Braille Monitor                                                                                April 1986



Talking with the Parent of A Blind Child

by Pauline Murphy

(This article appeared in the January, 1986, edition of Insight, the newsletter of the National Federation of the Blind of South Dakota.)

It was hard to find the mother because of the secrecy among "professionals." Yet, I knew that the family could use some help. Reports I received told me that I as a blind parent who also was a blind child, might be of assistance. So, find her I did.

It turns out that she was hungry for material. She soon had copies of Future Reflections and of the Resource Guide for Parents and Educators of Blind Children. She also had some fears, which came out in her questions as we talked. "How did you feel when you discovered you were different?" What she was really asking is how I felt when I found I was blind. I replied that I never really knew myself to be different because my parents did not encourage me to believe that. Blind persons are not different, although we may do some things differently. My parents taught me like they taught my brothers and sisters. Other concerns were: Would her blind child have to go away for school? What if she made a mistake as a parent raising a blind child? We talked some about these, and she will get some more materials to help her, as well as support from us.

Later I could not but wonder aloud why she had not been at our fine seminar last December. Had the "professionals" not given her the information? Was the news coverage, though we had a good deal of it, insufficient? I don't know the answer, but it seems that we are now communicating. We can go from here.