A few days into the year, Josiah had an eye evaluation from a specialist from MO School for the Blind. I’m overwhelmed with all the information that’s been coming my way since then.
We learned some interesting things about Josiah’s vision during the evaluation. In short, there were two main things we will be adding to occupational therapy, physical therapy, and language therapy. Safety is a concern, so learning to utilize a cane is going to be a new focus. We did focus on this some awhile back, but it wasn’t anything pressing at the time. He does okay for now, but we’re always with him. Those skills will be helpful to him as he grows and becomes more independent. It will also help him not have to look at the ground as he walks, which is bad for his neck to be constantly looking downward. This is the “easy” thing we’re adding, which is called Orientation and Mobility.
We also learned that Josiah would greatly benefit from learning to read braille. While he is able to see print and will have the ability to read, his eyes get fatigued easily (after 2-3 minutes). When he’s in the upper grades and he begins to read larger books, doing this by sight will be exhausting for him. He will be considered a “dual reader,” with the ability to read both print and braille.
Currently, we are waiting for the eye report and getting paperwork filled out for different services that will be helpful to us. There are quite a bit of resources available, which is great, but also overwhelming at times. Josiah saw his neuro-ophthalmologist this week, and there were no changes with his vision, which was good. The doctor also agreed braille would be beneficial.
We are still planning to homeschool, which means I’m going to be learning braille (by sight) as well. I received my parent primer in the mail today and I’m a bit excited and very intimidated! The primer breaks it down in steps pretty well, so I’ll just take it one step at a time. The first task is to learn the first 10 letters of the alphabet.
After we get an IEP with the public school, we will be placed with someone who will help Josiah with learning braille. As we start kindergarten with him next year, he’ll be learning the alphabet both in print and braille. I have seen adaptations made in braille with the curriculum we use, so now I just need to figure out what tools are needed and how to get it all set up for him.
Here’s a few pictures I snapped while at the Neuro-ophthalmolgist’s office.
Such a big boy!
Waiting for the doctor.
He still uses his chin instead of his right hand at times.
Hiding from the doctor.