Posted at 23:16h
Your Brain is what Sees
I have been reading "The Brain that Changes Itself" by Dr. Doidge over the past year…and rereading it. Research states that when you do not have vision, the touch and hearing part of the brain will take over for the visual cortex. For low vision children, if you blind fold them, they will learn quicker as their brain will tune into their fingers and hearing. If the child tries to use their poorest sense … their eyes, their hearing and touch will never be honed and they will be slower than their potential.
Researchers took completely sighted adults and blindfolded them and within a week, their touch and hearing took over their visual cortex and they could begin reading braille. Yes, when the blind folds were taken off the eyes completely regained control of the visual cortex. The power of the brain is incredible.
Researchers discovered that you do not need your eyes to see. It is the brain that sees. Whether the eyes, ears, or touch, whatever sense you have the brain will utilize and take over the visual cortex. If you lose your sight, you can train your hearing and touch to "SEE" like your eyes, and that is what gives you vision. It only takes practice. I have known and know people like this. They are the ones that have influenced the way I teach.
I see this all the time. My completely blind or almost completely blind students do the best because they tune in with their ears and fingers. They are the best in braille and technology and figuring things out tactually. The students who are low vision, struggle with the braille and other blind skills because they want to use their eyes–in general. They use the talking software but try and use their eyes. The result is they type slower than the completely blind children who are totally tuned into their ears and therefore their fingers are flying. Even if you look at totally sighted people, the fastest typists are those that never look at the keys.
It is the low vision children who have ambition and dreams for their lives, who call me years after graduation and ask for help in getting the training they need and realize it was a mistake not to take the blind skills seriously when in school. …something to think about.