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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

legally blind and need social skills help

Hello. My name is Cody. I am 16. I've been legally blind since birth. I am in 10th grade and in highschool. I have never really been social, partly because I am the only child and spend all my time on computers etc. But now I'm regretting that I blew my social life off. Now it's kind of late. I want to meet people but I can't read body language. Generally when I go out to school dances I go unnoticed, and I mostly end up just standing there. No one comes up to me, no one says anything and I look like a dope. I want to hook up with a girl, but that comes later. I just need to work on personable skills and socializing. This is just so depressing to me. I have friends but all of them are always out and never return my calls. I sit alone at lunch and everything. I am basically an adult all I do is listen to adults and I sure act like one too. I just need some major help...Cody

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Re:legally blind and need social skills help

Excellent work, I have been looking forward to your release of this for a while

Re:legally blind and need social skills help


I was looking up if I was considered legally blind and I came across your web page. I'm a 10th grader as well. I still don't know if I'm legally blind. I have really bad eyesight and used to be made fun of A LOT because of my glasses so I totally know where you're coming from with feeling like a sore thumb in a crowd. Since elementary I transitioned into contacts. At first I started with the hard contacts because I heard that hard contacts actually make it so you’re eyesight doesn’t get as bad as it normally would with just glasses. But after a while my eyes were hurting a lot. I mean come on; it IS a piece of plastic in your eye. I didn’t want to wear glasses again for fear of being made fun of so I tried soft lenses. I’ve been with those since about 7th grade. Anyways, I was able to overcome the social awkwardness and I made a lot of new friends. I lead a very socially active life now and I always am having a ton of fun. Some of my hobbies are dance, theatre, music etc. I know that if I can overcome something you for sure can. You seem like a really nice guy from the paragraph I know about you and I would love to get to know you.

If you ever need a friend you can always count on me.


Re:legally blind and need social skills help

Hi Cody my name is Cody. I'm The Blind-Guy and I completely understand your feelings. I use the lose of sight as tool. What I lost in sight I gained in vision.

You have a tremendous advantage over others because you have the ability to Listen. That is the major problem with relationships. Find a friend (girl) and listen to her heart, most guys do listen. You have the ability to get to know people from the inside out. Great Tool Use It!

Re:legally blind and need social skills help

Well HI! I'm also 16 and a 10th grader and I must say, people who are visually impaired learn to grow up a lot faster than others. I feel like I'm at least 25 right now haha! All I can say is, if you like certain things, join a club at your school and just start talking to people. A lot of people might not know that you are legally blind and find it odd that you don't make eye contact or things like that. I myself have trouble maintaining eye contact with people and reading body language but you cant let that hold you back! I used to be shy about telling people that I was legally blind, but my friends love knowing that there's a REASON I can't make eye contact with them!

Just know that you are just as capable of making friends as every other person.
You sound very intelligent and emotionally strong! Use that to your advantage.

I hope something I said helped!
Good luck :]

Re:legally blind and need social skills help

Hey Cody;
I read your topic and I can so identify with you. I use to feel the same way when I was your age.
I was also born leagally blind. I got a lot of teasing by sighted kids in school. that made me extremely shy.
Fortunately, however, I cut my teeth socially with an organization for the blind in my town. At least I socialized with other partials and blind kids.
When I was in 10th grade I tried to join a group from church, but that went no where. No one would come up to me and talk to me. Everyone else seemed to know each other. i remember just sitting there.
A thing to understand about sociali skills is that it is a skill. In order to be proficient in a skill you have to practice. You have to start with baby steps and as you feel more comfortable with technique you go to something more challenging.
I started by coming out of my shell in school. I joined the drama department in high school. It helped me with my shyness.
Then I started convos with someone that I had an interest with. The conversation just flows.
I've noticed if I think about others and not my being socially uncomfortable, like for example; I may ask someone about themselves and their interests, they love to talk about themselves. it works all the time.
Be a good listener and be a participant. Care about someone elses comfort level. It gets you out of your shell. I can swear by this.
When I tell people I'm shy. They can't believe it.
They say, "No your not!"
Self worth. If you have low self worth that hinders your ability to feel comfortable in a social setting. Hope this isn't you. it hurts. i worked on it and it helped a lot.
Take to heart what everyone has said to you.
We believe in you.

Re:legally blind and need social skills help

I am having a tremendously hard time adjusting to using a white cane, being a college graduate, being a retail store owner, and owning a house in Los Angeles. I have managed to accumulate so much debt in the last two years because I can't see to manage anything anymore.

Now on Pilocarpine, as last resort medication for my severe Glaucoma condition which I have to put onto my eyes every four hours, I barely can see my face during the bright daylight. The Doctors at Jules Stein tell me that the small remaining percent of eyesight is going, the nerves in my eyes are progressively getting worse, one Doctor friend of mine told me if I don't use the Pilocarpine, I might go blind totally in six months. The test reveal that my optic nerves are so thin that the operation to release the pressure might destroy the nerve due to the trauma of the operation itself; so the scenario might be that the operation was successful but the patient goes blind on operating table.

I feel so stressed because I feel lost. The State Rehabilitation made false promises to help me in my business financially and I am going to lose everything I worked so hard at age 41. It took me ten years to finish college and ten years to build up my business and save money to buy a home.

I spoke to so many people with bad experiences like me with Lasik Doctors, but I feel like I was lied to and I am being punished. I helped elderly people with blindness all my life and to find someone who is so sweet, honest, responsible and kind like me is like looking for a needle in a hay stalk.

The Center for the Partially sighted or the Braille can't really help. For Material to listen to and small machines, maybe they can help.

How can I get financial help and/or someone to hold my hand in a way and really get me use to this blindness when my entire life is ahead of me.

I feel like a prisoner in my business and home. I now have no friends who have time for me, no one to go anywhere with, maybe because I am just too much to handle or people don't want me to get run over by a car. People just seem to be in their own worlds. If I don't do something myself, I can't expect other people to feel the same urgency or necessity to do something immediately like I feel and need.

People don't believe me because I am so young, handsome and vigorous looking. I walk into moving cars making left turns in intersection and now the white cane is my only protection and friend.

There must be more to life than having a white cane as my best friend, and I don't want a dog like my brother and family suggest. I can't even take care of my pet birds anymore.

I don't want to be a burden on anyone. I don't want to feel people's attitude of, "What is this guy bothering us so much and what does he want from us". I am too young and positive for their negative attitudes.

How can I find enjoyment and friends my age or younger that will make me feel like something important. I need so much more than the State Rehabilitation false promises to help and then their Supervisor has to come to my store after two months to tell me I can expect nothing more than a few machines.

I was denied Social Security because I manage to go to my business. I have an obligation for four more years lease. I can prove that I made money before the so called accident and afterward I had, “ only losses”. The Social Security should help me at least get medicare. My HMO is terrible and I have to fight to get treatment to save my 5% eyesight left. I had to request a friend Doctor to treat me for now without paying him. He is an unbelievable human being to do such a thing. He took expensive tests and gave me his precious time. He is like a saint of a Doctor. I can't even afford medication.

The Social Security which I paid in for all these years, now expects a person who sees almost nothing to get nothing, no help, no assistance, no medicare.....simply ..........denied.!......their attitude is like I am worth nothing. My life is important to me and I don’t want to have to take that attitude towards me. I am simply frustrated that I have to fight for my own rights which seem like an elementary school kid would understand I should have.

It is just not fair. I am almost blind, the day is like night and everything seems to be against me instead of being in a more helping and assisting environment.

Try to guide me here, I barely can see the computer with this Pilocarpine medication and have tried all the rest of the medication. I could use any help I can get to survive.

Sometimes I want to get back at the system and society by showing everyone that even with my disability I can reach for anything I want and accomplish even more than people with 100% eyesight.

I was a Puppeteer for years as a hobby and sometimes I wish I can create a land of human size Puppets and a friendly environment for people with disabilities like me. This way we can achieve more and not have to deal with human beings and their terrible attitudes towards us.
I know this sounds silly to say, but kind of true.

Though I know and have faith there are wonderful people out there and you are one of them that will assist me.

I am sorry in advance if you feel that this letter is out of line.


Re:legally blind and need social skills help

The two best way right off that I can think of are to find people with your same interests, or if you are at a dance, walk up to someone and ask them how their night is going, or are they having fun.
If there is music, you can momment on the song.
If you have any questions, email me ar

Re:legally blind and need social skills help

in my opinion just try to be urself. if people have problems with that then it's their problem. Maybe just try to wlak up to someone and start to talk to them. or find a friend to help. I have a friend who gave me a number to a guy and he is blind. we hit it off well because we have so much in common. we have been out 3 times already. So now we are dating and now finally i can say i have someone in my life. so just try to start a converstion or something with people and just be urself. If u want to talk more please email me at

Re:legally blind and need social skills help

Hi Cody, I hear where you're coming from. My social skills suffered from focusing too much on my studies during high school and from too many video games. I've been able to re-teach myself, and if you'd like some pointers, feel free to e-mail me at

Re:legally blind and need social skills help

Hi. Annie is very nice. I've been talking to her for over a year. She's helped me through a lot.if you'd like to email me you can email me at. Pleas don't hesatate to write! Do you have msn? Pleas add me.

Re:legally blind and need social skills help

Hi Cody,

Please don't be discouraged! I had a student once who was uncomfortable with socializing as well. It is relatively easy to teach people to socialize; being able to understand or see body language is not necessary to socialize.

My email adress is If you'd like we can exchange emails and I can give you a few pointers. My name is Annie, by the way.

Hope to hear from you,

~Annie Roumelis~

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