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- Choosing Toys for Children With Sight Loss
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Summary: All children are different and a toy that is a favourite of one child may not be suitable for another. Choose toys with textures, bright and contrasting colours, sounds and music. The following is offered as a guide to assist when choosing toys for a child with sight loss.
- Good colour and tonal contrast
- Interesting texture offering some tactile variety
- Encourages good co-ordination of hands
- Encourages development of fine finger control
- Encourages visual tracking
- Encourages development of hand–eye co-ordination
- Encourages physical play, for example running, jumping, etc.
- Makes a sound or other cue to an action having occurred
- Reflects light or is fluorescent
- Encourages understanding of cause and effect
- Encourages development of sense of smell
- Lettering is bold and clear
- Discrete pieces can be identified by touch
- Switches are recognisable by touch as ‘on’ and ‘off’, and click when operated.
Visiting teacher service
The Department of Education and Science provides a regionalised visiting teacher service. This service is available from birth and follows through to third level. A visiting teacher visits children with sight loss in their own home. The visiting teacher will carry out an assessment of a child’s needs and provide guidance on the implications of sight loss on teaching and learning. Emphasis is placed on working as a partner with families, enabling them to make informed choices in the education of their children.
Apply to the visiting teacher service on Tel: 090 6474621.
Public health nurse
Public health nurses are employed by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and work from your local health centre. Use the help and support of your local public health nurse who will offer you both advice and practical support about caring for your baby. You can contact your public health nurse by calling your local health centre or call the HSE infoline at 1850 24 1850, Monday to Saturday 8am to 8pm.
Family Resource Centre
The Family Resource Centre in ChildVision offers an extensive calender of event for families who have a child with sight loss.
Féach is another useful support service. Féach is a support group for parents of blind and visually impaired children.
NCBI Community Resource Workers
If you have not already done so, you may wish to make an appointment with a community resource worker at your local NCBI office. As well as giving advice, information and support, your community resource worker can also refer you to some of our other services that you may find useful, including our low vision service, library service or professional counselling service, for example.
NCBI’s Early Learning Centre
NCBI’s Early Learning Centre (ELC) in Clondalkin caters for children with sight loss from the ages of 0 to 6. If you would like some advice or additional information please call the staff at the ELC on 01 405 6950 or email email@example.com.