings and definitions are included in the required readings that explain How the Eye and Brain Work Together for visual functioning. Lastly, the learner is required to read information about the Visual Assessment by the eye care specialist and the important questions that will be asked of parents and caregivers.


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