Hesperian Health Guides
How vision problems affect development
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When a child can see, she usually develops skills ‘naturally’ as she watches and plays with the people and objects she sees around her.
Playing gives a child many ‘natural’ opportunities to move about and to learn.
|Playing with objects helps a child|
learn thinking skills, like solving
simple problems. Here a child
learns how to bring her toy closer
by pulling its string.
|Playing also helps a|
child to talk. When she
is interested in objects,
she learns to name
Children naturally copy what they see.
Watching other people helps a child learn how
to do things and how to behave.
|A young child learns to speak by
hearing other people speak and by
seeing what they talk about.
|A child learns how to|
dress himself by
watching other people.
A child who cannot see well has fewer ‘natural’ opportunities to learn. So he may learn skills more slowly than children who see, and his development may begin to fall behind.
Babies who cannot see well often play less because they do not see anything to play with.
This baby cannot hold up his head. This happened because he did
not move about
and play, so his
His social development may begin to fall behind as well.
Papa let me ride with him yesterday. We went fast!
|A child who cannot see well may not understand or take part in conversations because he cannot see what is being talked about.||So he may begin to spend a lot of time alone because he does not understand what others are saying.|
Most of these problems do not have to happen. Children who cannot see can learn to use their other senses — their sense of hearing, touch, smell, and taste — to help them understand their world and to learn what other children usually learn by seeing.