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What Are the Benefits of Parent/Professional Collaboration on Orientation and Mobility Skills? Melanie White's Advice

Melanie White Listen to Melanie White's thoughts on the benefits of parent/professional collaboration on orientation and mobility skills.


My name is Melanie White. I'm a certified orientation and mobility specialist with the Bluebonnet Vision Co-op in an office in Weatherford, Texas.

I believe that benefits of the parent/professional collaboration are essential. I don't think you can do the expanded core curriculum without it.

I think, in working with these kids, it is a team process with the parents and all the professionals. Because if a parent doesn't understand how to do these things—parents are more than willing to do it in most cases, but they don't know what to do. And I think sometimes it's hard to let go and watch their child make the mistakes, but sometimes we learn from our mistakes. What's nice is that when they do make a mistake that we allow them to make that mistake, and problem-solve out of it. And I think that when parents come along on those lessons and they see their child squirm out of a mistake they've made, then they realize their child can go off to college by themselves, can go live in an apartment independently. We know what to expect of our children who are sighted, we've been there ourselves. What we don't know is the unknown, and so a team approach is an absolute (necessity). In my opinion, I think parents need to work very closely with an O&M specialist.

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