Parents and teachers of blind children should look up videos on ‘Tommy Carroll blind skateboarder’ on the internet. Tommy has been fully blind since he was two, but he is an avid sportsman of one of the most daring urban activities, skateboarding. How does he do it? The answer is, by echolocation.
Besides the braille, textures & smell education, you need to teach your child the essential survival skill of echolocation. You must be wondering what it is. The answer is in the following paragraphs, but first you need to note a few basic aspects.
Do Not be Heartbroken
It is very natural for parents of blind children to feel heartbroken and helpless. Some parents blame themselves and each other. Others may begin to neglect their child. Many parents cannot get over the depression easily. However, you must! For the sake of your child, you need to gather yourself and accept the special responsibility.
There are many other blind pioneers like Tommy Carroll. Look up their stories for inspiration. Connect with online forums for parents sharing the same responsibility. Sharing your sadness with people who understand you alleviates it. The world is already a tough place. It is tougher than ‘normal’ for a blind child. Think of it as a very special responsibility to make your child ready to face the challenges of life.
Another thing, do not think for a moment that you have a ‘disabled’ or ‘handicapped’ child. Such kind of mind-set can result in two kinds of negative behaviour patterns. First, you may begin to feel a neglectful pity on your child. Second, you may begin to pamper your kid. None of these actions is helpful in raising the child.
Echolocation is going to be your main medium of teaching the essential survival skills to a child who cannot see. This is the ability of human beings to identify the size and relative distance of an object depending on the sound wave echo from the object. The blind person creates the first sound, with clapping, or making a sound with a stick. This sound echoes from the object and the person picks up the perception.
Many blind people simply make click sounds with their mouths and detect the echo with their sharpened perception. Look up resources on how to teach this skill. Also, it is helpful to remember that rocking is a completely normal activity for a blind child. The main idea is never to force, but help the child learn naturally.
In addition, you need to introduce your child to braille alphabets at the earliest. Let the little one feel the textures. Help your child to develop the sense of smell. Everything has a smell. People with heightened perception can have a strong sense of smell of even the faintest perfume. You can find many types of educational toys for the blind. Find a good school for special children where they take care of all aspects.