As most visually impaired children generally attend mainstream schools, this works of benefit to both the visually impaired child and their sighted peers – both accept that they learn using different strategies but the outcome is the same!
Preparing for school can be daunting for most parents as your main concern will be the health and safety of your child and their happiness at school. Remember you are the expert in “your” child so therefore you need to impart all the little things you do to the school teacher and classroom assistant.
The school teacher and classroom assistant will also get support from the Vision support Teacher . As the Vision Support Teacher will have been involved with your child since diagnosis they will have a good idea of the level of support your child will need.
Giving your child ownership of their visual impairment will help them for the future. For example instead of the support in school telling the P1 child where to sit at circle time ask the child if they can see from where they have chosen to sit – if not asking the child where might be a good place to sit.
Another good strategy to use is to let your child have time on their own to get familiar with the classroom and the resources used by school – this can be done with the parent and teacher or assistant at lunchtime. This can help reassure your child before starting school and it is also a good opportunity for the teacher to start to understand the help if any your child will need.
Information on the Statementing process is available from the Department of Education at Rathgael House in Bangor or you can contact Angel Eyes NI. It is useful to discuss this with your childs Vision Support Teacher too.
Resources can be adapted for your child's specific needs - the Vision Support teacher will work along side the classroom teacher and assistant to organise this.
Read in "Parents Tips and Stories" tips on how to choose the right school for your child.