When a little baby is born, he cannot speak. He tries to understand his surroundings with the help of his senses, especially those of sight and sound. Can you imagine his disability growing up without any of these two, especially sight, which can be called his portal of learning? Can you imagine his deep sense of frustration as he grows up? He will not be able to automatically pick up things like other children. But still, his needs are the same as theirs. His loss is a physical one and but for this he is normal in every other respect. But rarely is he treated so.
The blind are treated as burdens to their families and society, when; if properly trained they can live perfectly normal lives. At times the degree of blindness ranges from total loss to a fair degree of vision. Therefore all blind children can not be educated or treated alike. Their individual problems and needs, need to be taken into consideration. It is a known fact that a person with a sensory handicap is gifted with a talent or innate ability that needs to be tapped. You should encourage them to learn and master their disability and lead a fairly independent life. They can even be taught to take care of themselves and earn their own living.
Nowadays, many of the visually challenged are being absorbed in the work force and in industries, because of their abilities, reliability and sincerity. In fact they are even preferred for certain jobs. I will never forget the case of a man who was hired as a typist in a firm he was pitied by all his colleagues because of his lack of vision, and he hated that feeling. But the others would not understand why he rejected their sympathy. Then one day, something went wrong with the electricity and all the work was stopped. All except this typist who gaily went on typing. On hearing that the lights were off, he laughed and asked them all whom was the one with the problem? He had managed to turn his disability into an ability. Hats off to him.
How do we help the visually challenged?
Special schools are set up to teach these children braille and other manual skills. But besides this, they need to be socialised to help them to fit into society and get over their deep-rooted feelings of insecurity and inferiority. This depends on the parents, extended family as well as peer groups. Do not treat them with pity. Give them opportunities to grow instead. They might not have external vision, but internally they can see better than you and me.
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- The Indiaparenting Team