Early Intervention - Royal Institute for Deaf & Blind Children

Early Intervention

The diagnosis of a baby or young child with a vision impairment is often unexpected. It can be a confusing time, but there is help at hand.

Gem with her mum Dee

Giving your child the best start in life

For children who cannot rely on their vision, it’s important to provide tailored opportunities for learning that might come naturally to others. We give children quality support early in life to set the foundation for higher learning and critical life skills. Our goal is to make sure they are happy and confident to interact with others, play, and explore the world.

Our early intervention services provide a stimulating environment to encourage children with low vision to use their vision optimally. For children who have no functional vision, we help them use their other senses for learning. There’s no one-size-fits all program, we work together with your child and your family to set the right short and long-term goals, adjusting them when we need to along the way.

Supporting your unique journey

Your child is unique, and so are their development and learning needs. While a vision impairment can create specific challenges, your personal early intervention program is designed to address these, providing the unique mix of services and support you, your family and your child need to flourish. We support you with each stage of your child’s development across all areas including gross and fine motor, communication, social, play and cognitive skills, to help them reach developmental milestones in their early years and make a smooth transition to school.

Your RIDBC early intervention program is completely tailored to your child and your family. It is designed to educate and support all your family members, developing your ability and confidence to support your child at home and in the community.

Building a team around your child

A teacher or therapist will be assigned to your family as your key worker. The role of the key worker is to provide intervention and individualised service planning, helping your child to have a range of experiences in their life. They also help coordinate your child’s services and supports. To achieve the best outcomes, these services shouldn’t work in isolation, so we will work closely with you, your health professionals and community support services to ensure you have an integrated team in your corner.

Your key worker will help you access and integrate the services and supports to ensure your child has the best start in life. RIDBC can help support your individualised plan through the provision of : 

  • Orthoptic services and assessments
  • Speech pathology
  • Specialised preschool program designed to support the needs of children who are blind or have low vision
  • Consultative vision support to your child’s community preschool
  • Specialist vision impairment educators
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Assistive technology assessments and training
  • Medical specialists
  • Respite care
  • Developmental assessment or learning support from psychologists
  • Parent information and networking.