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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

"blindisms"

I'm a mother on a 5yr.old visually impaired son. I've often read concerns from parents/caregivers about their childs "quirks" as a blind child, and I've had my own concerns from time to time with my sons behavior. Until one day I came across an article(The Great Tactile Defensiveness Scare by Christine Faltz);that helped me understand that they are just kids with the same habits, quirks, and idiosyncrasies as any "normal" child. Christine quotes "Blindness, by itself does not predispose babies to any more fussiness, irritability, sensitivity, fear, stubbornness, accidents, or aloofness. The simplest, and almost always the most accurate, explanation for all these traits is: this is a child. Your child is no more wholly defined by his blindness than by any one of the many other characteristics which make him who he is. Focus on the real issues: confidence, mobility, literacy, and most importantly, acceptance; acceptance from you, his parents, and self-acceptance." This article meant alot to me and I hope it will do the same for whoever may read this. Unfortunetly our children will be placed in many "catagories" as they grow (ie. jocks,preps,nerds,narks,etc.) As parents we need to help society not label our kids characteristics as "blindisms".Most of all love your child ,sighted or blind, challenge them to grow and be strong individuals and encourage them to be themselves then love them for that. I know I've been lengthy but I'll end on one more note. I purchased a poster at the Indiana school for the blind it is hanging on my son's wall and it says "Just because you can't see the stars, doesn't mean you can't reach for them." I think that is a great motto and I hope you challenge that special someone in your life to "REACH FOR THE STARS". Hope to share stories and info. with you all in the future. If any one is interested in reading the rest of the article by Christine Faltz you can find it at www.nfb.org under Future Reflections 19, Number 4

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Re:"blindisms"



A large number of people today believe that if they ended up in any new location, or maybe had gotten any other profession, that they might be pleased. Okay, this really is unlikely. Therefore have the most joy using whatever you might be working on and also tend not to delay becoming pleased till specific potential time.
http://www.quotesaboutchanges.com/


Re:"blindisms"



Hello...I know that this was posted quite some time ago, but I still feel that it is worth responding to as this type of question/concern comes up quite a lot. I am a former VI teacher and now a pediatric psychologist. As many VI teachers will attest, there are a subgroup of children for whom "traditional" VI strategies seem counterproductive (e.g., provide lots of simultaneous multi-sensory and language input, narrate everything, engage them socially, etc.) - the other thing that our field did quite some time ago was to parcel out each of the areas of concern, as if they were distinct entities (e.g., mannerisms - try symptom substitution; echolalia - reshape the language; behavior/tantrumming - ignore/apply behavioral principles). The problem arose when, by parceling them/treating these in isolation, the behaviors did not change. Why might that be the case? It is because the potential underlying cause was not recognized - you see a subgroup of children with visual impairments also have difficulties with social relationships, restricted range of interests (e.g., perseverative behaviors, limited repertoire of play behaviors), and difficulties in communication that are not accounted for solely by their blindness or visual impairment...autism spectrum disorder may be a consideration for them...and a caution...it is the CLUSTER of problems in all three domains that is diagnostic of autism spectrum disorder, not just mannerisms by themselves, or echolalia by itself...for those individuals who want more information, you can find it on the Texas School f/t Blind website: www.tsbvi.edu
Most sincerely,
Terese Pawletko


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