Parenting a Teenager Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired
Your child is growing up and becoming more independent. Whether your teenager has recently been diagnosed with a visual impairment or has been blind or visually impaired since birth, we’ll help you confront the challenges of parenting your teen through his or her transition into adulthood. Common challenges include:
- Helping your child with multiple disabilities discover where he can work and live, and discovering how to fund any related resources.
- Providing guidance to your child as he navigates his or her social life (including friendship, dating, and flirting as a teen with a visual impairment).
- Ensuring your child is prepared with advanced orientation and mobility skills.
- Encouraging involvement of your reluctant teen in family activities.
- Negotiating household responsibilities with your teen.
- Finding appropriate role models and mentors for your child who is blind or visually impaired.
- Discussing the (uncomfortable) topic of sexuality as a teenager with a visual impairment.
- Guiding your child through the emotions of not obtaining a driver’s license.
- Teaching your child who is blind or visually impaired to independently access electronic information and access printed information.
- Helping your child transition from high school to adult life and understanding the Transition IEP.
- Answering the question: Is my child prepared for independence?
Additionally, two significant concerns of many parents of teens with visual impairments are ensuring their children are adequately preparing for college and ensuring their children are adequately preparing for work. To assist you in preparing your child for college, FamilyConnect provides the following resources:
- Accessing Academic Classes as a Student Who Is Blind
- Preparing your Visually Impaired Teen for Independent Life and Work
- An Overview of the College Preparation Experience
- A Cheat Sheet to Help You Self-Advocate for Accommodations as a College Student Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired
- Preparing for College During the Summer After High School Graduation
- How to Help Prepare Your Teenager Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired for Success in College
- Which College Features Really Matter as a Student Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired?
- Caitlin Hernandez’s Top 10 Rules That Every Incoming Freshman Who Happens to Be Blind Should Most Definitely Know
- Checklist: A College Planning Timeline
- Juggling the College Experience: It’s About Time
- Blind and Low Vision Students Explore Careers in 21st Century Transportation
- Conquering College: Activating Your Campus Tools
- Ready, Set, Goal! Conquering College Preparation
To assist you in preparing your child for work, FamilyConnect strongly recommends its companion site APH CareerConnect. Two great places to start exploring are:
- The Job Seeker’s Toolkit (an accessible, self-paced, and free online course that helps users develop the skills and tools for finding a job)
- Our Stories: People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired Succeeding at Work and Life (motivating success stories)
- These SSI fact sheets for youth with visual impairments who receive SSI benefits and their parents, written by the National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, provide general information about several SSI work incentives, examples of calculations, and links to more detailed information.