This study retrospectively investigated the developmental perspective of 69 children (40 males, 29 females) with ‘potentially simple’ congenital disorders of the peripheral visual system: development was examined in the context of degree of visual impairment. Developmental and visual assessments were carried out at 10 to 16 months (Time 1) and 27 to 54 months of age (Time 2). Participants were grouped according to (1) visual status: profound visual impairment (PVI), severe visual impairment (SVI); (2) developmental status on the Reynell–Zinkin scales. A majority of the sample showed normal development on all subscales (62% Time 1, 57% Time 2). Those with PVI were more developmentally vulnerable than SVI with a greater incidence of (1) uneven developmental profile at Time 1 (48% PVI, 16% SVI); (2) global learning difficulties at Time 2 (37% PVI, 0% SVI); (3) delay on individual subscales at Time 2 (p<0.02 PVI versus SVI); (4) deceleration (verbal comprehension 74% PVI, 24% SVI, sensorimotor understanding 70% PVI, 27% SVI); and (5) severe developmental setback (33% PVI, 7% SVI). Risk factors of visual level, age, and sex for poor developmental outcome in infants with visual impairment were established.