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Child Who Is Blind


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Hi all,


Any advice on helping a child who is blind settle into our pre-school? I am in a large church hall (which we have to pack away). I am thinking of getting a persona doll to provide opportunities for the other children to contribute, and Mum seems very supportive, but I am a little apprehensive.

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Hi loopymac, as Phil and bridger have suggsted, you will need to get involvement from others if there isn't any already. Your LA may have specialist teachers or sensory support services..your area Senco should know.


You will need to know what the level of blindness is and what the cause is, as so what the child can and cant actually see. You will probably be surprised what the child can do..we had a child with albinism some years back, and he couldn't see a picture in a a book, but could whizz round the play area on a bike, never bumping into anything. Very often, people with visual impairments of varying degrees, miss detail rather than everything.


There may be certain things you are asked to do to make your building more accessible, in fact this may have happened already? Lighting may be a key issue, if the building has dark spots or corners, you may need to brighten them up. You will need to careful of things on the floor. You will need lots of sensory materials, and contrast (eg on tables..comers can be an issue!). Print may need to be bigger, so if you self register, for example, do the names in a larger and bolder font.


But all of these things can be advised best by any specialist service and adapted to his/her personal needs.


Good luck, let us know how it goes.

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Wow, lots of lovely advice, thanks. I do know that our SENCo has met the child, and his Mum says that he comes with all types of funding and support. He already goes to a play centre (but its miles away), so we do plan to get in touch with them.


Its funny that you guys should mention our Area SenCo, she's always harping on about 'visual aids', so I'm interested to hear her support regarding visual impairment!


Thanks for the link Phil, so obvious yet I had not thought of it. That's why I love this site, sometimes it's the obvious that is missed.


Lighting is a very good suggestion. As we are based in a large hall (with very high windows) we have made small, quiet, darkish dens for the children to play in ... these may have to be re-evaluated.




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We have a VI child, trips and slips are something to look out for. Pens or pencils on the floor are very easy to stand on and they just roll and child lands on bum. Another thing to look out for are steps, this child has been with us for 18mths so is used to our environment and is okay with big steps the thing that gets her is where there is a very slight difference in groung level, she trips and gets very cross about it.


A funny story is from way back when she bumped into a clear perspex panel on a settling in visit day, she kicked it as if to get it back for hurting her and has not bumped into it again!


She is a little marvel as she is so at home here, and get into everything the other children do. Our LA's VI specialist teacher is just introducing braille for her name and some everyday items, and we have started working with school ready for her going to reception in September, its never too early to start taking her for "extra" visit on top of what the other other children make.

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