Advice for Parenting Visually Impaired Children: Tip #3

In honor of Mother’s and Father’s Day, during the months of May and June, we’d like to give all the moms and dads of children with RP and other eye conditions a gift:  some free advice from 2 people who grew up with low vision.  

Each week, we will be featuring a different tip.  We would LOVE your feedback, comments, and any questions you might have.


 

Tip #3: Provide Opportunities For Your Child To Play Sports

Sports may not be the first word that pops into your head when thinking of extra-curricular activities for a child with vision loss.  While some traditional childhood sports like baseball and soccer may not be options for children with low vision, that does not mean they want to sit on the sidelines. Continue reading

Advice for Parenting Visually Impaired Children: Tip #2

In honor of Mother’s and Father’s Day, during the months of May and June, we’d like to give all the moms and dads of children with RP and other eye conditions a gift:  some free advice from 2 people who grew up with low vision.  

Each week, we will be featuring a different tip.  We would LOVE your feedback, comments, and any questions you might have.


Tip #2: Make Braille a Priority

Young children are like sponges when it comes to languages and literacy, so  if your child has a degenerative eye condition such as RP, allow them to learn Braille early on, instead of waiting until their vision declines or until adulthood, when it will take far more time and effort. Continue reading

Hands

photoHands,

stacked and held,

matted and framed

hanging on a hook above my bed.

Four hands.  Mine is at the bottom, followed by my grandmother’s, my mother’s, and the tiny newborn hand of my eldest daughter.  When a friend took the picture 8 years ago, I had no concept of the significance it would hold for me in future years when the physical hands would begin to perish.

I miss the hand that covers mine so much.

Those soft hands, weathered from digging into an active life.  I remember how my grandmother didn’t want her hands to be near the top because she thought they looked too aged and wrinkled, so my mom traded hand positions with her.

If only she could have seen the hand that I now see, how each deep line holds a memory… one crease for each of the nine she bore, bathed and fed; one for each meatloaf baked to hot goodness; one for each face massage soothing tired eyes; one for each swim, golf and bridge game; and one for each time those hands folded, head bowed.

I love how I can glance at this photo daily and see the new dimensions it seems to carry, as if her life has embedded itself within each tiny pixel.  I’m not going to start worshipping this photograph or anything, for those starting to squirm as they read this, but for the first time I understand why, for centuries,  humankind has erected statues in honor and remembrance of both the mortal and Divine.

There is something in these objects that not only remind, but that teach and shed light.  I have vivid memories of walking past ornate statues and stained-glass windows while on a mission trip to Venezuela when I was 15.   I was there with this conservative, Protestant organization.  We’d pass these gorgeous Latino churches, many of them Catholic, and the group leaders would get nervous and say things like “Careful, don’t go in… it’s obvious those warped churches worship statues”, and they truly looked terrified, as if one of the statues might reach out and grab us.

I remember, even as a young teenager, having grown up Catholic and feeling a bit out of place in a Protestant mission group,  thinking it was funny how consumed with judgment and worry one group can be over another group’s spiritual beliefs and practices, though it would take me several more years to see the sadness in it– how easily we discount and criticize what we don’t understand.

Perhaps if the trip leaders had taken Cultural Anthropology or read about how much Indigenous  culture melded into those churches to create those eclectic statues, they would have seen how much history is embedded in art….and how much is lost when we discard people’s stories.

Sometimes we’re so consumed by the wrinkles  that we miss the raw beauty in all those creases.

Thanks, grandma Jean, for your hands that continue to teach me so much.

(re-posted from Joy’s personal blog in honor of Mother’s Day)

Advice For Parenting Visually Impaired Children: Tip #1

In honor of Mother’s and Father’s Day, during the months of May and June, we’d like to give all the moms and dads of children with RP and other eye conditions a gift:  some free advice from 2 people who grew up with low vision.  

Each week, we will be featuring a different tip.  We would LOVE your feedback, comments, and any questions you might have.


 

Tip #1 Find Comrades for Your Child

Spending countless hours researching adaptations and technology for your children is time well spent, but if you’re taking the time to do those things, then also take a few minutes to connect your child with peers they can relate to regarding their vision. Continue reading

Not Fade Away: A Book Reflection

Not_Fade_AwayI first saw Rebecca Alexander on the Today show back in 2009, and I was intrigued by this young, peppy athlete, who was my same age and also losing her eyesight.

The idea of going progressively blind has always sent a nervous chill down my spine, if I’m being honest, yet I’ve always taken comfort in the capabilities of my other 4 senses, thankful that they help compensate for my failing eyes.  So the idea of losing another sense, especially one as crucial as hearing, seems unimaginable to me.  Yet this is the story Rebecca unravels in her memoir, Not Fade Away. Continue reading

Mr. Clean

I have a dirty little secret to share.  A housekeeper cleans my home once or twice a month.  And….that’s it.  That’s the secret.  Pretty dirty, I know.

funny-house-cleaning-quotes.jpg (620×434)

I am not wealthy, but rather house cleaning is something I prioritize in my monthly budget.  It’s not as though my house needs to be perfect.  I have 2 small children (8 if you count my husband), and a dog, so a perfect house would be quite a stretch at this point in my life. Continue reading