Preschool: The First Big Transition in Family Life for Parents of Visually Impaired Children
Since your child’s birth, you’ve been primary caregiver, teacher, social director, and all around manager. Now it’s time for the next stage in her development. But you may not be sure you’re ready for it!
Your baby’s growing up. She may be walking, beginning to talk in sentences, letting you know her specific likes and dislikes, and becoming a little more independent each day. Many of these changes involved your adjustment to different needs and demands. It’s possible that even if your child has been in a program or received early intervention services, up to this point, most of her time has been spent with you—and that’s about to change, too.
If your child is ready for preschool, this may be the first significant transition for both of you. It’s a milestone, but you may have mixed feelings about it. If you have some of the following questions and concerns, you’re not different from other parents. Almost everyone is nervous when his or her child begins school or begins spending time away from home. But the parents of children who are visually impaired may have a number of additional emotions along with these concerns:
- How do I find and get my child into the right educational program—one that will best meet her needs—in preschool?
- Will my child be safe? Will she be able to be happy and do well in preschool? Will everyone there understand what she needs?
- How will I be able to get a clear sense of how my child is doing and how her day-to-day activities and interactions with other children are going?
- How am I going to manage getting my child to and from preschool every day? And how will I deal with it if she’s afraid or doesn’t want me to leave her—and how will I be able to leave her alone in school?
These are understandable, solvable issues. In this section, you’ll find information, tools, and advice to help you handle them and make sure that your preschooler gets the best possible education tailored to her needs and your goals.