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Childhood Glaucoma and Education

If you are the parent of a child with glaucoma, it is important to work closely with your school staff and the educational system to insure that the needs of your child are met.

Explore what resources are available in your area. In many communities throughout the country, special education funding and services are provided to meet the needs of visually impaired children.

Early Intervention

Special education services for eligible children are available from birth to adulthood, beginning with Early Intervention. Early Intervention is a program designed to assess the needs of children and to implement services to help the child and support the family.

Consulting with a teacher of the visually impaired to better assess your child’s needs and help the family develop a program that best fits the individual child is critical. Early Intervention can also help the child make the transition to an integrated preschool program.

Individual Education Plans

If your child qualifies, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) can be developed—contact the special education director of your school district for further information.

When developing an IEP, think about your child and what works with them at home. These adaptations and ideas may also work in a school environment. Implement these adaptations and ideas into the IEP plan. All the modifications that your child requires must be put into writing. Include whether prescription glasses are worn, if medications need to be taken, and if vision fluctuates under different conditions.

The IEP ensures that your child’s school knows and understands your child’s special needs. While it may seem like an exhaustive list, the more information you offer, the more prepared the school system will be in providing support for your child.

Tips For Your Child in the Classroom

  • To avoid glare, teach your child to sit with his or her back to the windows or other bright light.
  • Educational materials should be presented against a simple background. Keep the work area uncluttered.
  • Talk with the teacher about flexible seating, especially if visual props are used. For your child, that may mean moving closer to the front of the classroom.
  • Encourage the use of materials with high contrast and bold writing.
  • During outdoor playtime, teach your child to use sunglasses and hats. Even overcast days can cause glare in the eyes.
  • Have your child wear protective goggles during activities.
  • Include ideas that enhance your child’s learning style and ability. If needed, use a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) for enlarging print.
  • If you have any areas of concern, consult with an educator, occupational therapist or low vision specialist to evaluate your child’s home and school environment. These evaluations can give you essential information about your child’s areas of strength as well as areas that need support services.
  • Develop a support system with your family and friends. Also, look into community groups and agencies that provide support groups and other resources.

Last reviewed on March 09, 2012

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