Monday 15 October 2012

Ocular Albinism in an infant: A Mother discovers that Early Intervention can make all the difference between a child seeing or not seeing.

Still following the theme of ocular albinism one of the families I visit has twins. Both have OA although one of the twins has it more severely, so much so that up until five months of age he did not appear to be using his vision in any meaningful way, i.e. he did not fix or follow a target; he did not appear visually interested in anything around him.  Yet within virtually one month James has already started to show signs of being visually interested in his small world. Also mum only recently realised that she has also had the same condition to a lesser degree herself from birth.  I asked mum if she would kindly share her experiences and talk a little about the condition. In this post she does just that. For anonymity lets call her Michelle and her little boy James.  It’s a fascinating story of discovery, and especially demonstrates dramatically how effective early intervention can be with a young visually impaired child. 

It was a discovery for Michelle, who understood little of her own eye condition, and was not fully aware that she also had the condition. It was a discovery more importantly of the effectiveness of intervention in the visual development of babies who have a visual impairment. Just a few simple exercises every day can make significant difference to your child’s ability to see.  For James it is the difference between seeing and not seeing.  The eyes need stimulation if they are to develop and learn to see. While the eyes have all the equipment at birth seeing is a learnt skill. It is by no means automatic. And for those little children whose vision is poor at birth regular visual stimulation can make all the difference in the world. Enjoy. 

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