When do you know if your blind child has additional disabilities?

Does anyone know when it is possible to tell if a blind child has additional disabilites or if the child is delayed only due to blindness?

And does anyone know if there is a correlation between motor development and cognitive abilities? I.e. If a blind child starts to walk early is the probability that the child has no further disabilites bigger?

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Posted by Amber Bobnar on Jul 19, 2015 - 3:06pm

I know that we really didn't start to worry that Ivan had additional disabilities until he was about 3 years old. It's really not at all unusual for a blind baby to lag behind in development, so we just thought he would catch up. By the time he was three and still not walking we started asking doctors to test for other issues.

I've never heard that there is a correlation between motor development and cognitive abilities, so I'm not sure about that. You can look at development charts, but really I think your mother's instinct is better at judging than any charts. If you feel the delays are troublesome, then it's totally appropriate to ask for more services, evaluations or testing. If you feel it's better to wait and see, then listen to yourself!

Posted by JennyL on Jul 20, 2015 - 3:46pm

how much delayed was Ivan by the age of three? Our daughter is undiagnosed so the testning continous.

Posted by Amber Bobnar on Jul 20, 2015 - 5:12pm

At 3 we had the diagnosis of LCA and none of our doctors had been concerned that he had any other issues. But he still wasn't walking, his speech was delayed (he was talking then, but not at the level he should have been) and he had low muscle tone. Further testing revealed that he also had Joubert Syndrome, which explained the low tone and not walking.

It wasn't until a few months after that diagnosis that he started to lose his speech and we realized he was also having seizures.