You may have read This original Post but now I bring you my addition to that blog. So here goes!
When your child is little never tell them they’re different from other children Until they get into kindergarten and it becomes necessary to do so. Because your child refuses to learn the braille alphabet.
When you finally tell them that they are different, and they must learn this new stuff called braille. Simply tell them that they’re stubborn, and to not be so stubborn. Don’t explain that being different is a good thing
When your child asks you why they were never told that they were different. Tell them that you didn’t realize it was why they weren’t learning braille.
Don’t take them to any place where they could have an interaction with other blind children.
Don’t let them go to a blind school because “you just can’t let them go.”
Don’t let them do anything for themselves. Do it all! Because “It’ll get done faster if I do it.”
Tell them they’re not trying hard enough in school when they come home with failing grades, or anything below a C.
Don’t even consider the possibility that they might have a learning disability until their aid/teacher brings up the possibility.
Don’t do research on your own, and find out when the next NFB/ACB convention, or Lions club meeting is going to be.
Don’t try to locate other parents of blind children for guidance with school, or anything else.
Don’t teach your child to cook because you’re doing it for them, so why do they need to learn?
Help your child with their math homework, but scream at them because they can’t explain it to you so you can understand how to do it. So that you can write it down.
Tell them that they are retarded, that they don’t listen, and that they’re stubborn. That’s why they can’t remember how to do a certain math problem. Don’t even consider it might be their learning disability.
When your child starts insisting that they do their own laundry, refuse by saying it’ll go faster if you do it. Then, finally break down and let them a few times.
When your child finally learns to sign their name; tell them that it looks like a Doctor’s signature. Then, refuse to let them sign any documentation… Ever! Because their signature is huge, is all over the page, and isn’t readable.
When you find out that they’re failing math in the senior year of high school. Get angry, and tell them that they should just quit school.
Never learn to use a computer because your scared of it. Even though it can help you advocate for your child, and let you meet other parents of blind children.
Never let them handle knives, or other sharp objects because they might cut themselves.
When your child enters college, take them from class to class because you’re afraid they’ll get lost. Make them use sighted guide with you… all the time! Make sure it’s you grabbing on to their elbow instead of the other way around.
when they try to tell you to let them go, and just follow them to make sure they make it there okay, refuse!
While doing sighted guide the wrong way don’t be surprised when they fall on their face in the middle of the college’s book store.
Never believe them when they tell you a class is canceled, or that their not havin class for the rest of the week. Track down a professor, or the child’s reader/scribe to confirm this.
When they get a boyfriend/girlfriend be sure to tell them repeatedly that they should date someone sighted so “they can take care of you.”
Ask them repeatedly if there’s anyone in high school/college that they’re interested in.
Tell them you don’t want them to move to another country/state to be with said boyfriend/girlfriend.
Tell them that they should just be friends instead of dating their significant other.
When they tell you that they’ve been talking about getting Married and having kids, discourage it by pointing out that they don’t really know the significant other’s family, who’s moving where, and how would they get places.
Tell them significant other doesn’t seem to travel a lot, and if you move to their country/state; neither will you.
Try to solve problems already solved by significant other and child relationship wise by pointing out all the reasons why they should break up.
Tell child that they’ll lose their disability when/if they move to another country, or get a job. Even though getting a job that pays more than the disability, and losing it is their goal.
When you find out that your child wants to send a package to a blind friend they met online have a freak out.
Tell them that you don’t want everyone to have “our” address.
Ask them how they know this person is blind, and not just pretending. When you get an answer shoot it down:
“because he uses a cane, screen reader, and reads braille” “How do you know he’s not faking? How do you know he’s not just using it because your blind, and he wants you to trust him.”
When your child tries to point out that not many people know about screen readers, and how to use them, and that there are other ways to track someone down besides sending a package. Tell her/him that She/he is being a smart ellick. Trust me! It’s a good way to show your child that you trust them.
Doubt that your child doesn’t know how to spot a creep even when they tell you they’re pretty good at it because they have to be. That’s a good way to show trust too.
Long story short, if the child is over the age of 18, do not treat them as such.
This particular rant came about because of an argument/discussion I had with my mom yesterday. I can honestly tell you that this is the complete wrong way to approach any of this. Instead: have faith in your child. when they’re little explain that they can’t see, but not that everyone is like that. Most people have sight, but they can still do whatever they want… Except drive, or fly an airplane. When you suspect that your child has a disability have them tested. It won’t make you look bad, and it’ll help them out a lot in the future. Don’t blame your child when they come in with bad grades, and assume they aren’t trying without asking. When they begin to fail a particular subject get them a tutor, and encourage them to stay in school. Lots of schools have after school programs for that purpose. Most importantly, trust your child, and prove that by letting them decide what they want to do in their own relationships. Believe them when they tell you something isn’t going to happen right away. Believe them when they tell you a class is canceled. Trust that they know more about the internet than you do. If not, check it out yourself, then come back to them with the correct answers. Let them learn the essential skills like cooking and cleaning because someday you won’t be around to do it. If they make a mistake; let them learn from it. Let them sign their own documentation, and travel to class on their own because otherwise they’ll lose those skills. Also, it’s a good idea to know other parents of blind children, and to use a computer. 🙂 It’s also a good idea to let your child meet other blind people/children, so that they realize they’re not alone.
Thanks for reading!