My Experience In Parenting A Disabled Child, And What I Learned Along The Way. How To Have Vision When The Eyes Don’t See It. Part 1

This article is for parents, teachers, educators, and anyone who is a role model for the disabled. Are you looking for successful ways to make a difference in the outlook of a child? Have you been told that your love one will never advance beyond their current capabilities? I will give my personal testimony on being a parent with a low vision child.

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Before my daughter was born, I had read an article that highly suggested things to engage the unborn with. Things like reading, singing, being happy and creating a world before birth. Me being the optimist, thought “what would it hurt”? So regularly I would read books, play the violin and piano, recite poems and sing.

The day our daughter was born was a great day. After a few weeks of being home, I began to notice her eyes were not focusing well. My in-laws said, not to worry, things will be alright. A few weeks later, no changes had occurred. The doctor examined her and he was somewhat concerned, therefore scheduling us to see an eye specialist.

Several weeks later numerous family members accommodated us to the specialist office. The physician gave his report – saying there’s no hope for her vision because the optic nerve didn’t develop. Wow, is this true, why didn’t her optic nerves develop? I immediately sought a second and third opinion. My husband and I researched as much as we could and engaged with organizations of support for infants born disabled.

Our regular routine became marathon activities. We must do all we can to help our daughter. Our entire family was now experiencing a totally new occurrence and all were on board with suggestions and looking for answers and cures. My aunt would come to visit and pray with us and said “don’t worry about this baby, whatever the Lord makes is perfect” We finally were scheduled with a clinic that could actually test babies visual acuity. She was 12 weeks old, couldn’t talk or walk, but she’s our bundle of joy, how is this testing accurate?

I was instructed to hold her in my lap, the lights were dim and a series of animals was shown on the wall in front of us. After the completion of the testing, the specialist said “ ok, she isn’t blind, not the best vision, she’s very young and things still can get better, she has “low vision” which is 20/500. The specialist continued by saying we can help her. With that being said, my family was ecstatic with that uplifting report. Initially the previous two doctors, eyes didn’t see the vision that this doctor saw. My husband replied this baby is going to grow up and change the way we see things.

We continued to read, sing, play music for our daughter. One morning I was reciting the 23 Psalms. The lord is my Shepherd I shall not want, she looked at me and repeated what I said. So I went to the next sentence, she repeated that. I continued to read each new sentence and she continued to repeat them. She continued to watch Sesame Street, a few hours later, I asked her to recite the 23 Psalm, she recited it correctly.

I phoned my mom, she could hear the joy in my voice, I told her what was happening. She listened over the phone and she too was overjoyed. Within the hour numerous family members phoned to hear this three-year-old child, recite the entire 23 Psalm. When my husband arrived home from work, he saw the happiness on our faces. I blurted out loud, “babe, Eryn can recite the entire 23 Psalm.” We were happy, we thought her writing her name at two years old was a treat. I reminded her dad, that before she was born we would read, sing, and educate her. I think there is some truth in that article we read giving instructions on educating your baby before birth.

Stay tuned for next weeks article on ways to improve your child’s creativity with positivity and other invigorating ideas.

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