Guide Dogs Scotland launches new developmental initiative for Edinburgh families who have partially-sighted children

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Guide Dogs Scotland has launched a new initiative for Edinburgh families with children who are partially sighted.

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This initiative My Time To Play is designed to help young children learn and socialise in a variety of different ways.

With experts stating that 80% of childhood learning is visual, the programme encourages kids to improvise and learn via different means.

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The new initiative aims to help children with visual impairment.The new initiative aims to help children with visual impairment.
The new initiative aims to help children with visual impairment.

The programme focuses on helping children with a vision impairment from birth to four years to learn important developmental skills in a fun and supportive group setting and is free to the family.

The sessions use stories, songs and movements to help the children play and learn.

Organisers say the service is designed to help children do exactly this whilst achieving key development goals.

There will be seven sessions led by Guide Dogs Habilitation Specialists, who have experience dealing with children with sight loss. The free service also benefits parents, enabling them to meet other parents in a similar situation so experiences, skills and knowledge can be shared. Siblings are welcome to attend to join in the fun.

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Lisa Petrie, Head of Children, Young People and Families at Guide Dogs said: “Discovering a child has a vision impairment can be a worrying and confusing time for families.

"Every year we help hundreds of families build their skills, knowledge, and confidence, and provide tailored support that is right for each family’s specific needs. Small adaptations and innovations can really support families to help their children to live the life they choose.”

Guide Dogs Scotland offers a range of services for children with sight loss, including buddy dogs - a well behaved canine companion, custom made books and technology support, including a recent pilot Tech for All, providing a limited number of iPads and iPhones to children with sight loss.

Weekly in-person sessions are due to start in October, after the team previously ran sessions online.

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To register to take part call 0800 781 1444 or email [email protected]. Interested families unable to travel to these events can opt to join the online equivalent sessions.

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