Saturday, August 31, 2013

Early Intervention: Helping Babies with Visual Impairments

Every state and every area should have access to early intervention. If  the hospital where your child was born has diagnosed the need at birth they should direct you. If you recognize or suspect a problem later your child's pediatrician can direct you.

Early interventionist come to your home while the child is age 0-3. Not just for vision but if the child needs OT, PT Speech... Many of my babies from my preschool class had EIs and the one for VI was so awesome that when each child was about to be three years old she would come to me and tell me about the candidates for my class for multi-disabled babies or for my neighbor who had the preschool class for "vanilla blind" babies. Fortunately, when I was transferred from the preschool class, I was able to see some of my kids and the next door kids again in other schools in classes with sighted children. Some of them left for the school for the blind but because of EA most our children are able to remain in their home schools and attend their neighborhood schools. Even my nephew, born at 5 months gestation had EA. He is now attending a university on a scholarship!
This is a powerful video that shows the lives and progress of young children with visual impairments who participate in the Florida Department of Education Division of Blind Services-funded Lighthouse Early Intervention Program. You will hear first-hand accounts from parents and service providers, and see how much the children have advanced as a result of the program.

Early Intervention services are provided to children from birth to Kindergarten. Services are provided to the child and family in the child's home, day care, school, neighborhood or center-based setting. Learning is structured to maximize the visual and developmental progress of each child. Early Intervention services are critical in preventing unnecessary developmental delays due to vision impairment. Children and families served in the Early Intervention program are empowered to participate in and benefit from activities in the home, community, and school setting. Family participation in the development and delivery of the service plan is an essential component of the Early Intervention program.

Video used with permission from Lighthouse of Central Florida http://www.lighthousecentralflorida.o...

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