Early Intervention and Family Support Services
Learning your child is having significant vision problems can be overwhelming, and you may feel like there is nobody else experiencing these feelings and struggles. IESBVI strives to help you access early intervention by providing you and your child with the resources needed to navigate life with a visual impairment.
There are many families across Iowa who are on a similar path, and there are professionals available to help you on your child’s journey through education and life. Our Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVI) and Orientation and Mobility Specialists (OMS) have the knowledge to come along beside you and help you and your child thrive.
Early Childhood Milestones & Vision Guidance
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a Milestone Tracker app which allows you to track your child’s development milestones from ages 2 months to 5 years. During this time, your child will reach milestones in how he or she plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves. Photos and videos in this app illustrate each milestone and make tracking them for your child easy and fun!
A Guide to Vision Health for Your Newborn, Infant and Toddler is another great resource which can help you keep track of vision milestones as your child ages. As always, if you have concerns about your child’s vision, please contact your doctor.
- Early ACCESS early intervention system in Iowa
- Vision checklist for children aged birth to three years
- Organizations and services to support infants and toddlers with visual impairments
- CDC Milestones in Action Library
Support for Students with Multiple Disabilities
Children with visual impairment and blindness often have additional disabilities. It is estimated between 50-75% of students with visual impairments have multiple disabilities. For children diagnosed with Cortical Vision Impairment (CVI)—the leading cause of non-ocular visual impairment in children in the United States—it is estimated that 85% of these children have additional disabilities.
References: Sacks and Silberman (2000); Hatton, Ivy, and Boyer (2013)
Neuroscience Resources on Child Development
- Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child – This site has some easy-to-understand information on the neuroscience of learning. The science of “serve and return” and healthy relationships have particular significance, since learning is grounded upon interactions with others.
- The Laboratory for Visual Neuroplasticity by Harvard Medical School – These are incredible resources on the brain and visual processing, with an emphasis on cortical and cerebral visual impairment.
Developing Healthy Routines
- Perkins School for the Blind has webcasts on topics for students with multiple impairments. Included is a webcast by Millie Smith on “Strategies for Assessing and Teaching Students with Visual & Multiple Disabilities” to support use of the SLK (Sensory Learning Kit) Guidebook and Assessments.
- Communication for Children with Deafblindness or Visual & Multiple Impairments is a site from Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) that includes examples and information on routines and several other instructional interventions for children with multiple disabilities.
IESBVI has many resources available to help you and your child as you navigate life. Our Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVI) may complete assessments to help determine how your child is currently using his/her vision. Our Orientation and Mobility Specialists (OMS) may complete different assessments to determine how your child is understanding the world around him/her and moving in it. When training is needed for your child, both TVIs and OMS will develop a plan to help your child learn and grow. They will also help you develop skills so you can continue to build on your child’s learning.
To learn more about services available to you and your family, contact Deena Recker at firstname.lastname@example.org
Support Group for Parents of Visually Impaired Children
Families have access to the Iowa Blind and Visually Impaired Children’s Support Group on Facebook. This is a parent-led group not affiliated with IESBVI, intended to promote events and activities in Iowa that involve families of children with visual impairments and blindness. Families may contact Brook Nolin for more information at email@example.com