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Visual impairment can have a major impact on a child’s happiness, success at school and future opportunities, says a new report.

Sight Impaired at Aged Seven, produced jointly by the Royal London Society for Blind People and the Royal National Institute of Blind People, claims that many children with visual impairment are at risk of being less confident, having fewer friends and under performing at school.

While results of the study show that with effective early intervention blind and partially sighted children can prosper, the charities fear that cuts to local authority budgets are leading to reductions in the necessary specialist support.

Children with vision impairment and an additional disability are particularly prone to emotional and social problems, the report says. These difficulties can have a big impact on their behaviour and on educational outcomes.

Teachers reported that fewer than 60 per cent of children with vision impairment had at least one good friend, compared with 80 per cent of children without vision impairment. Parents and teachers also reported higher levels of bullying of children with sight loss. Twice as many children with visual impairment said that they are bullied “all of the time” at school.

To view the report, click here

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