overcoming obstacles filter
September 1, 2005 9:11 AM   Subscribe

My brother-in-law's sister has a beautiful six month old baby that was recently diagnosed as blind.

She is close to my sister but as the mother of a healthy 3 year old my sister feels awkward. How best to show your support in a situation like this?

Additionally, any web resources that you recommend?

Familial anecdotes on how to cope are welcome.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Cope because the child has a disability? Sure its sad but its not all bad. I use a wheelchair and I am non verbel but people don't feel sad for me. That child is unqiue, he is a gift because it teaches us not to take our senses and life for granted. So tell your sister her baby is perfectly normal. So what if he is blind? He has a chance to see things nobody else does. Pity wont solve it, accepting him will.
posted by wheelieman at 10:45 AM on September 1, 2005

*just in time for the MDA telethon*
posted by wheelieman at 11:30 AM on September 1, 2005

The American Foundation for the Blind seems to have some resources worth perusing. Perhaps make contact with them via email and tell them specifically where you are and they can hook you up to a local chapter that you could visit and seek more info/pamphlets etc.
posted by peacay at 11:59 AM on September 1, 2005

You might also want to check this and this.
posted by peacay at 12:03 PM on September 1, 2005

She can reassure herself that blindness, while a handicap, is no barrier to achievement or fulfilment. Just to get her started, let me send you to the website of a blind friend of mine who is not only one of the most gifted and disciplined musicians I know (and a successful one), but runs a very successful recording studio without ever being able to see an LED or a meter or a monitor screen.
posted by realcountrymusic at 4:11 PM on September 1, 2005

For what it's worth, a college roommate and friend of mine has been legally blind since birth, and her eyesight is getting worse as she gets older. And she does great, really really great. She went to a top high school, a magnet school, in her area (she lived in poor rural western Virginia), went to an Ivy League university, did a master's program, and is now in law school in New York. The state buys her a new computer every other year, and a scanner and a printer--I think it was related to her Social Security disability status or something. She scanned her textbooks' pages and read them at huge magnification on her giant computer monitor, and could either touch-type or dictate her papers for school. I suppose she could use OCR to read aloud the scanned-in pages to her, but I never saw her need to do that.

For what it's worth, I honestly have never ever thought of her as disabled. She's so functional that I very often just really forget that she's not perceiving the world the same way as I am. She was a bridesmaid at my wedding, and walked down the aisle just fine, presumably using her feet on the carpet to feel the way--but you honestly wouldn't notice a thing, she's so good at it and has been doing it all her life. And let's just say she has always had plenty of attention from guys, who (at least in college) cared less about how she saw and more about what she looked like. :-)

BTW, living in New York is a good idea if you're blind, because you don't need to drive to get anywhere, and in fact, it's actually better not to have a car. Living somewhere like Los Angeles while blind would probably suck more.
posted by Asparagirl at 10:24 PM on September 1, 2005

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