When a parent is given the devastating news that their child has a visual impairment or will never be able to see again, they become disillusioned, frightened and uncertain about their child’s future. It is important for these parents to receive the support that they need to get through this difficult time. They also require education about basic handling principles that will assist them to cope and thus gain confidence. Recognising this crucial need, LOFOB established an Early Childhood Development Program (ECD) in the 1980’s. LOFOB serves 56 blind and partially sighted children, 16 of whom attend the pre-school and 40 on home based intervention
This ECD program looks at the child holistically as well as provides support to the parents and family. When a child is referred to the center, an assessment is done and the intervention process takes place.
Children under the age of 3 years and their parents are seen via our home-based intervention. Each child’s level of development is assessed on a monthly basis. The parents are supplied with stimulatory guidelines, which they are to implement with their children at home. Parent’s co-operation and commitment is of utmost importance to ensure the child’s optimal development.
The children that are 3 years and older come into the center on a daily basis and are enrolled into the preschool program. The main objective here is to prepare them for school or their primary education.
The ECD program also caters for the children that have multi-disabilities. These children are placed according to the severity of their disability. All children that are referred to LOFOB are assessed by the Occupational Therapist. Children participate in the programme up until the age of 6 years. The main aim of the programme is to ensure that all the visually impaired children are given the opportunity to become as independent and as functional as they can be in our society.
The pre-school is open from Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 14h00. All the children are transported to the venue by LOFOB.