This is far from a lecture, but an invitation to a discussion. I want to pose a question and I’d appreciate your input. I’ll give you my thoughts; know that I’m coming from the angles of both a teacher of students with visual impairments and a parent. I need your expertise as a parent of a child with a visual impairment (an expertise I do not have.)
What expressions of love does your child (who is visually impaired) need from you?
As for my input:
Loving a child with a visual impairment is no different than loving a child without a visual impairment. After all, the most important components of loving any child are demonstrating unconditional love and meeting the needs of the child even when it comes at a high cost to the parent. No different.
On the other hand, expressing love to a child with a visual impairment includes more dimensions; more actions. I think it includes:
- Investing much more intentional time to teaching concepts and tasks.
- Advocating for your child’s accommodations and specialized instruction.
- Learning about blindness, learning about http://www.familyconnect.org/info/after-the-diagnosis/success-stories/13 adults who are thriving and happen to be visually impaired, and learning how your child learns.
- Encouraging and expecting your child to engage in the world around him, even when it involves uncomfortable risk. I’m thinking about Orientation and Mobility training, cooking, and other independent skills.
- Processing and handling comments, questions, and expectations about blindness from the general population.
What am I missing and what do I have wrong?
I think this discussion is helpful for self-reflection as well as preparing new parents of children with visual impairments.
Looking forward to hearing from you,