When a child is born with a diagnosis of cancer or other medical conditions that may impact vision, parents are never prepared to deal with the frightening reality. Dreams are shattered and families are in crisis as they grieve for the healthy baby they expected. The knowledge that their child has a life-threatening disease that may result in vision loss quickly and dramatically changes initial feelings of joy and happiness at the birth of a baby to those of shock, grief, anger, despair, and anxiety about the future. Many parents describe feeling as though they are on an emotional roller coaster, hopeful one moment and desperate the next. As one parent so beautifully said, "What I thought would be the happiest time in my life turned out to be the saddest."
Through multilingual consultation and family therapy, we provide skilled professional assistance to enable a family to cope with the news. Families in crisis need information and many times do not know where to find it. We publish books and DVD’s all designed to provide easy to understand suggestions and coping strategies.
Families in crisis need information, and they usually have no idea where to find it. We provide guidance through a resource and referral network available to families and professionals internationally. Institute for Families refers parents and physicians to organizations specializing in meeting the needs of children with specific visual problems. Our staff can help locate appropriate infant care programs, school settings, learning aids, and much more. In addition, we write and publish journal articles, booklets, and newsletters for families and health care professionals. These tools offer concrete suggestions and coping strategies. Parents often share their experiences and strength with each other through our publications. We have also created a series of professionally produced DVD’s that deal with issues affecting the families of the visually impaired and the health care workers who assist them.
Institute for Families is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All of our services are provided at no cost to families and professionals, with funding provided by private donations. No federal funding is given.