Blind baby

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Blind baby

Blind baby
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I have a blind baby who has started in my classes this term. His parents are great with him and confident in the water. I have spoken with his Dad and he is quite happy to adapt things I'm teaching where necessary and appropriate but I wondered if anyone had any previous experience of teaching blind babies and if so if there are any special tips or pointers.

Thanks a lot,

Jo.

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Sun, Jan 6 2008 12:42 PM In reply to
Katia

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Joined on Wed, Nov 7 2007
Russia, Moscow
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I can't stop admiring how adults and children with special needs in the UK are made active participants of social life. I can only wonder when such people in Russia will ever show up on the public transport, in the parks, shopping centres or ... swimming pools. I'd love to make baby aquatics available to Russian babies with disabilities of any kind, but I'm not sure I'll manage without a special qualification. I just feel there's so much to know about medical conditions.

Sorry, Jo, it doesn't answer your question. Just sharing my thoughts...

Katia
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Thu, Jan 10 2008 9:07 AM In reply to
Sue

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Joined on Sat, Apr 21 2007
Nantwich, Cheshire
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Hi Jo,

I have a couple of blind babies in my classes. They are doing well and one's sight has improved as he has grown and he now has some vision. Obviously it becomes much more important to use the voice and I advise mums to start in the bath using words and phrases that the baby will recognise when they get to the pool. Even quite young babies will recognise the patterns of speech. It becomes more difficult if babies have other problems as well as visual impairment. The babies will need extra time to become used to the pool and its surrounding, depending on mother and child it might be an idea for them just to sit on the side for a class so baby can get used to the noise, smell and "feel" of the place, mum can sit on the side and splash baby's feet and tell him what is going on, introduce him to the toys that he will be playing with in the pool, balls, ducks, woggles. so he can get used to the feel of them, then when he makes it into the water he will already be familiar with some of the things and won't have to assimilate too many new things. We managed to get hold of some balls with nobbles on which provide an interesting texture. Most blind people have some degree of vision so very brightly coloured toys may be slightly visible. Always tell the child what is happening and what you are going to do, when you approach him say something like "hello, Sue's here, shall we play with the watercans" etc. I have also found that saying my name and using the same touching movement e.g. stroking the back of his hand or the side of his cheek lets them get to know you and build up trust. My blind babies do everything else that the rest of the class do, just with greater reassurance and taken a little more slowly until they are familiar with things.

I hope that this helps, please get in touch if there Is anything I've made a nonsense of!

love Sue

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Thu, Jan 10 2008 9:45 AM In reply to
Sue

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Joined on Sat, Apr 21 2007
Nantwich, Cheshire
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Hi Jo,

Me again, I tried to send a photo of Tristan but cannot work out how to do it, I can't even get it onto the photo gallery! I'll ask Jeff for help

Sue

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Thu, Jan 10 2008 2:04 PM In reply to
jo.montgomery

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Joined on Sun, Apr 22 2007
Cambridge, UK
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Hi Sue,

Thanks a lot. This is really reassuring. This is pretty much what I've been doing anyway, although he got straight into the pool and was fine. I had a quick chat with Dad beforehand and just asked him to reassure Theo and tell him what was going on and what the water would feel like. He likes the bath so no issues there. I shall look out for some textured balls. I found him some smooth ones and talked about how they felt and let him feel the woggle (although we didn't use woggles this week).

I like the pic of your brood btw ;0)

Jo (Cambridge)