[blindkid] go for braille!

Debby B bwbddl at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 10 23:41:29 UTC 2010


Keep it up, Doreen! And remember that we are here, too, if you need anything. 

 Debby
bwbddl at yahoo.com


http://www.raceforindependence.org/goto/winona.brackett ($35 to go!)
Daniel's mission trip: www.reignministries.org/sponsor-rs
or Reign Ministries, 5401 W. Broadway Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55428




________________________________
From: Doreen Franklin <doreenproverbs3 at bellsouth.net>
To: "NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List, (for parents of blind children)" <blindkid at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Thu, June 10, 2010 7:29:46 PM
Subject: Re: [blindkid] go for braille!

Carol
I had planned on video-ing and also taking pics. I hate to have to have her fail, but that seems to be the only way she will get anything in the way of services. At least we have time - I know that sounds bad, but she is going into kindergarten so I can continue my fight early on! Hopefully they will be sick of me by next year!

Have a great night.
 Doreen
Support Torrie in the Race for Independence;
go to www.raceforindependence.org/goto/TorrieF 




________________________________
From: Carol Castellano <blindchildren at verizon.net>
To: "NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List, (for parents of blind children)" <blindkid at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Thu, June 10, 2010 7:09:26 PM
Subject: Re: [blindkid] go for braille!

Sorry you won't be in Dallas, but keep us posted with your progress.  I hate the thought of waiting till it crashes down.  We don't want her to have to prove she is failing before she gets appropriate services.

Can you videotape her at home getting frustrated?

Carol

At 11:36 AM 6/10/2010, you wrote:
> Carol There has been a lot of stuff "brewing" in my head.  We are going forward with constant contact with an NFB cane and getting her feet in the correct rhythm (she is doing pretty well with that and I am proud of her! She even catches herself if she is out of rhythm!). FL School for the Deaf & Blind was here yesterday and parent advisor did some sighted guide for narrow passage ways with Torrie; she gave a much better way for Torrie to move from right arm to left arm which is not being done by the O&M -- she is helping keep Torrie safe. FSDB also worked on steps with Torrie -- besides the 3 steep ones from the school bus. Torrie was under shades and she walked up and down a flight of 20 steps two times! She got straightened out as she was coming down, Torrie was twisted to her left. I don't know if Torrie is walking straight down steps for O&M, but on the bus, she even has been coming down twisted to the left (unsure if it is
from Torrie or O&M).  So today, I went out to the bus and I asked them to watch that she come down straight instead of twisted. Unsure where that will go. I said she is not safe if she is not coming down straight. FSDB and I did emails to the O&M indicating our concerns even and that we needed questions answered about the diagonal technique - refinements, more or less. We can't even get our questions answered -- so how am I supposed to "teach and reinforce" his diagonal technique if I can't get answers? Building my case with emails that go unanswered! I also printed out the Handbook from Merry-Noel and the VA School for the Blind - I highlighted lots of stuff and that is going to be another "bible" for a resource. It gave me the info I didn't have before and now I do. (I already had Joe Cutter's book besides the cane walk done in Detroit that taught me a lot). I will be following what I know is right for Torrie - and again, I am building my case
if I need to. I have asked via email this morning to be in the 4 sessions for her extended school year (20 min a week) of O&M and am waiting for an answer. (ESE director indicated he would arrange for me to be in at least 1). I explained I need to see and hear what O&M is doing and how Torrie is acting for him as she may be acting differently for us, but I need to see it all. FSDB and I have been "denied" being able to get another session with the O&M to refine/answer our questions on things he showed us back in April. FSDB is asking for only 5 minutes and can't even get that! I even sent an email after that first and only O&M session to have Torrie use her cane continuously in the class (I agreed at IEP not to use it but saw she needed practice daily with it in class). I got the standard reply "I'll get back to you" and I never got a response. Again, building my case. What I have told Torrie and my hubby is that Torrie will use her ambutech cane
(the one that is too short) and the diagonal with her O&M (20 min for the 4 weeks).  When she is with us, she will use her longer NFB cane and use constant contact. Torrie is fine with that. After talking to FSDB about diagonal technique and it not being safe (and the O*M even admitting the constant contact is safer but Torrie does not have diagonal "mastered" yet), i spoke with my parent trainer (she is like an advocate and she came to the state convention and actually "saw" and got what I have been saying - she watched Dr Maurer walk with his cane and he is NOT doing diagonal technique).  I have to have an IEP meeting the beginning of the school year for a behavioral assessment and to get the ball chair she is using into the IEP. I will also be bringing up the diagonal technique not being safe and it is not written in as a GOAL, so why are we teaching it????? I have checked my IEP as I swore the diagonal technique was an actual goal; it was put
in as it was supposed to be a goal, but never got fully got written up as one. I am gathering my ducks for this one and much more information for this IEP in Aug/Sept. And I will probably have several accomplished and INDEPENDENT NFB cane users at my meeting -- not only for support, but also so that the district can see that not everyone is like our O&M. The more I talk and email, the more info, suggestions, resources and encouragment I get!!! "Torrie's Network" -- is growing, just like the verizon network! I will not be in Dallas this year. I am trying to get Torrie hooked up with another child (will be a 4th grader) that she met last year who is like the ONLY person we have seen with a cane! I want Torrie to be able to talk to her so that the other child can have influence over her -- instead of coming from MOM and DAD - it will come from someone closer to her age and a KID! Getting another family in our area is like pulling teeth, let alone someone
who uses a cane! I really appreciate all your help ... I will use your tactic for her vision and see where we go from there. I know the district is hanging themselves, and I know i have time, but I also see the frustration that Torrie has when she cannot see and how she struggles to see! And I know the TVI and O&M are doing the bare minimum to give her services. I firmly believe it will come crashing down in kindergarten too -- and that will be coming from the teacher! When Torrie cannot keep up with the reading ... her eyes are already fatigued and they are only reading 1 letter at a time. I have tried to address the reading for next year with TVI, but I can't get much passed modifications will be made and Torrie did not show frustration at school -- which Torrie would not show! I know Torrie and she would NEVER do that at school -- but she was very frustrated at home!!!! And that was not a figment of the 3 of ours imagination! Frustration will grow --
not only from the vision, but the class is very overstimulated visually even for me, and Torrie will go down to 1 teacher only (she has a teacher, 2 aides and the teens who are learning to be pre-k teachers in class now). There will be a lot less "help" given to Torrie (she has the learned dependence this year which I am trying to break and have told her why she needs to do things for herself) --- and I strongly believe that is going to be a major problem next year. there have been a few signs in class of frustration but next year, I believe it will sky rocket! I keep telling "Torrie's Network" that they need to move to Pt St Lucie -- so you may want to consider it too -- no snow -- but we have an occassional hurricane!!!! Doreen Support Torrie in the Race for Independence; go to www.raceforindependence.org/goto/TorrieF ________________________________ From: Carol Castellano <blindchildren at verizon.net> To: "NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List, (for parents of
blind children)" <blindkid at nfbnet.org> Sent: Thu, June 10, 2010 9:28:11 AM Subject: Re: [blindkid] go for braille! Another important tactic, I believe, is to acknowledge that yes, she does use her vision quite well, doesn't she, and yes, we're very glad she does have some useable vision; we are sure it will serve her well.  However, for full literacy, a full education, and a full life, she will need to add some nonvisual skills for when her impaired vision is not adequate or not efficient for the task. This may help. Re O&M techniques--it is my experience that kids need to practice a lot between lessons.  THis is where a trained para and the parents come in.  So if she is to "master" the diagonal technique, she'll need to use and practice it a lot between lessons.  Personally, I would not expect a preschooler to master much of anything--their learning future is largely before them!  I would go ahead and teach her constant contact with a
nice, light NFB cane (I think someone mentioned you can get one free from the NFB). My gut tells me not to wait till October.  Doreen, will you be at convention this year? Carol At 08:55 PM 6/8/2010, you wrote: > Sue Actually the ESE director has been in our last 3 meetings - the ones after our mediation. He has also been copied on all of these emails. He doesn't jump in much, except he did say to "let the O&M work" so I am trying to do that, except I have questions which need clarification.   I have the Cutter book and got an "update" for O&M instruction at the state convention of NFB over Memorial Day. That has helped. I am having my daughter use the longer NFB cane (her ambutech is at least 1-2 inches too short) and am having her do constant contact instead of the diagonal technique. I know she is safer with constant contact and she will need that for kindergarten next year. (I also have both of Carol Castellano's books, as well as other
resources). The O&M did answer me on diagonal and indicated that she had not "mastered" the easier diagonal technique and she cannot "move on" to constant contact. So he is admitting that the diagonal is not as safe, but wants her to master it better before moving on. With the little bit of time he is spending on the cane instruction, it is hard for her to "master" anything. SO now I am very confused!   As for Braille, I will give them the 9 weeks, but I will also be doing braille at home over summer. I do believe that the teacher will be the one pressing it for me, instead of me pressing it. The teacher will be the one seeing that Torrie cannot and will not be able to keep up. I have a meeting already scheduled for Oct 25 -- that will be the 6-month mark for "progression" in her goals. If she doesn't show progression, all kinds of things will break loose.   Both our TVI and O&M continue to believe Torrie has "good vision" and that is
why she doesn't need services. We've had 2 functional vision assessments, which don't "support" one another in all areas, and we've had the independent eval for O&M. But the TVI keeps telling me how well she is doing .... I am trying to let it all go until the Oct 25 meeting. It is hard though. I am hoping her kindergarten is much different ... the ESE person/LEA at least "sounds" like she is more interested in doing things to HELP Torrie that may not be "in the box" and I told her I am all for that!   I will be keeping everyone posted on this ... but please keep all suggestions coming!   Thank you. Doreen support Torrie in the Race for Independence; go to www.raceforindependence.org/goto/TorrieF                 --- On Tue, 6/8/10, Susan Harper <sueharper at firstchurchgriswold.org> wrote: From: Susan Harper <sueharper at firstchurchgriswold.org> Subject: Re: [blindkid] go for
braille! To: "NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List, (for parents of blind children)" <blindkid at nfbnet.org> Date: Tuesday, June 8, 2010, 3:06 PM Your O&M person has a supervisor.  Send a copy of all your emails and letters to the supervisor and ask that person to respond.  Don't expect much, but you may be pleasantly surprised.  Don't wait on the Braille.  It is too important and we found our TVI had very low expectations like not being able to even read words until 3rd grade.  You are your child's best teacher anyway.  I had to learn the O&M techniques to teach our son, as the O&M was insisting on skills that were counterproductive to Independence. *“Independent Movement and Travel in Blind Childrenen, a Promotion Modelâ€ï¿½Ã‚  by Joseph Cutter is a greeat book!* *Blessings,* *Sue H.* On Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 9:26 AM, Doreen Franklin <theconelady at yahoo.com>wrote: > > > > Joy and Mery-Noel, > >
Thank you for your encouragement!!! We knew that Torrie would need braille > and "accepted" that back in 2007, but trying to get it passed our district > has been a big fight. (I got lambasted by the O&M at one meeting when I > asked for braille). We had the option of what "fight" to pursue in 2009 -- > that of cane or braille as I could only handle doing one at a time. Since > Torrie was banging into our furniture all the time, and then she had a low > vision eval done which indicated a loss of peripherals in all 4 quadrants, > we knew she needed the cane instruction. It took a year, and an IEE for O&M > which blew the socks off of our district, and so we have instruction > (although I am using that word loosely). > > Our daughter is receiving the diagonal technique only and I cannot get a > "timeline" from the O&M for when he will move to constant contact and/or > two-touch. (District director asked for timeline to be sent to us on 5/27; I > followed
up on 6/2 to director - he did another email - and I still have > nothing. I have just done an email myself about diagonal technique and her > not being safe as she is not reading things in front of her whole body, just > to the left side of her with that technique. I have also asked for a > timeline for when he will be teaching constant contact to her).  Right now, > he is doing sighted guide with the teachers, bus drivers and himself with > Torrie (school is done this Friday), but David and I have NO INSTRUCTION in > it! (I learned it as an emergency evacuation of blind adults when I was at > the Lighthouse for the Blind back in 1987. It is fuzzy and I don't have all > the ins and outs and certainly not the "cues" he is using).  This has >  been an unbelievable battle for us ... and unfortunately our O&M is > legally blind so the district believes his word as "gospel" as he lives it! > And they are not looking anywhere
"outside" of what HE says! > > As for braille and other services, I started in the visual disabilities > program at FSU in January, and will have braille. I have pre-braille things > for her to do right now - her fingers are too stiff so I will be working > with her over the summer for pre-braille things as well as teaching her > braille letters to match her printed letters. I have not geared up for the > braille fight yet ... I am letting them hang themselves and I believe the > kindergarten teacher will finally "see" that she cannot and will not be able > to keep up with her sighted peers. In pe-k, she only read one letter at a > time instead of actual words and sentences. Once that begins in August in > kindergarten, she will quickly fall behind and the braille will be pushed > from the school -- and that is what I am waiting for, on one hand. I also > wanted the TVI to hang herself with her font size .... Torrie has supposedly > been referred to the
low vision initiative (I filled out my paperwork but >  am unsure if she was actually referred by the TVI) to use magnifiers, > which I am okay with also. But I will be teaching her braille now so that > she doesn't have to do the "catch up" that I am fearing could happen. (we > have a 14-yr old and 2 yrs ago, she had to do oral presentations on her > reports. I wondered how would Torrie be able to give an oral presentation > and address her audience and look at them when the paper would be on her > nose for her to read!) I have not even pulled out the IDEA federal law > yet!!! > > I don't think our district much cares .... I still have heard nothing from > our superintendent about her not using the cane at her graduation. They are > too concerned with the FCAT reports not coming out due to a glitch with the > scoring. So Torrie just gets lost off to the side. I am not sure where I > will be going with it .... it has been suggested to do a
letter to the > editor. I may call the DoE and talk to the person I've talked to before. > > I am glad I am getting everyone's suggestions and words of encouragement! > It just reinforces what David and I have "known" as necessary tools for > Torrie for her tool box. Too bad the district doesn't get it yet! I don't > know how I can do this for another 13 years! > > Please keep any suggestions coming ... they are certainly helping!!! We are > most appreciative of everything!!!! > > Doreen > support Torrie in the Race for Independence; > go to www.raceforindependence.org/goto/TorrieF > > > >  > > > --- On Tue, 6/8/10, Merry-Noel Chamberlain <owinm at yahoo.com> wrote: > > > From: Merry-Noel Chamberlain <owinm at yahoo.com> > Subject: Re: [blindkid] go for braille! > To: " (for parents of blind children)NFBnet Blind Kid Mailing List" < > blindkid at nfbnet.org> > Date: Tuesday, June 8, 2010, 6:52 AM > > > Doreen, > I second what Joy said about Braille. 
Enlarging only can go so far.  It's > great for the child to learn the shapes of print letters so they can read > raised signs (ie:  Ladies, Men) but when it comes to learning and reading > for pleasure - Braille is the answer!  If Braille becomes a part of the > child's life early - it becomes a part of the child's life forever!  As a > Teacher of Visually Impaired Children, I have had several older students > move into my district who didn't know Braille and it is much harder 1) for > them to learn it and 2) for them to accept it.  Often times, they would much > rather lug a huge CCTV from classroom to classroom - NOT!  They end up > having to go to a special room where their CCTV is located - leaving their > classroom and peers in order to read an assignment.  Wouldn't it be > better for the child to be able to stay with their peers?   Plus, as they > are learning Braille (mostly
because they have lost more vision and > can't see the large print any more) they often fall behind and struggle to > keep up with their peers.  The best gift you can give your child is the > opportunity to learn Braille as soon as possible.  I sure wish I had that > opportunity myself!  Frankly if I received a student who's IEP stated the > child needed 26 point font - I would start teaching Braille RIGHT AWAY! > > Merry-Noel > > --- On Tue, 6/8/10, Joy Orton <ortonsmom at gmail.com> wrote: > > > From: Joy Orton <ortonsmom at gmail.com> > Subject: [blindkid] go for braille! > To: "NFB Blindkid list" <blindkid at nfbnet.org> > Date: Tuesday, June 8, 2010, 3:29 AM > > > Hi Doreen, > > I'm so sorry you had a painful experience with the pre-K graduation. I've > had to do my own advocating (I hope modeling for my daughter) for proper > mobility help with dance recitals, talent shows, and so on (as in, "don't > drag or push her, please").
There are lots of opportunities as your child > goes through school. > > You mentioned that your child was uncomfortable with the type that the TVI > has chosen for next year, 26 or so? That is much bigger than "large print." > > If your child is unable to read 14 point type, then I would strongly urge > you to go ahead and ask for braille instruction. In kindergarten or first > grade, 24 or 26 point type is probably a matter of enlarging the papers, > but > if the student can only read at 26 or larger, what will you do when she has > to read 20 pages (or more) for a history assignment in middle school, or > 100 > pages for a literature assignment in high school ... If she has braille > instruction and the skills to read braille, she can keep up with reading > assignments. > > I am sure there are oher parents who can address how difficult it is to > learn braille during high school, rather than early on. If your daughter > can > see the huge print, then
let her be a "dual reader," but please give her > the > opportunity to learn braille. > > It sounds like you have an uphill battle in getting what you want from the > district, but remember that it is not just what you want, but what your > child needs in order to be successful, and also what the law requires. Hang > in there. > > Sincerely, > Joy Orton > _______________________________________________ >   blindkid mailing list > blindkid at nfbnet.org > http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindkid_nfbnet.org  > To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for > blindkid: > http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/blindkid_nfbnet.org/owinm%40yahoo.com  > > > > > _______________________________________________ >   blindkid mailing list > blindkid at nfbnet.org > http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindkid_nfbnet.org  > To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for > blindkid: > >
http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/blindkid_nfbnet.org/theconelady%40yahoo.com  > > > > > _______________________________________________ >   blindkid mailing list > blindkid at nfbnet.org > http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindkid_nfbnet.org  > To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for > blindkid: > > http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/blindkid_nfbnet.org/sueharper%40firstchurchgriswold.org  > _______________________________________________ blindkid mailing list blindkid at nfbnet.orghttp://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindkid_nfbnet.org To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for blindkid: http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/blindkid_nfbnet.org/theconelady%40yahoo.com _______________________________________________ blindkid mailing list blindkid at nfbnet.org http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindkid_nfbnet.org To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your
account info for blindkid: http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/blindkid_nfbnet.org/blindchildren%40verizon.net Carol Castellano, President National Organization of Parents of Blind Children 973-377-0976 carol_castellano at verizon.net www.nopbc.org _______________________________________________ blindkid mailing list blindkid at nfbnet.org http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindkid_nfbnet.orgTo unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for blindkid: http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/blindkid_nfbnet.org/doreenproverbs3%40bellsouth.net _______________________________________________ blindkid mailing list blindkid at nfbnet.org http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/blindkid_nfbnet.org To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for blindkid: http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/blindkid_nfbnet.org/blindchildren%40verizon.net 

Carol Castellano, President
National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
973-377-0976
carol_castellano at verizon.net
www.nopbc.org  

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