Our Family Support team gives the families of children with visual impairment emotional and practical support, advice and information. We also advise and work with other professionals and organisations.
We can explain complex terms, give independent advice on claiming benefits or make contact with agencies and organisations on the family’s behalf. We usually work over the telephone, although we may provide face-to face-support in some cases.
What is of most importance to many parents and carers of a blind child is the consistent and informed emotional support we provide for the whole family, including grandparents, brothers and sisters. We listen, care and advise.
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland we work closely with local charities to provide Family Support services.
An overview of how we can help
Indications and awareness of vision difficulties
The information sheet for parents, provides tips and pointers on what to look for if you believe a baby/toddler may have a vision impairment and what to do next.
Eye conditions explained
On receiving the news that your child is vision impaired you will probably be given the name of the eye condition. At first, assimilating this information is not easy and you may not remember much of what has been said. Parents therefore usually need to seek out more details, so we have listed a number of eye conditions with a brief overview for each.
When your child/young person is undergoing tests to determine a diagnosis of vision impairment it is often a distressing and emotional time. It can be difficult to fully understand what consultants and specialists are telling you about your child's vision. This glossary gives an explanation of some of the terminology you may hear during a hospital visit.
Vision impairment - a guide for parents: terminology key
In the early years and beyond you may hear many things about vision impairment in relation to your child and young person. This is a really useful information sheet to dispel some of those myths, which we hope on such occasions you will be able to refer to and put your mind at ease.
Who is who - professionals supporting your family
For a new parent the world of vision impairment is daunting especially when hearing about and coming into contact with different people in the field of health, social care and education. This information sheet is a clear guide to those professionals and a brief explanation of their role.
Tips on completing disability living allowance and carer's allowance forms
There are a number of benefits that you may be entitled to if your child/young person has a vision impairment. Parents often tell us that they are overwhelmed and find it quite daunting when faced with the task of completing the required application forms. We have tried to make it easier for you with this step by step guide to help you through the process of completing the forms. We are here to offer you support and guidance through the process should you require more help.
Accessing social services
It is not always easy to know all of the statutory services that may be available to support parents and their children who have a vision impairment. Social services are there to support you and this guide should be helpful when trying to access the services that your family, child or young person requires.
Answering your child or young person's questions
At the time of, and following diagnosis of a child or young person's vision impairment, it is highly likely that they will have questions or concerns surrounding their condition. This information sheet aims to provide you with advice on how to address their questions and on who to turn to for support and guidance.
Supporting brothers and sisters (siblings) of children/young people with a vision impairment
When a child or young person is diagnosed with a vision impairment, it is likely that this will cause their brothers and sisters to have questions or concerns. This information sheet sets out some suggestions and advice to help you support your children at such times.
A parent's guide to learning at home
Parents sometimes feel that they have to spend hours using special programmes to help development of their baby/toddler, however, there are specialists who can advise and support you through early development programmes. This information sheet is aimed to help parents to understand what may be needed to support your baby/toddler at home.
A guide to reporting bullying
Children and young people with a disability can often become a target of bullying. This guide gives advice on spotting the signs that your child/young person may have become a target of bullying and the steps you can take to get it stopped.