Compass directions

In searching for something to write about today I came across something that can help the parents, maybe the para-professionals, and maybe the teachers of a blind child or student. I posted this on Thursday because it talks about mobility and orientation, but it could have also went up on Wednesday. That is why it is in two categories on this blog. I hope you enjoy.

I can’t think of a better way to introduce a article than to tell about my own experience with learning compass directions. I mean I guess I could be like “here’s this article thing. Read it, or don’t.”, but where’s the fun in that? Okay… here goes the story!

When I first started learning my compass directions I learned them how the article described “In front of you is north” ETC. However, I learned them while standing on the street and also based on the sun’s position in the sky. As you can probably imagine this was great if one is standing outside, but not so great when looking at a map. To this day I still have to look at the little compass thing on the map before I can locate anything and if there isn’t one I am completely lost. I suppose the great thing is that I always know which direction I’m traveling based on where the sun is, or maybe not. I guess it depends on the time of day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Well that is how *not* to teach your child compass directions, but what can you do. The article lists a few suggestions and you can check out the article here. One of the reasons I suggested that it might be good for teachers or Para-professionals is because instead of saying “object A is to the left” one could say “Object is to the west” and so on. This is assuming that the child in question has learnd his/her directions first though. ๐Ÿ˜€ I hope you enjoy this article.

Thanks for reading!

P. S. This article I linked to earlier is not mine. If you found anything within the linked-in article itself that you think might be a mistake or wrong pleas don’t contact me about it. Instead you might want to contact familyconnect.org as the article is there property. Just thought I’d put that out there.

PPS. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with the article. Just giving copyright to whomever has it. ๐Ÿ˜€ That being said if you find any mistakes in anything I posted and you think I should correct it please tweet me personally or contact the blog’s twitter Just putting that out there for any new readers who haven’t read the contact us page yet. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It's time for homework

Having school age children brings on the question, “how do we get through homework?”

The biggest challenge it’s getting your child’s teacher to understand that you are blind and that they need to email you a copy of the homework sheets they hand out or a quick note stating there is homework for that day if your child is young. In the age of technology this would not be hard for them to do. So if you can find the time make sure your child’s teacher and anyone else involved with your child gets to know you. Sometimes this task is not easy so be prepared to repeat yourself often.

If you have a child that’s old enough to read, then having them read out loud their homework may work best for you both. With this method if they have trouble pronouncing a word they can spell it to you and you can provide the help they need. Are there books they have to read for class? One way is seeing if you can finding an audio book version of the same book and listen to it with your child. For my daughter and I this method worked great. She absolutely loved listening to audio books with me and when she read the print book on her own she told me that she imagined the voices of the characters and it made reading more interesting for her. There’s also print/braille books, but sadly you won’t find many modern books in this method. If reading braille is what you like best Ebooks are also out there. you can download them and move them to whatever braille device you have. So many ways for reading!

If they have spelling words they need to learn, then the first time have your child go through the words with you and you can write them on an index card with a braille writer, slate and stylist or written in a text file on your computer. Also remember if you have a younger child you can also make sure the teacher emails you the list.

What about getting through math? Yes, learning to count fingers is one way, but what fun is that when they are young? If anything like my son I definitely had to find other methods. He hated math and if I didn’t find a way so that it kept his interest then it was a chore to get through. I used candy, money, or cereal until he was older and I could get him to learn to count using his fingers.

How about learning colors and shapes? I like things that are hands on so I would go for toys that are in the shape of animals, trees, shapes and so on. Any toystore should work great. For the colors I’d put a braille label on the object that states the color so that way if I’m teaching that this is a green circle I’m not really holding up a pink one! Print/braille books and flash cards can also work. Be careful when buying blocks in the shapes of animals. Some of those block animals all look the same. For example, the horse also could be a zebra or the sheep a goat. For these I would look for maybe stuffed animals instead.

Now I just recently learned that for those Apple device lovers like myself there is an application called Talking Atlas for the IPad that works for learning Geography. The app. is not cheap however, but what things for blind individuals are?

For those parents that have school age children if you have other methods you use to get through homework please feel free to discuss them.

Note; I also write this series for a magazine that gets posted before I submit here. So I may share some tips and tricks in future articles in the magazine giving the person who wrote the tips the credit of course! It’s all about helping each other out, right?

Also, feel free to contact me if you have things you wish to discuss in future articles.

Canadian Lynx

Parenting with a Disability

Parenting with a Disability

Parenting can be a wonderful and challenging experience at the best of times. From the moment you find out you’re pregnant, to giving birth, figuring out what’s the best diapers these days or for first time parents, OMG, can I do this? Are we ready?

Now keep in mind all those questions and lets add another layer. What kind of questions goes through the minds of those parents that may have a disability? My main focus will be on blind parents, but I am more than willing/happy to do research and answer questions or provide helpful tips for any parent with a disability.

Are you someone with a disability and wonder:
who can you go to for answers?
Is there anyone out there that will understand what I’m going through?
What my fears are?

Are you a first time parent and thinking:
Oh dear, how do I give medicine?
What’s the best way to change my child’s diaper?
Am I able to help my child with their school work?

These are just some of the things that come up in day to day life as a parent and I hope to be able to share some of my knowledge with you readers. Do you know anyone that is a parent with a disability? If so, make sure you tell them about this beginning article and they can think of questions they may have and come here to hopefully find some answers.

Canadianlynx

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