Early Childhood Intervention: Module Two – Special Needs & Conditions

Children with Sensory Losses

Children with sensory losses have difficulty with seeing (vision losses; blindness), hearing (hearing losses; deafness), or both senses, with varying degrees of vision and hearing (deaf-blindness) (see full Glossary).

Sensory losses may be present at birth as a consequence of a genetic or congenital condition. Sometimes, injury or trauma, or poor environmental conditions (see full Glossary) may also result in sensory loss.

Infants and young children with sensory losses have fewer opportunities than their peers for what is called “casual” or “incidental learning” (see full Glossary). Early intervention is critical to ensure these children’s optimal development1.

Parents and caregivers need to find out about the unique developmental traits of children with sensory losses.  Knowing about what is new in research and technology will allow them to better access resources and learn about intervention strategies.

Specific intervention options and programs exist for the child and their family that you will find in each section below (visual impairments, hearing losses, and for those who are deaf and blind). At the same time, early intervention consultants work with families through the  Infant Development Program/Aboriginal Infant Development Program /Supported Child Development Program/Aboriginal Supported Child Development Programs of BC. These early intervention and support child development programs support families in many ways, including helping coordinate the different services offered to them.

1 Resources: http://www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/deafblindness/

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