We get new readers every day and I'm sure some new people will find this blog due to this blogging challenge.
Who is Tommy?
Tommy is three-years-old and he recently started preschool at the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children. He loves school, music, exploring new places and dancing. Tom stayed at home with me his first three years. He had two months of daycare at a blended program (sighted and blind children) at his school before he was enrolled in classes. His transition has been remarkable and he is blossoming.
More about being Blind.
Thomas will be a Braille reader. He is beginning his education at a school for blind children but will transfer to his home district for kindergarten. Some schools for the blind are now set up for children with multiple disabilities and do not provide a typical academic education. Medicine is so good that many diseases and conditions that used to blind children are now treatable or vaccinated against. There just aren't that many blind children today.
However, there will always be children who are blind and need specialised training and education. Tom will have the ability to go to school with children from his own neighborhood because children with special needs are mainstreamed in public school. I feel like we are getting the best of both worlds because he will get intensive training in blindness skills during his early childhood years and then get to go to a school where he can learn to live in the sighted world.
Braille and orientation & mobility training (O&M) are the keys to independence for people who are blind. I would expect any sighted child to be able to read and move independently and I expect the same for Tom. Watching Tom walk with his cane is the cutest thing and makes me so very proud. It is nice to get stared at because people are impressed with him and not because they pity him. If you met Tommy pity would be the furthest thing from your mind; believe me! He is happy and busy enjoying life.
This blog is about all things Tom. He does things a little differently, but he does it all!
If you are new to Tom's blog you can catch up by reading these posts:
Our story - The beginning, at least!
Answering Your Questions - So how does Tommy do ..... Find out here.
A Blind Toddler? - Yes, Tom is blind!
Resources - Find out what resources are available for blind children
Information Helps - The importance of educating friends and family about childhood blindness. Blindness does not mean these kids don't have amazing potential. Dream big!
G-tube guide - The why and how of Tom's g-tube.
On a Dark and Stormy Night - Just for fun.