The Love Your Child Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired Needs

picture of mother walking with visually impaired child

This is far from a lecture, but an invitation to a discussion. I want to pose a question and I’d appreciate your input. I’ll give you my thoughts; know that I’m coming from the angles of both a teacher of students with visual impairments and a parent. I need your expertise as a parent of a child with a visual impairment (an expertise I do not have.)

What expressions of love does your child (who is visually impaired) need from you?

As for my input:

Loving a child with a visual impairment is no different than loving a child without a visual impairment. After all, the most important components of loving any child are demonstrating unconditional love and meeting the needs of the child even when it comes at a high cost to the parent. No different.

On the other hand, expressing love to a child with a visual impairment includes more dimensions; more actions. I think it includes:

  • Investing much more intentional time to teaching concepts and tasks.
  • Advocating for your child’s accommodations and specialized instruction.
  • Learning about blindness, learning about adults who are thriving and happen to be visually impaired, and learning how your child learns.
  • Encouraging and expecting your child to engage in the world around him, even when it involves uncomfortable risk. I’m thinking about Orientation and Mobility training, cooking, and other independent skills.
  • Processing and handling comments, questions, and expectations about blindness from the general population.

What am I missing and what do I have wrong?

I think this discussion is helpful for self-reflection as well as preparing new parents of children with visual impairments.

Looking forward to hearing from you,