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Growth & Development


A great deal of a child’s early learning occurs through vision. 


Children who are born with (or acquire in early childhood) blindness or low vision are at a greater risk for developmental delays and communicative disorders.


Children born with poor vision do not know what “normal vision” is like.

They often think that everyone sees the same way that they do.


Not waiting for your child to tell you that they have a vision problem. It is important to monitor a child’s visual development . Early identification can often reduce or eliminate the risk of long-term complications.

Recommended frequency for children’s eye examinations: First eye exam between 6 and 9 months of age, and then annually or as recommended by the optometrist.

Healthy Child Development

There are several stages of healthy vision development that are marked by key abilities.  

By 6 weeks

  • Stares at surroundings when awake

  • Briefly looks at bright lights/objects

  • Blinks in response to light

  • Eyes and head move together

By 3 months

  • Eyes glance from one object to another

  • Eyes follow a moving object or person

  • Stares at a caregiver's face

  • Begins to look at hands and food

By 6 months

  • Eyes move to inspect surroundings

  • Reaches/graps for objects

  • Looks at more distant objects

  • Smiles and laughs when they see you smile and laugh

By 12 months

  • Eyes turn inward as objects move close to the nose

  • Watches activities in surroundings for longer time periods

  • Looks for a dropped toy

  • Visually inspects objects and people

  • Creeps towards favourite toy

By 2 years

  • Uses vision to guide reaching and grasping
    for objects

  • Looks at simple pictures in a book

  • Points to objects or people

  • Looks for and points to pictures in books

  • Looks where they are going when walking and climbing

2-3 years

  • Sits a normal distance when watching television

  • Follows moving objects with both eyes working together (coordinated)


3-4 years

  • Knows people from a distance (across the street)


4-5 years

  • Holds a book at a normal distance

... If a child is missing one or more of these expected age outcomes, consider this a red flag



If a child is experiencing any of the following, consider this a red flag:

► Blinking and/or rubbing eyes often; a lot of tearing or eye-rubbing

► Swollen or encrusted eyelids
► Bumps, sores or sties on or around the eyelids
► Drooping eyelids
► Lack of eye contact by three months of age
► Does not watch or follow an object with the eyes by three months
► Haziness or whitish appearance inside the pupil
► Frequent “wiggling,” “drifting” or “jerky” eye movements; misalignment of the eyes (eye turns or crossing of eyes)
► Lack of co-ordinated eye movements
► Drifting of one eye when looking at objects
► Turning or tilting of the head when looking at objects
► Squinting, closing or covering of one eye when looking at objects
► Excessive tearing when not crying
► Excessive blinking or squinting
► Excessive rubbing or touching of the eyes
► Avoidance of, or sensitivity to, bright lights

These Practitioners and Agencies may be able to help

Services and Information related to Vision:

Having more general concerns about a child's development?

Having difficulty coping? Need some advice?

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