Teaching visually impaired children

Teaching visually impaired children is the biggest question on many parents minds. These patents often wonder what impact this disability will have on their child. No one child is the same. This is a specified disability as there are visually impaired children who have other disabilities too. Personality and temperament also play a big part as to how the child will react to their disability.

Visually impaired children are as unique and different as all children. The only common catalyst with visually impaired children is that they typically learn about their environment different to a child who isn’t visually impaired.

A visually impaired child may:

Not have ability to rely on sight to obtain information and have to use senses other than sight to acquire information.

They need SPECIAL attention with extra experiences from birth onwards to learn skills that sighted children learn at set milestones by emulating what they see.

Will need clear explanations and often repeated instruction.

Will need direct experiences in order to learn what sighted children do through seeing.

Visually impaired children may need to be shown how to pet a dog from top to toe so they can understand what a pet is.

Stirring a bowl of batter for cookies (touch) will teach then about all the senses. Help then put the cookies in oven – they will feel the heat. As the cookies are baking they will (smell) them. And once they done and cooled off they can (taste) them. This teaches the child to experience all senses.

Visual impairment can strongly affect a child’s ability to grasp concepts, learn languages, move about freely and develop in numerous ways. This is why a teacher and parents will need to accommodate the child so they can learn the basics such as reading, writing and social interaction.

Education for children with disabilities In South Africa