Family support

Our Family Support team gives the families of children with a visual impairment practical and emotional 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 one-to-one support in person in some cases.

What is of most importance to many parents and carers of a child with sight loss 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.

When to get in touch

Please reach out to our family support service if you feel you are in one of these situations:

  • Your child has been diagnosed with a vision impairment within the last 12 months
  • Your child has yet to receive a diagnosis for a vision impairment
  • Your child’s vision has recently changed
  • You attend frequent hospital visits/eye tests
  • You have recently moved to a new area
  • 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

We want to ensure children and young people with sight loss, along with their families, always feel supported. Browse our downloads below for more detailed information and resources. Additionally, for information on living with sight loss and eye health visit the Sight Advice FAQ website.

Indications and awareness of vision difficulties

An information sheet for parents, providing 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, digesting this information may not be easy and you may not remember much of what has been said.

This download features a number of eye conditions with a brief overview for each, to give you a starting point.

Glossary

When your child 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

This resource provides useful information to dispel some myths you may hear about vision impairment in children. We hope in such circumstances, this document will put your mind at ease.

Who is who – professionals supporting your family

For a new parent the world of vision impairment can be daunting, especially when hearing about and coming into contact with different people in the field of health, social care and education. This information sheet provides information about those professionals, with 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 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.

This step-by-step guide is here to help you through the process of completing the forms. We can also offer you additional practical 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 – this guide should be helpful when trying to access the services that you require.

Answering a child or young person's questions

Once diagnosed with a vision impairment, it is highly likely that a child or young person will have questions or concerns surrounding their condition. This information sheet aims to provide you with advice on how to address their questions and who to turn to for support and guidance.

Supporting brothers and sisters 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 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 stop it.

Do you need help?

Please get in touch if you'd like some advice, or to chat about how we can help you.