Three New Hosted Message Boards on FamilyConnect
by Scott Truax
We are delighted to announce the introduction of three new hosted message boards on FamilyConnect. The topics are the Parents of Infants and Toddlers board moderated by Kay Ferrell, Education moderated by Susan Spungin, and Orientation & Mobility moderated by Marjie Wood.
Today we have a blog written by Marjie about how she first become involved in O&M.
I love teaching Orientation and Mobility! It's a phenomenal profession because it impacts the person with a visual impairment in so many wonderful ways, from the baby who isn't yet moving to the adult with a recent vision loss.
Having the skills to interact with one's environment is so significant and vital to life! That's the beginning of what O&M offers. When people ask how I found this profession, I tell them that I had a friend in college who was in the program, which entailed taking a cane and blindfold to class each day to learn specific skills and concepts.
That was intriguing. Who knew there was such a profession? I only followed up on it as a result of my dad telling me that he was losing his vision. I figured that I'd take a course or two to help him. That's when I was formally introduced to Orientation and Mobility (O&M for short).
About a year ago I was telling people about 2 dime store turtles my brother and I had when we were young. When my parents bought them, they were about the size of a half dollar. I was 9 or 10 at the time. I had a desire to teach both of them how to climb out of their little plastic dish with the painted palm tree and crawl over to our swimming pool (we lived in Florida and pools are very common!) about 12 feet away. I don't remember how long it took, but I do remember how thrilling it was to see them swim in the BIG POND on their own!
I was so pleased that they became "independent travelers," outgrowing their container and eventually living in our pool. Once they each grew to about the size of a small dinner plate, we gave them the ultimate freedom of living in a nearby lake. So, my desire to help others gain control of one's environment through increase independence made becoming an O&M Specialist/Instructor/Teacher the only profession I'd ever do and want to do.
Through teaching O&M, I've gained another passion which is working or interacting with students' families, especially parents. I view the parents as the ultimate key to the child's growth and development and as the team leader. I am so grateful to have been asked to be a part of this extremely important endeavor that AFB and NAPVI offer to parents and families. I welcome any and all questions on FamilyConnect's new orientation and mobility message board, and look forward to time together to help your child gain a greater independence and interaction with the world in which we live.
Re: Three New Hosted Message Boards on FamilyConnectPosted by baby tracy on 2/5/2013 at 2:50 AM
My daughter baby Tracy got a stroke when she was six months. at one year she also lost sight but all other senses remained active.of course she cant touch or sit on her own. doctors advised us not to put medicine in her eyes and so we have never. when you look at her you might think that she is OK because the eyes look normal apart from loosing sight.please advise us on what we can do so that this girl regains her sight . i also thank you for opening up these blogs because i thought i was alone before recently when i discovered family connect.please reply.
Re: Three New Hosted Message Boards on FamilyConnectPosted by ScottAFBFamilyConnect on 2/5/2013 at 10:35 PM
I am happy you have found the FamilyConnect web site and like the blogs we have for you. Please look at the entire site as there is a section with things to read about infants. We also have an entire section that will help you understand the types of services you and your daughter can get to help with her development. The link to go directly to the services section is here
The After the Diagnosis section is filled with things to help you learn about visual impairment.
You specifically asked about helping her to regain her sight. That is where your opthalmologist and other medical people will be ready to do whatever is medically possible to help her regain her sight. We are here to help you in the meantime.
I urge you to take advantage of our many message boards and connect with other parents. We have social networking through FamilyFriends and once you sign up for our free FamilyConnect program you will see other families with children with similar eye conditions as well as by age and your location.
with the help of the other parents and professionals working with you and your daughter you will find the answer to many of your questions.
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