Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It makes me sad

I am currently going for my masters degree for teaching blind students, but my part-time job during undergrad was working with blind children and adults, helping them learn, Braille, technology, daily living skills, and talking about whatever they wanted or thought might help.
Many parents mean well; they love their children, so they think they are being helpful or protecting their blind child while they have fallen victim to low expectations.
For example, if they have other children, they would expect their five or six-year-old to tie shoes. I worked with a 10-year-old who still wore Velcro sneakers. A second grader should be allowed and able to call friends on the phone, or maybe family, and at the least know how to dial 911. A 12-year-old I worked with had no idea how to use a phone. I had to explain to him in which order the buttons were and that he had to dial numbers in a certain order so his aunt’s and grandmother’s phone would ring. When I asked his parent why he didn’t know, the person told me it was too hard to teach him. A teenager should know how to do basic kitchen things, I.E. making a frozen pizza, ramen noodles, making a sandwich, ETC. A 17-year-old I worked with didn’t know what measuring cups were and how milk got to her place at the table. She was exuberant after we made a frozen pizza and mixed a cup of instant hot chocolate. These are just a few examples of how low or no expectations hurt the children I will soon serve full-time.


  1. Just a note that you're on deck to host the November edition of the Disability Blog Carnival! Email me to confirm and (when you're ready) post a call for entries with details about when and how you want folks to send in links. Good luck!

  2. I feel horrible for the children and teens you speak of in your entry. I think parents often feel overwhelmed with having a disabled child so find it easier to just do everything for them, as opposed to teaching them how to do it alone. I also think parents worry about how their children will deal with things if they go wrong. Sort of like a new parent worrying about their baby injuring themselves when they take that first step.

    I'm so glad to know there are people like you to help blind children and teens reach their full potential.