[blindkid] Changing cane hands

Susan Harper sueharper at firstchurchgriswold.org
Wed Apr 21 21:44:40 UTC 2010

You all may or may not remember last fall when I wrote about our former O&M
person trying to change our son's cane hand from right to left and wouldn't
allow him to use his right hand at school for learning cane techniques and
was teaching cross cane techniques to a 3 year old.  I tried working in
through the system with the O&M, his TVI, Their supervisor, the aide, the
teacher, the special ed director and finally removed my son from school and
he is home schooled.  I made calls, I asked, I wrote, I demanded, I asked
for folks to stop until we could at least have a meeting.  All to no avail.

Anyway, I kind of wanted to update you all.  He saw his neurologist (because
he was extremely premature and some question of delayed head/brain growth)
and the good news is that all is well and no problems with brain/head
growth.  He saw a major improvement in overall physical and cognitive
development, and the little boy who would not talk did.  He also says it was
a good thing we stopped the issues with trying to change cane hands,
because, he still has a small amount of residual muscle imbalance
on...........you guessed it, his left side.  So he should prefer his right
hand.  It is like trying to change a lefty to a righty or worse to use both
hands because this can cause learning and/or behavioral problems
(disorganization in how the brain develops connections).  A child develops a
preference early on and this has a lot to do with how the brain develops and
this pattern should be respected and not interrupted.

Vinnie showed a lot of regression in his cane use while he was in school
working with this O&M specialist.  WE have finally remediated all that and
got him back on the road to independent travel with a good touch tap
technique as well as back to using his echo location skills.  But the most
important thing is that when Vinnie is outside walking independently is his
head held high and a great big grin.  He showed off all his independent
skills today for the hospital staff.

I just want to say to all of you, thank you so much for the support and
encouragement.  I followed my instincts and they were correct, but most
important, my son is learning to be independent and develop the skills he
needs to succeed in life.  I know there are some great programs out there
and I hope at some point we are able to take advantage as Vinnie gets older.

Sue H.

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