Essay Sample on Visual Impairments in Children

Published: 2022-12-08
Essay Sample on Visual Impairments in Children
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Medicine Child development Case study
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1785 words
15 min read

Visual impairment would range from no vision, blindness, low vision or being unable to see some colors. Every age category is prone to visual impairment. However, most of the conditions perceived in children of age 4 and below may stay the same throughout their lives. Some of the factors that lead to visual impairment to children may prevail for a short while whereas others may lead to worsened conditions over time hence, a poorer vision of blindness as the child advances in age. Individual visual conditions and the presence of other disabilities, as well as their personalities, may influence the child's reaction to the visual impairment (Szymanski, Brice, Lam, & Hotto, 2012). Visually impaired children ought to perform various activities and tasks differently; hence, the call for immediate attention.

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Visual impairment may be caused by various factors. One of the causal factors is the nervous system, which leads to the (Cortical Visual Impairment); hence, unique visual responses to people, the environment, and educational materials. When various students with the characteristics are judged by their performance to be visually impaired, they can be proved to have the condition. Visual impairment in children could also be caused by the Retinopathy of Prematurity, which is an eye disorder that affects children while they are infants (Siatkowski, Good, Summers, Quinn, & Tun, 2013). The condition affects the immature blood vessels of the retina and occurs weeks after birth and may persist with the development of the child. The underdevelopment of the optic nerve or the Optic Nerve Hypoplasia may also cause visual impairments (Siatkowski, Good, Summers, Quinn, & Tun, 2013). This is the most common causal factor as the dying back of optic nerve fibers is natural with the development of the child at the uterus. The other causal factor is albinism, a group that may transfer the condition from generation to generation. Most of the Albinos lack melanin, which is important for the development of the retina; hence, the condition. Finally, damage to the optic nerve as a result of diseases could lead to permanent visual impairment.

Diagnosis of the condition is the primary step to the right intervention. A GP or Pediatrician is the medical practitioner trained to diagnose the condition. Upon checking, the child could be sent to the pediatric ophthalmologist, who may further examine the child and perform checks to find out the root of the problem (Fazzi, Signorini, La Piana, Bertone, Misefari, Galli, & Bianchi, 2012). Upon diagnosis, parents can access early intervention services and specialists for their children easily. Through early intervention practices, children can learn new skills and how to perform various activities easily such as everyday play and communication since children learn the most from their caregivers with whom they spend time with.

Visually impaired students may achieve slower developmental milestones compared to their counterparts. However, many may confuse that with the lack of cognitive skills, which is not the case, but loss of visual senses. Some of the things in a typical child's development may not favor the visually impaired children. Without vision, these students lose special information regarding social interactions and understanding the physical environment may be difficult for them (Ventura, Ventura, Lawrence, van der Linden, van der Linden, Gois, & Miller, 2017). Some of the developmental milestones include a variety of experiences such as actively modeling playing activities and having the children play with toys and other materials. Exposing the children to various textures will lay the foundation for braille and also motivate the child to explore and start making comparisons. Since visually impaired children are sensitive to different textures and temperatures, exposing them to such conditions can let them accept them easily. As a caregiver, one may also consider reducing auditory distractions and maintain communication with the child by describing various daily conditions. Additionally, caregivers may consider fostering independence in the performance of tasks by the children. With repeated experience and extra time, the child can become more independent.

Visual Impairment Fact sheet

Visual impairment can be considered a functional loss of vision rather than an eye disorder. Some of the eye disorder that could lead to visual impairments includes retinal degradation, cataracts, glaucoma, and corneal disorders. The various effects of visual problems on a child's development would depend on the severity of the condition, and the overall function of the child, which is easily affected by their caregivers and teachers.

The factors that cause visual impairment include:

  1. Cortical Visual Impairment
  2. Retinopathy of Prematurity
  3. Optic Nerve Hypoplasia


Damage to the optic nerve

The factors that cause visual impairment are distinct for distinct people depending on their demographics such as age factors. Blind students learn through Braille and other non-visual media.

Diagnosis of visual impairment may consider factoring in various issues such as regular visits to the GP or Pediatrician. For children, the pediatric ophthalmologist is the most effective medical personnel to deal with the condition. The positive effects of early diagnosis and intervention practices include the ability of children to learn new skills and how they can perform various activities easily. Furthermore, children can acquire better communication skills with both their peers and elders.

The developmental milestones for students with a visual challenge include

  1. The exposure to a variety of experiences such as playing activities, with peers integrated
  2. Exposing the children to various textures to lay a foundation for Braille and motivate them to explore and make comparisons.
  3. Caregivers ought to reduce auditory disruptions for the impaired
  4. Encouragement of independence by letting the children perform various tasks on their own

With the stated developmental milestones, the children can better have better autonomy, personal, and educational achievements.

Case Study

Allex is a four-year-old girl with visual impairment, having been affected at the early stages of birth. Her condition is better described as Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, a condition characterized by the underdevelopment of her nerves. Her condition is permanent as a result of the failure of early intervention services. She has undergone frequent checks by her pediatrician, who until recently, check her condition to ensure that she is both physically and mentally healthy.

Allex is well associated with her peers and can well be factored in in various activities such as play time. Her services include the use of visual aids including glasses, magnifiers, and big-print books. Additionally, she is offered an additional 30 minutes for the review of her records and communication enhancement. Her institution offers her with the Analogy technology, which impacts her positively in learning, letting her catch up with her peers easily.

With support from her caregivers, classmates, and parents, Allex can participate in various learning activities that require group work and teaming up. She is provided with Braille for easy learning of the relevant actions to take during her activities. Due to her slower developmental milestones, she tries hard to catch up with her peers. Therefore, she does not often participate in conversations, but rather actions. She seems happy, jovial, and as having accepted her condition. Some of her personalities include being open regarding her condition, where she appreciates her experiences, and high levels of conscientiousness, as she can plan rather than being spontaneous. She is additionally extravert as a result of her social, energetic, and talkative character. She also agrees to various suggestions and fits approximately any learning environment.

Further analysis of Allex's Condition

Visually impaired children can achieve good outcomes in education like their peer counterparts. There are many potential assistive technologies unique for Allex. For instance, there is the analogy assistive technology, which is unique for students with visual challenges. With modern technology, teachers and caregivers can be offered with innovative tools to assist Allex to overcome the disability, which would otherwise negatively impact her studies. Through assistive technology, Allex can be factored into their peers and interact with them as usual hence, leading them to achieve similar educational outcomes. Additional technologies for children who have visual impairment include large print access, braille access, scanned materials, and speech access. The Braille user can provide feedback to Allex's caregivers by producing materials in braille for individual use and also in print for teachers, and classmates. The modern era is that of educational inclusion, integration, and globalization, where students and teachers with disabilities at all levels would need to have every detail of information regarding the enhancing of performance by technology (Cook, Klein, & Chen, 2015). Educational achievement for visually impaired students comprises of academic development, personal development, as well as autonomy. These can be well achieved with the integration of modern technology.

Allex is mostly weak in socialization and interaction with their peers. Among other weaknesses, interaction is important for both the personal and educational development of a child. However, caregivers strive to provide her with fading assistance in social circumstances. Additionally, she faces the challenge of effective communication. She does not accept and respond positively to suggestions and corrections as she usually feels that she is being isolated from the rest. She is also not courteous and cannot visually observe the behaviors and act accordingly. However, with proper modeling and practicing behaviors such as greetings and farewells, she has the potential to develop them. The visually impaired have the strength of being the unique persons in the society from a positive dimension; hence, Allex is offered a lot of attention by society.

Kolb's learning model is a great fit for Allex. Through the learning style, she has the potential of achieving better learning results and the generation as well as the development of skills. The primary advantage of taking up the Kolb's learning style is that Allex can understand that learning is a process, which is not gauged by outcomes. She can also understand that the process is linear, holistic and creates knowledge resulting from social interactions. A teacher's learning style can determine the manner through which the student can process information, which is a routine tendency of learning that can be gradually transformed into a personal learning style. Combining the learning style with meta-cognition is also important for the child to become aware of what and how much she can do in the learning process. Some of the strategies effective in teaching Allex during lectures is having brief instructions, clearly defining course requirements, and using more than one way to explain a concept. While writing assignments and examinations, the students can be offered assistance with proofreading the written work. Exam papers can also be converted to other formats including the Braille, and large prints.

Works Cited

Cook, R., Klein, D & Chen, D. (2015). Adapting Early Childhood Curricula for Children with Special Needs (9th ed.), Pearson.

Fazzi, E., Signorini, S. G., La Piana, R., Bertone, C., Misefari, W., Galli, J. & Bianchi, P. E. (2012). Neuroophthalmological disorders in cerebral palsy: ophthalmological, oculomotor, and visual aspects.

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