Growing Up Blind

I read this little book. More of a pamphlet really on blind children and their development. I was going to the University of Alberta at the time, trying to study computer science. Oh Well. Had these great libraries I was curious so I looked.
The book was very cool and described some behaviors that I have to admit to. Blind or legally blind or visually impaired children will.

Bang their heads against the wall because they are frustrated. If you’ve ever watched a baby who is learning how to talk try to express itself. Then watch that baby get frustrated upset or mad because they can’t. Same thing with a blind baby. They know they are different they know that they sometimes can’t or have to find other ways to make things happen.

Be delayed socially. Its a touch one. My mom used to frustrate me to no end. Kyle your fun to be with and your wicked smart but your immature in this area or that. She was right so its stuff you work on. Your whole life it turns out.

Fine motor skills will be underdeveloped. Have you tried to catch a ball with your eyes closed? Enough said. But I can cycle forever. I still haven’t figured that out. Somehow for me its easier to cycle than to walk.

Tying my shoes. This one just about killed me. My Mom locked me in the car at one of my Dad’s baseball games. Yes it was time to learn I was like 12 or something. I wasn’t allowed out of the car until I could tie my shoes. Needless to say my Mom is more stubborn than me. Yes surprises me too. So I know how to tie my shoes. We won’t talk about double knots which I think I can do but I’m not sure.

Blind kids will experience their environment with all of their other senses. When I go into a store to this day I look with my hands not my eyes. Hard to tell your kids to not pick things up in the store when you do.

I taste everything. I will lick things or put them in my mouth to feel them or taste them with my tung. Somethings taste very good. That yellow glue we all had as kids. Book bindings taste very good. I’m not sure my Mom has forgiven me for eating her favorite JFK book. Newspaper wasn’t bad. Carpet underlay is a delicacy. Glass wasn’t great. Metal well it sucks. I love wood and will chew on wood. Cinnamon sticks are heavenly. Getting worms slowed this behavior way down. As pleasurable it was tasting things pulling worms out really puts a damper on the experience.

I smell everything. I’m waiting for the day the chef comes out and smacks me on the side of the head for sniffing the food like some kind of dog.

I love to feel things. Paper much to the chagrin of my fiancee who thinks I’m nuts. She can understand feeling fabric but paper, no way. Tactile is very important to me and my experience of the world. Temperature texture very sensual stuff. My friend William gets all of this stuff. I love shopping or going for dinner with William its a very sensory experience.

NOISE I love noise. Not sure if you’ve seen the video of the blind kid who uses clicking sounds to experience his world. Exactly like a bats radar or a dolphins sonar. Sound is amazing stuff. Will tell you the size shape compositions of your space. Very cool stuff. Sound will even give you an idea of what’s in a space.

I had to learn how to pee in the toilet by sound. O.K. are you done laughing or thinking I’m some kind of pig for talking about such things. My Mom used a can filled with marbles to build up aiming ability based on sound. I will tell you aim is much better when you are not upset or tired. So don’t piss me off. Again enough said.

Moving things around. A blind kid / person will take things and manipulate them to learn about them. Move them around get a feel for what happens when. I drive people nuts will you just read the *#(#*@( manual. Ah no. Much happier when I can get a picture in my head of the thing and how it works. To me if you don’t have a picture you don’t understand it.

A blind child / person generally will love you to no end. Help them out add value and you will be appreciated respected loved forever!!!

About the Author:

Kyle has ocular albinism and has been legally blind since birth. Kyle leads a very active live and is besides his professional career involved in many projects for persons who are different.

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