Parental Support

  1. Transitions

  2. Working with your child at home

  3. Social and Emotional Support

  4. Charitable Trusts

  5. Biographies, Podcasts and Children’s Literature on Visual Impairment

Transitions

We provide lots of different types of support for your child as they transition from one educational area to the next. This can include the transition into nursery/primary and onto secondary, college, university or employment.

  • Raising awareness of visual impairment in the staff through training.
  • Preparation visits to the new setting.
  • Environmental audits of the new setting including recommendations for adaptations if needed.
  • Recommending specialist equipment and technology and helping the school to set this up.
  • Mobility support for the new route or familiarisation with the new environment.
  • Team around the child (TAC) meetings with all professionals and the parents planning together.
  • Annual Reviews and Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) meetings with professionals and parents.
  • Providing and supporting the parents with information to enable them to make an informed decision on the next phase of their child’s education.
  • Signposting parents and students to additional support eg. charitable trusts or employment support.

Weekly Sensory Sessions at Sunshine House for 0-5 year olds and parents

We run a weekly sensory session for parents and their children (aged 0-5) every Thursday morning from 9.30-10.30 or from 10.30-11.30. This is a great opportunity for parents to come together and talk or get support and advice from a Qualified Teacher of Visual impairment (QTVI).
There is a fully equipped sensory room with many light toys and stimulating visual resources for your child to interact with in a fun environment.

Working with your child at home

We can provide parents with support and recommendations for working at home with their child. This can include;

  • learning Braille alongside your child,
  • using technology effectively to support your child’s visual needs,
  • suggestions for suitable toys/books,
  • signposting parents to events and leisure or sport activities for after school, the weekend or school holidays,
  • supporting your baby through the developmental stages of their pre school life. We can show you how to implement and follow the Developmental Journal, which is adapted for babies and toddlers with a visual impairment or blindness.

Social and Emotional Support

There may be times when either parents or their child may need emotional support. We can provide support for this or signpost them to other support as needed. This may include counselling or becoming involved in peer group activities with other parents of children with visual impairments or for the children themselves to get involved with others who share their experiences.

We can also assist with suggestions for developing social and independence skills. These may include;

  • teaching about facial expressions and gesturing,
  • developing skills for recognising or finding friends or familiar people in busy settings,
  • knowing who to ask for help and how to talk/explain about their visual needs,
  • developing life skills such as organisational skills, dressing, shopping, handling money, using transport.

The RNIB also offer a counselling service for people affected by sight loss.
https://rnib.org.uk/services-we-offer-advice-and-support-services/sight-loss-counselling-team
They also offer a support service for family, friends and carers who support people who are affected by sight loss.
http://www.rnib.org.uk/information-everyday-living/family-friends-and-carers

Charitable Trusts

Here are a few of the Charities we regularly recommend to parents. Also see our Reading and Braille sections for additional Charitable Trusts

  • Action for Blind People: Providing support and activities for visually impaired and blind children and their families. www.actionforblindpeople.org.uk
  • VICTA (Visually Impaired Children Taking Action): Providing support and activities for young people up to 25. They can also provide grants for specialist equipment. www.victa.org.uk 
  • Through Scarlett’s Eyes: Written by a parent for parents providing information on everything from eye conditions to emotional support and mobility to technology. www.throughscarlettseyes.com
  • Contact A Family: Advice and information on all disabilities and your rights as the parents of a child with a disability. www.cafamily.org.uk
  • Wonderbaby: Useful information for parents on educational apps, sensory resources, Braille toys, stages of development for children with a VI, eye conditions etc. www.wonderbaby.org
  • LOOK: Providing support, information and activities for families. www.look-uk.org
  • SENSE: Providing information and guidance for families supporting a child with multiple sensory loss (deaf/blind). www.sense.org.uk
  • RNIB: (Royal National Institute for the Blind) Useful information on everything to do with sight loss www.rnib.org.uk
  • RLSB: (Royal London Society for the Blind) A provider of education, training, employment opportunities, and support for people who are visually impaired. www.rlsb.org.uk 
  • Blind Children UK: A charity supporting families of blind and visually impaired children. http://www.blindchildrenuk.org/
  • Nystagmus Network: Supports people affected by the condition and leads the research into finding a treatment. www.nystagmusnetwork.org
  • Little bear See’s: Information, support and advice on Cortical Visual impairment. www.littlebearsees.org

Biographies, Podcasts and Children’s Literature on Visual Impairment

Sometimes it may be difficult to understand how your child sees the world. If your child has had their visual impairment since birth, it may be the only way they have ever seen the world so describing it to a fully sighted person can be difficult.
The following is a list of autobiographies by blind or visually impaired authors.

  • Peter White; See it My Way (BBC Radio Presenter)
  • David Blunkett; On A Clear Day (Politician)
  • Victoria Nolan; Beyond Vision (Paralympic Rower and Mum)
  • Marla Runyan; My Life as I See It. (Olympic Runner)
  • Rachel Scdoris; No end in sight (Sled Dog Racer)
  • Erik Weihenmayer; Touch the Top of the World. (Mountaineerer)
  • Sabriye Tenberken; My Path Leads to Tibet (Teacher and World Traveller)
  • Derek Paravicini; In The Key of Genius by Adam Ockelford (World famous pianist, blind from birth who also has autism)
  • Andrea Bocelli: The Autobiography (Opera singer)

There are also many more as well as biographies about other famous people who are blind or visually impaired eg. Stevie Wonder, Helen Keller, Louis Braille etc.


Podcasts

The following are some useful links for podcasts on all things to do with blindness and visual impairment.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/podcast/ a weekly BBC podcast on disability by people with disabilities

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qxww/episodes/downloads (Peter Whites BBC4 series for blind people)

http://www.theblindsportpodcast.com/

http://www.whitestick.co.uk/podcasts.html (links to other relevant podcasts)

http://www.npr.org/programs/invisibilia/378577902/how-to-become-batman (David Kish on growing up blind and using echoe location)



Stories to read to your child about themes on visual impairments

The following is a list of some books we recommend for primary aged children.

  • Dan and Diesel; Charlotte Hudson, (EYRs and KS1)
  • Moles Sunrise; Jeanne Wills (EYRs and KS1)
  • The Patch; Justina Chen Headley and Mitch Vane, (KS1)
  • Lucy’s Picture; Nicola Moon, (KS1 & 2)
  • The Black Book of Colours; Menena Cotton (KS1 & 2)
  • Rainbow Joe and Me; Maria Diaz Stron (KS1 & 2)
  • See the Ocean; Estelle Condra (KS2)
  • Through Grandpa’s Eyes; Patricia MacLachlan (KS2)
  • The Seeing Stick; Jane Yolen (KS2)
  • A Picture Book of Helen keller; David A Adler (KS2)
  • A Picture Book of Louis Braille; David A Adler (KS2)
  • The Sound of Colours; Jimmy Liao, (KS2)
  • Looking Out for Sarah; Glenna Lang (KS2)
  • https://littlefoureyes.com/books-for-kids/ more books with reviews that raise awareness of visual impairment for children.

EYRS (Early Years), KS1 (Key Stage 1, KS2 (Key Stage 2)