Hesperian Health Guides
Blindness with Other Disabilities
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Some children with cerebral palsy or other disabilities are also partly or completely blind. Parents may not realize this and think that the child’s slow development or lack of interest in things is because he is mentally and physically handicapped. In fact, blindness may be a large part of the cause.
Even if a child has no other disability, blindness can make development of early skills slower and more difficult. If the child does not look at, reach for, or take interest in things around him, check if he can see (and hear).
Note: Some children with very severe brain damage or mental slowness may seem blind. They may look at things without really seeing them, because their brains are at the developmental level of a newborn baby. With lots of stimulation, little by little some of these children begin to become more aware of things, to follow them with their eyes, and finally to reach for them.