[blindkid] Changing cane hands

Richard Holloway rholloway at gopbc.org
Thu Apr 22 14:46:52 UTC 2010


I think I'd be inclined to follow-up with someone in charge at the  
supervisory level (or above) with the school / school system about  
this. You may not plan to go back there ever but it might help other  
kids down the line, if only a little. I'm not suggesting heated phone  
calls but maybe a letter or two or some emails to key people just  
saying they were out of line and not following their advice has solved  
some issues. I'd also point out that your doctor agrees...

This isn't even a blindness issue-- this is a common sense concept  
that is much more global than any vision-related needs. Such a mindset  
and actions could cause problems for any chid in the school. There  
should be a compelling reason to switch hands for a child and the  
parent should surely be involved in a decision to undertake such a  

The good news seems to be that you have solved the problem for now  
though. Glad to hear that is improved for you.


On Apr 21, 2010, at 5:44 PM, Susan Harper wrote:

> 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.
> Blessings,
> Sue H.
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