Monique Herrera: Hi, my name is Monique, and I am a social worker at St. Joseph’s School for the Blind. I work with children who are between the ages of three to 21. I am also a parent of a child who is visually impaired, and he is seven years old.

My child was first diagnosed with a visual impairment when he was three months. It wasn’t easy because he had been in the hospital for a long time, and I thought every day I was getting, you know, a different diagnosis. There were so many thoughts that came to mind about, basically, how he was going to function.

I think it’s important for parents to connect with each other because they can, you know, talk about their experiences and find out how other parents dealt with a certain situation.

I use FamilyConnect both as a parent and also as a social worker for resources and to get information. Sometimes to find out how other parents do things or also to find out what’s happening or what types of workshops are available.

My advice for a parent who has just found out and has a young child is to definitely connect with early intervention and with resources that are available. I would like other parents and educators to know that you have to have expectations, have high expectations of your child, and push them. Push them to, you know, to do things and be the best that they can be.

Narrator: FamilyConnect,