Educating young blind children for a better future
Your child is visually impaired. What is the right thing to do? Where do you find help? Upon diagnosis of the visual impairment, parents are often in shock and needed time to come to terms with the situation. At St. Nicholas' Home, parents of visually impaired children are encouraged to join the Early Intervention Programme (home-based) to help them to understand, garner support, and receive counseling to help them cope with the trauma, emotions, and challenges of caring for their children.
Absence or lack of vision in children with visual impairment affects their learning of skills as they are not able to see to imitate like other children. Concepts need to be explained carefully to the children as the sense of touch which is the usual substitute for the sense of vision is inadequate & inefficient compared to vision which is all-encompassing. If early intervention is not carried out as soon as the diagnosis of the visual impairment, then the child is at a high risk developmentally
Families will learn right from the beginning what a visually impaired or blind child goes through and they can learn how to cope with things better. Babies and young children with visual impairment, both totally blind and low vision children who face considerable risk developmentally, are given help and support in learning skills, thus helping them to develop in the areas of psychomotor, cognitive, and social to the most optimum level possible. Support & counseling are extended to parents too.
By training the child to be independent, we hope to enable the children to be a unifying factor in their families. With proper training and support from their families and SNH, the children will be able to integrate into their families and communities and contribute positively. They will lead to more fulfilling and independent lives with their mainstream peers. For the past 5 years, we have served a total of 57 children and their families. For 2012, there are 31 children actively receiving training.