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Parents of Blind Children

Updated on February 27, 2014

Meeting Parents of Blind Children

Being the parent of a blind child can be very isolating. You may not know any other blind person, much less another blind child.

Blindness is a low-incidence disability, so there are not a lot of blind folks around. It can be hard to meet people who can give you pointers and tips in helping your child overcome her visual impairment and live a full and productive life. You may have questions about your child's ability to have a good quality of life.

The behaviors of young blind children can sometimes be baffling and even frustrating for parents. It can be difficult to know how to deal with these unusual behaviors, which might include eye-pressing, spinning, rocking, making loud or strange noises, clinging to babyish behaviors or having temper tantrums. Some of these behaviors can be isolating themselves if you feel that people are judging you because of your child.

It can be very helpful and life-changing to make connections with other parents of blind children. The internet has made it a lot easier to form this kind of network. It is just a matter of knowing where to look, and realizing that groups exist to help you help your child to be all that he can be.

National Organization of Parents of Blind Children

A Division of the National Federation of the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) was the first place I stopped by when I learned I would be raising a blind child. I was in Baltimore, so I literally stopped by. I thought I would be picking up a couple of brochures, but instead a very nice lady introduced herself as Barbara Cheadle, the President of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC). She gave me a tour of the NFB's impressive headquarters. She was also the parent of a blind child, a young man who was employed at UPS. I was very inspired and left there feeling like I would not be raising my blind baby alone; I would have the entire NFB behind me to help.

I joined the NOPBC on the spot. The dues are minimal, and the benefits are tremendous. Mrs. Cheadle immediately gave me a tiny white cane for my blind baby daughter. I was also able to borrow some equipment to help my baby learn to move around and explore her environment. Mrs. Cheadle explained to me that blind babies often are fearful or reluctant to explore their environment and need a little help to get motivated. My baby never had much problem with this, and I credit the input I received from the NPOBC.

The NOPBC has local chapters in most every U.S. state. Check the link further down on this page for more information.

BVI-Parents

A Yahoogroups Email List

I joined the BVI-Parents email list at yahoogroups around the time I first learned I may be adopting a blind baby. Other parents of blind children, as well as a few supportive blind adults, provided information and encouragement. I had many concerns and the folks on this list were able to answer my questions based upon their own experiences.

After my baby came home, I had many questions everyday. Parents on this list instructed me in how to help my baby learn how to role over, how to interest her in various food textures, and how to make scented playdough out of kool-aid mix. If you are looking for a supportive group of parents on the internet, this is the place!

Click on the link further down on this page for more information.

Poll: Meeting Other Parents of Blind Children

Answer the poll and let us know whether you prefer an online support group or meeting in real life.

Leave a comment with your location if you would like to meet other parents of blind children who live near you, or if you would like to make some online buddies who are raising blind kids.

Do you prefer a virtual support group or meeting people in real life?

See results

Helpful Titles

Reading about other parents' experiences raising blind children can be helpful in reducing your isolation and help you feel more confident.

Please leave me a note and let me know you were here. If you have any additional resources for parents of blind children who want to meet other parents, this is a great place to post them. Help us find each other!

Thanks for Stopping By!

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    • Frischy profile image
      Author

      Frischy 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      @amychris2010: Hi Amy! I am so glad you stopped by and I hope you found some helpful information here. I want to first of all say to you that I completely understand that overwhelming feeling and the humbling experience of concern you may not be enough for your child. I felt the same way, but it is so important to know that you are not doing this job alone! I am very glad you are reaching out to others and looking for information. That is exactly what is going to help both you and Christopher! You did not leave any contact information, but if you will go to my profile by clicking my name above, you can send me a private message and I promise to respond. You do not have to do this alone & step by step you and Christopher are going to be just fine! A big hug to you!

    • profile image

      amychris2010 5 years ago

      Thanks so much for the information. I found out my son Christoper was blind at 4 months old. I definately knew in my heart something was wrong because he wasn't smiling by a month and a half. I have 3 other boys and a girl so this isn't my 1st rodeo! My husband and i cried the whole way home from Dartmouth after speaking with the specialist, and LITERALLY did not stop for 2 weeks. We both lost 15+ lbs., not a dish was touched, none of our clothes were washed, cry cry cry that's all we could do. Christophers pediatrician actually had Chris and I admitted to the hospital because we both just felt like we were having nervous breakdowns. It was only a few hours before we left but needless to say... we were devastated. Christopher will be 6 months May 21, 2012. I really thought I was coping well lately, so I decided to start reading up. Unfortunately here I sit crying my eyes out uncontrollably, its hard to see to even type. I'm terrified I won't be good enough for him, to teach him how to live basically. I've dealt with a birth defect before, and I thougth that was devastating, NOTHING like hearing the news that my son is blind. Tyler, my second son was born with one ear. Tyler is also very outgoing, funny, and sweet. Theres a surgery to make him a new ear but Tyler refuses to have it. I know I did a super job making sure this little boy wasn't self concious...but I'm at a loss with Christopher. I don't know what to do and when to do it. Well obviously except for normal baby care like feeding, changing, etc. I don't know how to make him sleep at night time, he just wants to play for 2 hours straight! So I guess what my long-winded self is trying to say is I need HELP. I would appreciate ANY and ALL advice I can get. I quit my job to dedicate myself to him and I just want to best mom to him possible. I love him so much...

    • Spiderlily321 profile image

      Spiderlily321 5 years ago

      Thank you for creating such a wonderful lens! I am adding you to my favorite featured lenses for parents of children with special needs on my lens. I am trying to create a type of virtual support circle for parents of such kids and for others just looking for more information on certain condition. My own son has Epilepsy.

      Thank you for sharing!

      here is a link to my lens: https://hubpages.com/family/my-circle-of-amazing-m...

    • GeekGirl1 profile image

      GeekGirl1 5 years ago

      Nice lens, thanks for sharing, really informative and for building the awareness.

    • RhondaSueDavis profile image

      RhondaSueDavis 6 years ago

      Great lens, online and in community support are needed when your disability is not as common. In our area, Parent to Parent matches families of children with similar disabilities. one family that has been through it and the other with a newborn child. Great resource and service to the community. Are they involved much with the blind community?

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 6 years ago from Valencia, California

      Thank you for sharing

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 6 years ago

      Very beautiful and inspiring lens. I think these parents are stronger and very dedicated and they should know that. A child is always a blessing despite their shortcomings, thanks so my for celebrating this! Beautiful lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This lensa was really informative

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 6 years ago from Scotland

      Really important to have a support network however you chose to do it! Blessed

    • profile image

      bdkz 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this information.