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As we near the end of one school year, many are already looking to the new start in August or September. Whether starting nursery for the first time, moving up to primary or transitioning to secondary, the new school year can bring new challenges.

Will other students ask your child about their artificial eye? What if it falls out at school! And are there any tips for helping children with a visual impairment in the classroom?

This blog brings together a wealth of information which we hope you will find helpful, as well as signposting further resources and useful organisations. If you have queries about any of this information please don’t hesitate to contact your support worker.

Early Years

It’s never too early to get involved with your local visual impairment / sensory team. Our Early Years & Visual Impairment leaflet has information on how to register as blind or partially sighted, and the support you can access, before, during and following the nursery years.

School

A good starting point is our webpage In School or Nursery, which covers topics such as starting a new school, taking part in sports and talking to other children about a visual impairment. Linked to this is the Artificial Eyes School Action Plan with practical tips for if an eye should come out at school!

And speaking of taking part in sports, don’t forget this helpful blog on protective eyewear for children with monocular vision.

Rb parent and visual impairment teacher Marie Lloyd has written an excellent summary of the educational support available to all children with health needs or a visual impairment after retinoblastoma. And it’s not just relevant to school-age children. Local authorities and schools now have a responsibility to provide centralised, coordinated support, focused on the needs and aspirations of the child or young person, from birth to the age of 25.

Whether your child has learned to read yet or not, there are a number of organisations out there providing access to a whole range of literature. From Spot the Dog to Harry Potter (as well as books for adults); in large print, braille or audio, the magical world of books is just waiting to be discovered.

My story

We know there is nothing like hearing from other families about their experiences, so why not check out Jodie’s blog about her son Jude starting school, or Lisa’s piece on giving visually impaired children like son Harry the best start in life.

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