When I first found out my daughter was blind I went into an automatic ‘cope mode’. I basically tried my hardest to believe that I had been presented with a problem, just like any parental issue faced…. bad sleep routine, wind, dry skin, I just had a mindset ‘right lets fix it’. It was an odd reaction, I expect many parents out there feel like you would just break down, but I just adopted the role of a protector and went out to seek answers.
I think this reaction was very personal to me and I believe every parent would behave differently upon discovery of this news.
There are a range of emotions you could go through, and here are some of my recommendations of some steps you could take.
I, as most parents I expect would do, started to trawl the internet to get information. I trawled all kinds of resources to look for as much information as possible. Although what I thought I was doing was helpful I think I scared myself half to death! I also looked for ‘cures’, not the most productive of Google searches.
When I finally contacted some charities and found some parents who too were raising children with site loss I believe I started to get the ‘right kind’ of information. Not just the medical jargon, but real life conversations, with real life people, who were living what I was living.
I attended a mother and toddler group at Henshaws in Trafford Park, Manchester and meeting other parents with visually impaired children helped me immensely! They were like fountains of knowledge about services that I never knew existed.
My advice is reach out to parents and charities, they have the answers to the questions you want to ask and help you feel not so alone.
I have tried to help out charities and support groups that assist the Visually Impaired, its been a great way of making what could be considered quite a negative situation into a positive. I have volunteered for the Guide Dogs association and utlised a lot of the services out there that are offered. Its a great way of meeting like minded people, obtaining information and not only helping your own child but others.
Look for the positives!
Dealing with a child that has additional needs may feel like a mammoth task, feelings of helplessness and inability to cope may be worries…. but regardless of their condition you love them still the same. They are still your amazing child and they will still have a full and enjoyable life. My daughter is really happy, she has a personality and interests and is flourishing into an independent little princess. There are so many things out there available to parents so that your child can have a enriched life. Stay positive and happy and your child will adopt the same outlook.
Talk and Share!
I like chatting to people about how I find raising a child who’s blind, I would never want anyone to feel like its a taboo subject, I don’t want pity and I like to share my experiences with other people. I tell people a lot of the time Scarlett is much easier to manage than my sighted child. Please join our forum, its a great way of speaking with other parents and use it to ask questions, you never know someone out there may have an answer to a concern of yours.