Discovering your child has a vision impairment can be a worrying and confusing time but we’re here to give emotional and practical support to you and your family.

We know that consistent and informed support for the whole family, including grandparents, brothers and sisters, is invaluable for parents of a child with a vision impairment – that's why our experienced experts have put together this information and advice.


Here to help you and your family

We tailor our support to your family's needs and goals. We have a huge range of resources and links with other organisations that can help you.

Our children can do whatever they want, they just need support from people like Guide Dogs.
Sophie, mum of two children with a vision impairment

Get support for your family

Every year we help hundreds of families by listening to what they’re going through and working alongside them.

Whether your child has been diagnosed or not, we can help you if:

  • You're worried that your child's sight has recently changed 
  • Your child has been diagnosed with a vision impairment
  • You believe that your child has a vision impairment but hasn't received a diagnosis yet
  • You need help understanding your child's frequent hospital visits/eye tests
  • You've moved to a new area and aren't sure what support is available to you
  • Your child does not receive, or you are looking to apply for, benefits and grants
  • You are looking for activities and early development advice for your child
  • You have any concerns about your child's sight

Our family support services are available in England and Wales. If you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland, please give us a call and we’ll refer you to local support organisations that will be able to help with your specific needs.

Emotional support when you need it

We understand that some families need more than practical advice and guidance, they also need emotional support. Call our specialist team for an empathetic ear and a space to talk.

To help you build your support network, we can put you in touch with other parents in similar circumstances through our monthly online peer support network. We can also help you meet other families through our family events.

For families who have recently gone through diagnosis, we also host an annual family weekend, where we run various supportive workshops and offer an opportunity for parents to meet, socialise and share experiences.


Get help and support early with Starting Point

Another great resource that can help you through this challenging time is Starting Point. Starting Point is a leaflet that is designed to help families of children with vision impairment from the point of diagnosis and is given to families in eye clinics. It was first introduced in 2016 and developed collaboratively with charities in the sector and a range of eye health and sight loss professionals. The leaflet offers links to helpful resources, advice, and guidance, while encouraging the advantages of early action. 

It also contains contact details for the support services available to help you and your family. These include:

If you are an eye health professional or are involved in the support of parents of children with vision impairment at the point of diagnosis, you can order hard copies in bulk for distribution to families from your service or clinic. Please contact children@guidedogs.org.uk with your request details.

A guide for parents whose child has a vision impairment

Download the Starting Point leaflet for an introduction to the help and support available to you.


In this section...

Useful information to dispel myths you may hear about vision impairment in children. We hope this information will put your mind at ease.

An overview of a number of eye conditions and what they mean.

We offer practical and emotional support to you and your family during every step of your child's diagnosis of a vision impairment.

We explain all the misconceptions about vision impairment and provide helpful information to support you and your child. 

This step-by-step guide is here to help. We can also offer you additional practical support and guidance through the process.

This handy guide has all the information you need about the professionals available to support you and your child.

This guide contains helpful information when trying to access the services you require.

This jargon buster gives an explanation of some of the terminology you may hear during a hospital visit.

We offer useful information providing you with advice on how to address their questions and who to turn to for support and guidance.

We offer suggestions and advice to help you support your children.

We are here to offer help and support with the loss of your dog.

We're here to help

If you need further advice or would like to speak to an expert, you can call Guide Line from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.

0800 781 1444