If you've been following our adventure for any amount of time you will know that we've recently learned that Grace was born with congenital cataracts, she has no lenses, therefore she is blind - since her vision was not corrected all along she is also blind with her glasses.
Since the new diagnosis in September I have had to shuffle some of our school goals around. What will literacy look like for Lil G?
She has incredible "functional vision", meaning: she has learned how to function well with the vision she has. Here is more about how that is measured if you would like to learn more http://www.perkins.org/resources/scout/vision-and-blindness/functional-vision-assessmen.html
Since she does so well I am fighting an uphill battle when I express my desire for G to learn Braille. The fact of the matter is, Braille isn't easy. Secondly, many of the teachers that work with children that have visual impairment don't read Braille or know how to teach it. With technology abounding Braille seems to be an outdated way for those that are visually impaired to read and write. Third, lil G has Down syndrome, I often forget about this diagnosis so I can become hypersensitive to the thought that it would even be part of the equation. Sadly I think that it is, it would be much easier to teach her to use the remaining vision she has and only learn to read with magnification devices, read books on her computer in extra large print, and have audio books. But as her mother I need to take everything into consideration and that means teaching Braille. She is blind and Braille is the mode of literacy for people that are blind. It's as simple as that. It doesn't matter how long it takes for mastery, but I believe that she can do it and that it would be much easier to start the learning process now rather than waiting until she develops another eye condition rendering her completely blind, the facts are there. She is at a higher risk for glaucoma and other eye conditions.
Today we are placing Braille ABC stickers on her leap frog fridge magnets and in a few books
And repurposing them. We will also read a few of her new books, books filled with textures and Braille to develop sensitivity in her tiny little fingers.