Cognitive and Behavioural effects of Visual Impairment

Cognitive and Behavioural effects of Visual Impairment

"Visual impairment" is an umbrella term for any degree of loss of vision. It may vary in intensity. Corrective lenses can correct mild cases of visual impairment. However, severe cases (such people are usually called "blind") cannot be corrected even by corrective lenses. In such cases, there may be some cognitive and behavioural changes.

Effects on communication

People usually believe that blind people have better language skills and that their other senses, like touch, are more developed than a sighted person.

However, this is not entirely true. It has been observed that people who are blind by birth end up with poor communication skills. This can be attributed to the lack of visual perception of their surroundings.
For interacting with their environment, blind people need to use their hands to touch different parts of an object to build its image in their mind. However, it is almost never possible to get an accurate image, so they often have a slightly different perception of the world around them.

Congenitally blind people don't know what kind of reaction their body language causes others to have. This leads to a social divide between them and sighted people.

Effects on behaviour

Blind people may have a very different way of reacting to a particular thing than what is considered normal. This is attributed to how they perceive the world around them. For example, they usually don't make eye contact with the person they talk to and slouch a bit. This may make them seem disinterested.

In blind children, many behavioural developments are delayed. They also develop habits like body swaying, rocking, and tapping, which are commonly associated with autism. In fact, it has been observed that many visually impaired children are thought to be autistic at first.

It is crucial to observe the child's behaviour carefully to diagnose any impairment as soon as possible. Any out of the blue behavioural change should be taken seriously

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