New journal to support visually impaired children
15 December 2006
Dr Alison Salt and Dr Naomi Dale (UCL Institute of Child Health) have led the creation of a new journal to help parents of children with a visual impairment.
The aim of the journal is to help track children's development along with the professionals.
The Department for Education and Skills and the Department for Health jointly commissioned the new 'Developmental Journal for babies and children with visual impairment' in response to feedback from parents who felt that they had little emotional or developmental support after they were told that their baby had a visual impairment.
The material enables parents to track their child's development up to the age of three, and guides them in helping their children to fulfil their visual potential. It also provides a common framework of reference that the different people in contact with a visually impaired child can use to determine progress and identify areas that need additional support.
The journal comprises eight main parts:
- a developmental profile which provides a summary of what a child is doing,
- an introductory booklet explaining what the material is for and how to use it
- descriptions of typical patterns of development for babies and young children in five main areas of development: communication, social-emotional, play and learning, movement and mobility, and self-care
- a record of developing vision, which supports activity to improve vision and chart progress
- a booklet giving general information about the development of young children with a visual impairment, developmental stages and advice about toys, materials and strategies for helping children
- 'Getting stuck?' a booklet to help families when a child's behaviour doesn't seem to be developing in the way expected
- a glossary that explains terms used in the journal
- activity cards that suggest things to do to promote development in children.
To ensure the journal is easy to use and provides accessible information, the team asked families with young children with impaired sight to use and comment on the material. Professionals who work on a regular basis with families during preschool years also reviewed the content.
To read the journal in full, use the link below:
By Lara Carim, UCL Communications