Cathy and her husband, Ben, were in shock when their 10-week-old baby was diagnosed with a rare eye condition.
Nicholas has no sight in his right eye, and low vision in his left. Within weeks, Cathy could see her son was falling behind—he wasn’t holding his head up or rolling over. "I was desperate to help him, but I didn’t know what to do," says Cathy.
It’s a race against time. The first five years of a child’s life are a time of rapid development, and by sending a gift today, you could help ensure a child who is blind or has low vision isn’t left behind. Instead, with your help, they’ll be able to build the foundations for a fulfilling life.
Nicholas was five months old when Cathy had her first visit from Emma, an early childhood specialist teacher from Vision Australia.
During the first five years, children develop so fast. They go from being a baby, to a toddler, to a child who can walk and talk. All though this period, a child is like a sponge, soaking up every new experience. But the vast majority of what they learn comes from what they see. And that puts children who are blind or have low vision at risk of falling behind from day one.
'Parents are often understandably struggling to come to terms with their child’s diagnosis,’ says Emma. ‘They feel sad. They’re grieving for what might have been. They often feel lost and confused.’
Like Cathy, they’re desperately worried about the future.
‘Often a parent will ask me, Will my child be able to get a job? Will they be able to go to university? Will they be able to live independently? This is during our first conversation.’
But Cathy’s worries for the future began to melt away as soon as Emma started to talk about the support we could offer. About how we’d work with her to help Nicholas hit his developmental milestones. And about how we believe there are no limits—children who are blind or have low vision can do anything they want in life with the right support.