[blindkid] O & M evaluation, FVA

holly miller hollym12 at gmail.com
Fri Apr 17 18:53:16 UTC 2009

It was really great!
I want to publicly thank Carol for being such a fabulous source of support.
I have gotten incredible support from many other members here as well of
course!!!  It's just wonderful having Carol right here in our backyard

I'll admit to being one of those parents who were afraid if I got Hank a
cane on our own we might somehow "mess things up"  and be stuck trying to
un-teach him things or sour him on the experience.  Since he "see's pretty
well for a blind kid" I also was on the fence about if he realllllly needed
it.   Seeing how quickly he "got it" was an amazing experience.  At 8 yrs
old, after spending just a few minutes using a cane, he totally understood
the value in using one.  Will every day be like that?  Eh, probably not, but
I dont' think it's going to be a hard sell to get him to use it on a regular

On the way home we stopped at McDonalds to get something to eat.  He wasn't
the least bit shy about bringing the cane with him.  He did ask me "Aren't
people going to think it's strange I have this because I'm not totally
blind?"  I told him if anyone asks, he can say "I can see some things but
there's lots I can't see.  I have a cane to help me with those things"  He
thought that made perfect sense.  Now if only the education professionals in
his life would be willing to understand that....

Yes, we're still battling with the school. We've made a smidge of progress
but not nearly enough.  We've got in writing (email, not IEP) that he will
get 2 hrs of braille (in some undertermined fashion) a week over the summer
but we still  haven't gotten more than 45 min a week of "pre-braille
exposure" for this year and next year's IEP.  Also the school is stedfastly
refusing to write goals & objectives for braille into his IEP.  I know..I
 I'll spare you all the blow-by-blows but we're are preparing to deal the
big blow.  We have an advocate working with us.   We've also been accepted
by the Disability Rights Group of NJ.  They are just getting their process
started but at least they feel Hank's situation meets their agenda.

I tell you, it's been so nice to be on spring break this week.  I know the
district office is closed so I'm not jumping every time the phone rings LOL!


On Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 1:44 PM, Carol Castellano <
carol_castellano at verizon.net> wrote:

> We just had a great experience in NJ yesterday.  Holly Miller, who's been
> active on our list, came down to my office with Hank her son and we all went
> out on a cane walk.  Hank picked it up just like that!  As he uses the cane
> and the various hand positions, etc. become second nature to him, I am sure
> he will find it very freeing.
> It was fun to watch him--every time the cane went over a little bump, he
> would notice and then bend down to check out what it was. Not one bump
> tripped him up.  It was really great.
> Carol

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