What if you could not see, how would you be able to decipher the world around you? Ask your child, “Do you know what blind means?” Explain to your child that when someone is blind it means that person cannot see like most people do.
Food for thought
If you could not see then how can you do every day things such as:
Know what kind of food is on the table in front of you?
How could you find a favorite toy?
How could you read?
How there are people around us who have different abilities. Sometimes a persons eyes or ears don’t work very well, or sometimes not at all. Sometimes a persons legs or arms don’t work either but these people find ways to accomplish the same or similar activities as your child.
Use this time to explore the five senses; sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Explain that when a person is not able to use one of their senses that all of their other senses become stronger since those are used more.
1) Gently blindfold your child and:
a) Help him/her explore different foods using the other four senses.
b) Help your child to carefully navigate his/her bedroom and explore toys.
2) Explore Braille at home with your child.
a) Explain that people who cannot see are still taught to read, but they have to use their finger tips to feel the letters.
b) Look up the Braille alphabet on your computer. Print it out and poke a pin through each dot from the back of the paper so that each dot becomes raised.
c) Help your child find the letters of his/her name written in Braille.
3) Go to your local library.
a) Explore books on blindness and those that show the Braille alphabet.
b) Show your child books written in Braille.
4) Have your child feel the Braille writing you find in your daily outings. Many times you will find Braille written on elevator and restroom signs. Keep a look out for opportunities such as these.
Many children are fearful of what they don’t understand. By exploring the different abilities that some people live with, or without, you will open your children’s eyes to a different way of looking at the world around them, and an understanding for those who are different.