Infants and preschool-aged children have very specific needs related to vision and hearing. Both vision and hearing senses play instrumental roles as they grow, play and develop their other senses. Any difference in vision and hearing affects all areas of development, their learning process and curiosity.
A child's home is their first learning environment and parents of children with visual impairments want to know how to provide a rich learning environment for their child. Parents are the first teachers and they need interaction with vision teachers who can share specialized strategies and skills.
The Texas Deafblind Outreach Project's Infant and Preschool Services focuses on working with parents, ECI providers, teachers and related service staff to provide strategies for services to infants and preschool-aged children.
Programs serving infants and preschool-aged children (birth thru 5 years of age) may:
- Request training about working with infants and preschool aged children.
- Request a home consultation, ECI consultation, or school consultation focused on serving an individual infant or preschool-aged child.
Why is Early Identification Important?
Vision and hearing are critical factors in overall development of infants and toddlers. There is a high incidence of children born with either vision or hearing loss having a concurrent vision and hearing loss or deafblindness. It is often the case that one of the sensory losses is more obvious, i.e., the baby has an obvious vision but a less obvious hearing loss or an obvious hearing loss with a less obvious vision loss. The sooner both sensory losses are identified and intervention is provided, the better for the child's overall development.
If you suspect an infant or toddler has both a vision and hearing loss, please contact us or your Deafblind Specialist at your education service center.
Holly Cooper, Deafblind Infant and Pre-School Consultant