Don’t just Graduate, but LEARN along the way

Don’t just Graduate, but LEARN along the way

This situation comes up more often than is good for the blind/low vision population. Having parents who want their child to graduate so badly, but do not really care if they learn along the way. Or, somehow they believe that when they get to that graduation stage all the things they did not learn will somehow miraculous appear through osmosis, escorted by a para of course because the child failed to learn how to walk around on their own. Along the way, the parents insisted a para do the work with minimal effort from the child and when the child went home, the parents pushed the lessons to completion, only to have her do poorly on tests. Parents getting angry because of the low scores, they have the student's work reduced even more. She does not learn the same content as her peers, which will harm her in the future.

The parents do not realize that all their efforts in getting the child's workload reduced and having a para glued to the child's side all day will have a very negative effect on the child's life, her confidence, self-esteem and how she views what or rather what  a blind person cannot do because she was never given the chance to prove herself. They essentially are telling the child: "You cannot do it on your own. You need help all the time. You will fail without help."

The solution–backup. Don't push through, but increase blind skills learning so the classes that are being taken, the student can do on their own. Instead of taking 5 general education classes, reduce that to 3 or 4 (depending on how low the child's skills are–maybe even think about a School for the Blind) and The Teacher of the Blind gives instruction on how to complete the assignments without help from a para or parent. The child's esteem grows as they realize they can do the work on their own, take a bus, go and do what they want.

Yes, this most likely will take longer than 4 years in High School. That is OK…they have a life time to now go out and achieve their goals with their own skills.

If you find you were one of those students…don't lose hope. There are great training centers for the blind around the country. One great one to check in to is Louisiana Training Center for the Blind

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