After the Diagnosis: For Parents of a Child Just Diagnosed with Blindness
Whether your child is a baby or toddler, preschooler, grade schooler, or a teenager, learning that your child has a visual impairment can be a shocking event that affects you and your entire family.
If you’re feeling a wide range of strong emotions, including confusion, you’re not alone. Most parents of children who are visually impaired can recall the day they first suspected their child couldn’t see, the day they were given the diagnosis of their child’s eye condition, who told them, and how the news was delivered. For many, the memory may be upsetting because they weren’t prepared for the news, it wasn’t delivered gently, or they weren’t given information about where to turn for help. But there are many sources of support and services for the families of children who are visually impaired, including other parents, and you can connect with them on FamilyConnect through blogs, message boards, and more.
Do you wonder who all of the people are that are on your child’s medical team? We have developed a downloadable toolkit on working with medical professionals when your child can’t see that lists the various doctors and specialists and their role in working with children who are blind or low vision. Additionally, the “Working with Your Child’s Medical Professionals” section has lots of valuable tips and information, including:
- What questions to ask your child’s eye care specialist when your baby can’t see
- Tips on following your child’s eye doctor’s directions
- What to expect at the pediatric eye doctor’s office
- What low vision services are available for children
- Common abbreviations used by children’s eye care specialists
Do you wonder how to get non-medical services for your child who is visually impaired? We developed a second downloadable toolkit that gives you an overview of the service system for visually impaired children. You can also read through the “Overview of Services” section for additional information.
You may also wonder: What kind of jobs do people who are blind have? The American Foundation for the Blind has a web program for those seeking employment called AFB CareerConnect. For many years, this program has shared the life stories of blind adults who are employed. Take a moment to read these success stories, and you will learn that people who are visually impaired work in a wide variety of careers. For the complete listing, you may visit the “Our Stories” section of CareerConnect.
Receiving the diagnosis of blindness or visual impairment in your child can create stress for you and your family. In the “Emotional Impact of a Child’s Blindness” section, we discuss topics such as:
- Talking to family and friends about your child’s visual impairment
- Tips to encourage healthy relationships with siblings
- When people stare at a brother or sister
Stop and take a breath, and read these articles for tips on how you and your family can adjust.
Curious about your child’s eye condition? You can browse by eye condition, learn how to adapt your home for a child who is blind, and explore helpful products for parents of children who are blind or visually impaired, including toys and gift ideas.