Browse By Topic: Independence

Confidence, Optimism, and High Expectations Breed Faith

I was recently thinking about the variety of professionals that worked with Eddie over the years. Being an educator myself and reflecting on my own work, I was trying to remember what made some people stand out more than others. My conclusion was that those who had confidence in their decisions, optimism for Eddie, and high expectations were the ones that I trusted the most. I realize that confidence can come with time, and not all of Eddie’s providers had years of experience. Many have had no experience working with a kid who was blind. They admitted when they didn’t know how to approach something or when they were just giving something a try. However, those that could admit ignorance with confidence and had some background knowledge justifying their choices, made a greater


A Holiday Concert Success

Eddie is participating in middle school band this year. As a sixth grader, it’s the year they are learning musical instruments, and this matches his skill level. He is able to play the melody of most tunes on the piano by ear and spends much of his free time tinkering. We knew integrating him into band wouldn’t be easy because he isn’t a huge fan of playing along with others. He prefers his own musical talents, and when others try to join him, they are quickly excused. When sitting down next to him on the piano bench, I usually get a light push and the familiar comment, Bye, Mom.


The Importance of Relationships

We know friendships build self-esteem and offer a sense of belonging that can be hard to find. There are actually additional benefits that we cannot ignore for our kids who are blind and may have additional disabilities. I know it’s hard to imagine, but their relationships with kids may also be the key to employment. Eddie is part of a very small community. From the first day of kindergarten, the kids knew who he was and sought him out. He’s been with them for six and a half years, and even though he has challenges with sensory regulation, language, and more... many of them don’t seem to notice. They still say Hi, while rarely getting a response. They make a point of talking to him, even though his scripted response remains, I am fine. While


The Perfect Day

I have written many times about the benefit of recreation for our son, Eddie, and for kids like him. I’ve talked about exposure to activities so he can simply learn how to have fun. Recently, we went on a family bike ride with our close friends, and the benefits were even more than we expected. We live in the Pacific Northwest, and we’ve heard many rave reviews about the Hiawatha trail. It’s a bike ride on the Montana/Idaho border that follows an old train route. It goes through tunnels, over train tressels, and the entire path is downhill. Based on the downhill part, we knew it could be a good fit for Eddie... and if I’m being honest, for me too. We loaded up the bike we received from the NW Association for Blind Athletes and the Pacific Foundation for


Gaming Day with Students Who Are Visually Impaired

Last week, we took Eddie to an accessible gaming day sponsored by the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library for students who are blind or visually impaired. The event was organized by a local Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) and included tactile board games, Legos, Play-Doh, lunch, and more. Eddie had a blast, as seen in this overly joyous picture of him. Because blindness is such a low incidence disability, many students in rural districts have never met another kid like them. Even within


If It Doesn’t Work the First Time, Try Again!

When Eddie was younger, I’d take him to the grocery store and talk about everything. I’d point out what was on the shelves, the various smells, and even how much things cost. I was teaching him the concept of “grocery store”...and he was not impressed. So, grocery stores were hard with him, and over time we stopped taking him. Well, times change, and his Dad just proved that we should always try again. James, Eddie’s Dad, told me one day recently that he was taking Eddie grocery shopping. I thought he was crazy, and probably said something sarcastic like, “Good luck with that!” In the past, Eddie would cry in the store, not want to walk, and usually only lasted through the front door. James felt that it was time to try again, and he did. His report afterwards