11 Oct Coming to Grips with your Child Losing Sight
I believe the parents take it harder than the child about losing sight or being born blind. I have been in so many meetings where the mom is sobbing and the father sits stoically as they listen to the vision loss report. I have had moms stand up in the meeting and shout "My son is NOT blind!" and the dad turns away. I have simulation glasses of vision loss and have moms refuse to look through them because then they would have to admit their child really does NOT see well. I have had parents tell their child "you see well enough so try harder to see better." I have seen depression climb on top of a child and bring them to the lowest points in their lives over the fact they cannot see as well as their parents want them too. I have both sides of the story because the kids talk to me about what they cannot talk to their parents about. I see and hear what the parents are telling the kids every day. I have also noticed that the child gets their attitude from the parents about sight loss. Children want to please their parents, even if it hurts themselves in the process.
I also have parents who accept the low vision diagnosis and both parents and child go full into learning both low vision skills and blind skills to get the best of both worlds and become confident in all abilities. These children go onto become confident in who there are, as they know they can't see well, but can see an enlarged map with magnification, while reading from a braille book and typing their answers out on a computer with talking software.
I have had parents and children who are very low vision or even have moderate vision loss try to pass as sighted. Let me tell you that EVERYONE else knows you can't see well, so evoke pity from others as you try to fool yourself. They see the large print books on your desk with your nose 2 inches from the paper. They see you cannot do all your work or your work in general. They see you trip in the halls. They see you hunched over while you walk to find your way. Everyone is seeing that. Alternatively, they see that you are a confident traveler with a cane standing straight and tall. They see you easily reading braille books sitting up straight. They see your fingers on the computer, typing faster than the wind and outputting work faster than they. They see you as proud of who you are and what you are achieving. For a great story on one's own personal experience with low vision attitude, click on this link Customize Your Cane
With the parents who see blindness as a characteristic and not as a travesty and that their child will just need different tools to succeed in life, the child is well adjusted and learns along with her peers. People STOP seeing you as "this poor blind person," and begin being very impressed with your abilities and who you are becoming.
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