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Brittaya
11-22-2011, 05:41 PM
Is there anyone else here who has a visually impaired child? Mine is only 3 and we're not quite doing reading yet, but it is on my mind and we're starting the alphabet/phonics sounds just to get him familiar. (I'm not forcing it, he likes to read with me). He seems to see the letters alright so far but I'm using alphabet flashcards that are huge and books with large print. I also can read Braille but I don't think we'll go there just yet as he is able to see somewhat. It's hard to tell just exactly how much he sees sometimes. He has nystagmus as well which means his eyes can get tired easily. I'm just wondering if anyone else has taught a visually impaired child to read (or has a visually impaired child who hasn't learned to read yet) and if you could share some tips for me. I have lots of ideas and he has an OT from CNIB, but I'm always looking for more ideas and shared experiences.

dbmamaz
11-22-2011, 10:40 PM
My husband had severe nystagmus and a severe stygmatism (spelling lol) when he was young. But he has a genius IQ, too. They were going to put him in a school for the blind, but he had taught himself to read before he was 4. He said his nose would be black from holding the book so close.

He is so young, obviously its not a big worry yet. I used some foam letters that stuck to the tub, which might be good for him to get the feel for the letters, and also those letters you trace for early handwriting? And then when he's old enough to communicate better you can get a better understanding for how to meet his needs.

aside from holding the book very close, I know my husband also said that looking to the side would make his eyes stay still better. I'm not sure that he used that for reading, but I know that he had a job hunting advisor tell him he had to look straight ahead during interviews, even if he couldnt see the interviewer's face, because it made ppl uncomfortable.

Are there lists on line for parents of low vision children? Perhaps they have tips for learnging to read?

(btw, my husband is canadian too. . . i always wonder if there is some genetic explanation for his nystagmus)

Oh, and both of my husband's issues have gotten less severe as he aged. He got a drivers liscence soon after we were married!

dbmamaz
11-22-2011, 10:44 PM
dh came downstairs and that was his main advice, holding things to the side instead of right in front of his face, to see if his eyes are more stable that way.

bcnlvr
11-22-2011, 11:17 PM
My ds6 is +4.00 in each eye. He started with a LeapFrog fridge/magnet phonics thingy (for some reason, I am not able to imbed links, so here it is....)

http://www.amazon.com/leapfrog-20305-Magnetic-Alphabet/dp/B002LMWY5E/ref=sr_1_14?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1322017867&sr=1-14

He learned all his letter sounds and could feel what each upper and lower case letter felt like as well as see them (bright, primary colors).

Now that he is reading leveled readers, he sits how he feels comfortable and he holds the book whatever way he needs to. Funny how, depending on the day, it differs.

Brittaya
11-23-2011, 01:16 AM
Thanks guys, Cara that thing your husband does it called finding the null point. Skyler luckily doesn't have that problem much. His nystagmus is mostly when he's tired. And he just had surgery to fix that and his strabismus (crossed eyes). It seems to have helped a bit. That leapfrog thing looks cool. We have some Braille alphabet magnets, they're brightly coloured, but they don't make any sounds. Maybe I will get the leapfrog thing. And a magnifying glass might be a good investment.

MarkInMD
11-23-2011, 09:57 AM
My wife is an OT and, while she hasn't had a whole lot of visually-impaired kids on her caseload, has had a few. She suggests making Braille available fairly early in addition to the enlargement of print that you're doing, particularly if his eyes get tired before he can complete tasks. That way he can keep reading even if his eyes won't cooperate. If you can, try to get some sort of Braille labelmaker that you can use to create the text of favorite books, and then affix it on the pages of those print books so anyone can read those books with him.

Brittaya
11-23-2011, 02:39 PM
That's kind of funny Mark as we bought a Braille labeller when he was a baby, almost everything in our home has a Braille label on it. But I stopped focusing so much on it when his vision started to improve. But if she recommends teaching him Braille at the same time as print that's what I'll do.

dbmamaz
11-23-2011, 03:32 PM
(BTW, my husbands nystagmus is only when he's tired now, as well, but he was extremely low visiion as a child . . . hyperactive, tho. as in run, run in to a tree, get up and keep running, run off a hill, get up and keep running.)

bcnlvr
11-23-2011, 03:49 PM
DS6's vision has also GREATLY improved. He wears glasses and his prescription gets weaker with every eye exam (annual at this point).

MarkInMD
11-23-2011, 05:05 PM
That's kind of funny Mark as we bought a Braille labeller when he was a baby, almost everything in our home has a Braille label on it. But I stopped focusing so much on it when his vision started to improve. But if she recommends teaching him Braille at the same time as print that's what I'll do.

Of course you know his visual acuity better than she does, so you'd be able to make the best call as to whether it's improving to the point where you don't need the Braille. But sometimes visual impairments have a way of being unpredictable. Better safe than sorry.