If your child has a sight impairment then you will know that wearing glasses to help their vision may not be the only help they need…
The Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB) has issued a new report, ‘Sight Impairment at 11’, which has found that blind and partially sighted 11 year olds face a tough reality. It underlines the fact that not being able to see fully, or at all, can have a major impact on every aspect of a child’s development and wellbeing.
By 11 most blind and partially sighted children are less confident than their sighted peers. They find it harder to make friends, are more likely to be socially isolated, and are more likely to live in financial hardship. Parents and teachers tell the RLSB that children with sight loss are twice as likely to be bullied or picked on by other children.
The RLSB believe this can be avoided with early intervention through expert support for the children, their families and schools. Results from the report clarify that by teaching blind children how to make friends and build resilience, they can flourish in the school environment.
To help young blind children reach their potential, the RLSB provide support at an early age at family drop-in centres, where they also assist parents how to bring up a blind child. Unfortunately these life-changing services are limited and they are hoping to open more in 2015, making support more accessible to families who need it.
The Royal London Society for Blind People are currently running a Christmas appeal to enable them to open three more groups in London and the South East. Here is a link to the appeal which tells you more about their services and also shows the story of Sylvia, who makes a 50 mile round trip each week to take her granddaughter Zoe to one of the family drop-in services, simply as there isn’t one closer to her. But until that time, Sylvia says that these drop-in centres are “worth every mile to get there”.
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