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Living and Learning with Blind Children

Living and Learning with Blind Children: A Guide for Parents and Teachers of Visually Impaired Children

Copyright Date: 1993
Pages: 266
  • Book Info
    Living and Learning with Blind Children
    Book Description:

    Parents and preschool teachers of visually impaired children will find this a welcome guide to coping with day-to-day challenges and enhancing the child's education and development.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6472-2
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-2)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-5)

    The vast majority of adults seldom think of visual impairment. When they do it is likely to be in relation to the elderly, who may have failing eyesight, or to children in Third World countries, who are blind as the result of malnutrition or disease. A passing encounter with a visually impaired person may raise brief speculation on what life without sight might be like. A blind person who is striding confidently down the street, white cane moving purposefully to ensure a safe route, can elicit our admiration for overcoming his or her disability, while the sight of a helpless...

  5. ONE Expectations and Attitudes
    (pp. 6-29)

    All children need love, food, and shelter. An equally important need is a positive self-image. Learning to be independent is a step in achieving this.

    Independence in small children is frequently thought of in terms of skills the child has learned in areas of self-help, language, and socialization. For example, can the child undress, dress, or feed himself? Is he toilet-trained? Does he express his needs and can he be understood by those other than his family? Does he shy away from or interact with other children? These are important, but there are other aspects of independence. Confidence is only...

  6. TWO The Early Years and Steps to Independence
    (pp. 30-82)

    Physical contact provides so many benefits. Whenever possible hold your baby as he drinks his bottle instead of propping him up in his crib or play-pen. Encourage your baby to put two hands on the bottle and later to hold it. Small plastic bottles are easier to hold. If you present the bottle from a slightly different position each time, the infant will not become programmed to expect things to appear in exactly the same place.

    Many visually impaired children resist new tastes and textures. To prevent this problem, introduce the infant to different tastes before he starts solid food....

  7. THREE The Forty Points
    (pp. 83-106)

    The forty points encapsulate the material in this book. Each point is illustrated with examples and anecdotes.

    1.Physical contact is necessary.Most infants and visually impaired children enjoy and learn from being in contact with another person. There is security and reassurance in warm, non-restrictive physical contact. Toys or a playground are not always necessary. A body can often be an excellent substitute that helps the child understand movements and provide challenge and fun.

    Example A: On her arrival, the infant development worker was delighted to see Stella, a totally blind one-year-old, crawling independently. ‘We are so excited’ her...

  8. FOUR Functional Vision and Creating Visual Interest
    (pp. 107-119)

    Light and the total visual system, which includes the eye, the optic nerve, and the occipital lobes of the brain, are necessary for us to see. Light rays strike an object in the visual field and these rays are reflected from the object to the eyes. The rays pass through the cornea (clear front window), the aqueous humour (watery liquid behind the cornea), the pupil (opening in the coloured iris), the lens, and the vitreous (transparent gel) to reach the retina. The cornea, aqueous humour, lens, and vitreous bend the light rays as they pass through and focus them on...

  9. FIVE Practical Learning Experiences
    (pp. 120-143)

    It is essential that preschool blind children have knowledge based on a solid foundation of concrete experiences. A number of older blind children experience conceptual confusion because they are introduced to abstract ideas before they fully understand the concrete. In this chapter we focus on the concrete to emphasize its importance.

    For the sighted preschooler, vision is the most effective source for gathering information. It is immediate and constantly reaffirming. Sound, touch, taste, and smell are all important aspects of the integration process. Without sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound are disconnected. Even though an impression is formed, it will...

  10. SIX Action Songs and Chants
    (pp. 144-151)

    Songs marked with an asterisk (*) are especially suitable for infants as they are short, simple, and repetitive....

  11. SEVEN Games and Crafts
    (pp. 152-187)

    The following games include well-known old favourites, as well as some new ones, with adaptations for the visually impaired child. Games need to be thought through carefully and attention given to details. If the visually impaired child is to understand the rules and progression of the game, the instructions should be precise, particularly in a group situation. These games can be played with an individual child, a group of visually impaired children, or a group that includes a visually impaired child. Your choice of games will, of course, depend on the children’s developmental level and experiences. You may be able...

  12. EIGHT Walks and Story-telling
    (pp. 188-204)

    A walk with a visually impaired child can be an enjoyable or a difficult experience. The following examples offer some suggestions that will help to give walks focus and meaning. We suggest four different types of walks. You can do them individually or combine some or all, depending on the time available. Whether you use these ideas or not,the important thing is that you have fun together.

    Walk to improve body awareness and encourage freedom of movement. As you walk together, notice how your child moves his body. Is his head up? His back straight? Are his arms swinging...

  13. NINE Nursery School and Kindergarten
    (pp. 205-215)

    In Canada in the 1950s, a few nursery schools became receptive to experimentally enrolling visually impaired children in their schools, mainly through the efforts of people working with young blind and partially sighted children. The idea spread and now visually impaired children can be found in various programs with their sighted peers. In today’s society with many parents working, enrolling a visually impaired child in a community program is the norm rather than the exception. However, enrolment does need careful consideration.

    Parents and educators still have questions and concerns about whether it is appropriate to have a visually impaired child...

  14. TEN Preventive and Remedial Measures
    (pp. 216-262)

    When problems arise, having a knowledgeable professional to advise you is always helpful, but sometimes they are just not available when you need them most! Remedial approaches can be found for almost any problem if you have enough basic knowledge, keep an open mind, and are willing to patiently think it through. In this section, we will try to give you further insight and practical guides to help you prevent or solve some of the simple or complex problems you may encounter. The section also addresses issues relating to confused and emotionally fragile children. If you use it in conjunction...

  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 263-264)
  16. Index
    (pp. 265-266)