Early Childhood

Because a great deal of an infant's learning is through the visual mode, it's important to understand the impact of visual impairment on child development.  Find out what types of intervention are most effective during these crucial formative years.  For resources specific to children with multiple disabilities including visual impairment or deafblindness, regardless of age or developmental stage, begin your search in the area for Education for Students with Multiple Disabilities or use the search box for topics of interest.

Child Development When Vision Is Impaired

FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments
This article provides a simple introduction to the sequence of skills that children master as they learn and grow.
National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
This special issue of Future Reflections is devoted to the first years of a child's life.  It includes sections on learning at home, movement and mobility, touch, literacy, and formal education.
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
Chris Strickling outlines the effect of vision loss on different areas of development, including sensory, motor, self-concept, cognition, social skills, and language.
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)
This handbook by Dr. Virginia E. Bishop helps families and educators understand the importance of early identification, and how visual impairments may impede development if appropriate intervention is not provided. 
American Optometric Association
A description of what a typical baby sees in the first two years of life.
FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments 
This article lists some of the ways in which children with a visual impairment learn about the world around them.  Specific suggestions are included on activities to encourage growth and development.

Research: Child Development When Vision Is Impaired

International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)
Prof. Michael Brambring studies the alternative strategies that blind children apply to accomplish tasks, then uses that knowledge to promote the acquisition of developmental skills. (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI)
Kay Alicyn Ferrell provides an overview of education for young children with visual impairments, including a brief history, the law, and a look at some of the major issues.

Organizations and Resources to Explore: Child Development When Vision Is Impaired

The collection of fact sheets on this site contains information on six common visual diagnoses, as well as information on eye specialists and vision assessments.
This site provides information on common eye conditions, links to additional resources, and a listing of publications available to order.
Information about blindness, education and development, independent movement and travel, sports, games, and leisure activities can be found on this site.
American Printing House for the Blind (APH)
APH offers a wide range of products for parents and professionals to use in the education of young children, including assessment tools, curricula, and instructional materials.

Organizations and Resources to Explore: General Information about Child Development

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
This site contains information on child development, including developmental screening and positive parenting tips.
Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
This site contains position papers, information on public policy and advocacy, and publications available for purchase.
Center for Parent Information and Resources
This site now houses the resources from NICHCY, including Babies and Early Interventionists.  In addition, there are also sections on: Child Care, Child Outcomes, Family Outcomes, IFSP, and Transition.
ECTACenter works to improve service systems and outcomes for infants, toddlers, and preschool aged children with special needs and their families.  Their site contains extensive information on a wide range of topics, webinars, policy, and related information.
A wealth of information can be found here on all topics related to infants and toddlers, and the adults who spend time with them.  The online information includes many specific tips on topics ranging from play to sleep.