Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Unique Connection

I have been recently studying up on development in young children with vision impairments. I have been loving it. It reminded me of a video that I had shared on Facebook awhile back. In the video, the children are blindfolded. They are then brought up to a line of women. Their mother is in the line of women. Each child has to identify their mother by touch alone. Watch how tender it is to see these sweet little children identify their mothers without using their sight. 

I wanted to share this video for several reasons. Most importantly, I wanted to share it for every mom who has a child with a significant vision impairment. The sweet moms who don't get to make eye contact to evoke a smile from their babies. These sweet moms (and dads) worry how their new infant will see them, connect with them, identify them. I always share with these sweet families that their child can see them. They just learn to see them differently. It's through their touch that blind babies and infants learn who mom and dad is. Take heart, your children know who you are. 

I also want to point out how important touch is in general. Touch allows babies and infants with vision impairments to know their caregivers. Touch also teaches these kids about the world and we must not overprotect them. No one ever said touch must be with the hands (although that is the first thing we think about). Touch can be accomplished using feet, arms, belly and legs. Random touch doesn't help much but purposeful, consistent, meaningful touch does wonders! Even for our most impaired-body students. It may take several (and I mean like 100) times before those little limbs respond, but keep going! Use soft blankets, interesting textures, etc. to elicit interest.

Parents, siblings, friends, all caregivers, hug those little ones who have sensory impairments! Enjoy them and encourage them to see the world with touch :)

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