[blindkid] Changing cane hands

Susan Harper sueharper at firstchurchgriswold.org
Thu Apr 22 21:20:05 UTC 2010

Common sense doesn't always cut it in this day and age.  With the economic
picture the way it is, people are just glad they can keep their job and are
not going to make any waves.  I am just not willing to settle for less than
what my children are capable of and there was a time when no one was sure it
was much of anything.  I have seen too many miracles to ever give up.  Now,
with hard work, I know that I can look for a lot of success for these two
guys.  But the hard work has to come from families.  You can regulate some
things, but attitude changes best when folks have a personal stake in the
outcome, or it hits close to home.  I was unsure that we could do what
needed to be done in a home setting, but after our experience, we are very
confident.  But it may be that this experience is what we needed to get
there.  I am just glad we paid attention to our own feelings.  Guts are
seldom wrong!

As for pointing out what our doctor says, that will come in his report and
the information forwarded to the appropriate supervisor in a effort to
provide 20/20 hindsight.  That is because one of my goals is to educate.
But there has to be a common knowledge base to connect to.  I doubt anyone
will care.  They did not read the last two reports and were very frank and
said so.
Sue H.
On Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 10:46 AM, Richard Holloway <rholloway at gopbc.org>wrote:

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