Children's Program

LAB

LAB implemented a Children's program in 2005 to serve visually impaired children and their parents. Research conducted by the faculty at the Children's Center at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center - Shreveport (LSUHSC-SH) and LAB indicates there are no other identified vision services for preschool age children located within Caddo or Bossier Parishes. The nearest services are located in Ruston, LA, seventy miles from LAB's headquarters and Low Vision Rehabilitation Center in Shreveport.

Evidence and research have established that up to 80% of all learning in the first three years of life comes from imitating others. A sighted child develops many basic skills through visual stimulation and curiosity to explore, reach and touch. A child with severe visual impairment misses many opportunities to learn by watching others and seeing things in his environment. Children who do not have access to specialized services and training between birth and three years frequently fall behind sighted children in developing basic skills necessary to learning.

LAB will soon enhance the Children's program with the addition of the Show Me program to teach parents and family members how to help their visually impaired children develop essential motor, mobility, sensory and social skills. The program will also offer counseling and support for parents and families who may be struggling with emotions related to their child's vision loss. To be eligible for the Show Me program, children must be diagnosed as legally blind and be of ages birth to three years old. The program participants can be referred by their Ophthalmologist, Physician or local social service organization.