|C. tilting her head to use her vision|
When I inquired some six months ago, I was told C. was not among the children who'll be seen by this expert this year. Presumably the powers-that-be figured she's so profoundly disabled and in two years she'll be "put out to pasture" anyway, so why bother. (Special Education, where we live, ends at the age of 21.)
I was left no choice but to don my "pushy parent" hat. After nineteen years, I've grown to hate that role. So with great reluctance and delicacy, I nudged and begged the expert and the teacher. To my surprise, the expert was permitted to spend time assessing C. and formulating suggestions for utilizing her residual vision. (She and I used to take a salsa-dancing class together and are both American expats which may have worked in my favor).
She said she noticed that C. tilts her head either NE or SW and believes that's because she sees somewhat from those angles. So at her suggestion, I've begun showing her objects from those angles. Moving them around helps, the expert added. (spoon, book, shoe, brace)
Now, we worked diligently with a head-switch for years but saw little or no progress. Moreover, the experts who visited our school from overseas [link] watched a school occupational therapist proudly demonstrate C.'s head switch skills. They (like the hubby and I) were duly unimpressed and advised us to abandon it. (methinks the "skills" were in the therapist's head!) They said her performance with her finger
was superior [see photo on the left, below] and, of course is so much more normative and accessible.
|C. works at her Tablet|
The expert also advised positioning large black placards on both sides of C. to minimize distractions while we are working with her. I haven't bought them yet but will report their efficacy when I've done so. It sounds like a logical idea but C. has been known to defy logic so I'm not counting any chickens yet.
We're plodding on with our reading-aloud. After the gem, "Tuck Everlasting", we started "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle. But a third of the way in, the unsubtle religious preaching grew tiresome. We've switched to "Bridge to Terabithia" by Katherine Paterson which, I hope, will be more nuanced.