FamilyConnect Celebrates White Cane Day 2009

Susan LaVentureAll parents worry about how they can help their children become more independent, and what the right timing is to introduce new levels of independence. This is probably even more true for parents of children who are blind or visually impaired. We want our children to make their way in the world, but worry about their safety, too.

Acceptance in the community, and even within the family, can also be an issue. Mary Fuller writes powerfully about how she had to put aside her own strong emotions upon seeing her little girl using a cane for the first time, in order to give her the encouragement she needed. And about how much it meant to her daughter when her grandpa came to accept her cane, too.

The Alfonso family dealt with this issue, too, when their daughter Allie was resistant to using her cane where her friends could see. But her parents persisted, and now Allie is much more comfortable using her cane in public. You can watch their video, and others, in the FamilyConnect Community area.

Good orientation and mobility skills start young. I encourage you to read this FamilyConnect article for some ideas about Helping Your Preschooler Practice O&M Skills, and listen to our audio interviews with Julie Brown about Three Things Parents Should Know About Orientation and Mobility. And let us know how it is going for you and your child!