How to discipline a blind 5 yr old

My son is just three. He will be starting preschool in a few months. But I'm doing my research ahead of time. Austin is completely blind and also diagnosed with 22q syndrome wich may cause adhd and other learning delays in the future. I don't want him to feel he can do and act any way he wants because he has a disability. Just like his older sisters they have consequences for there actions. But what is appropriate for my son and his special needs. Any suggestions or ideas that worked for other families. Thank you.

Topics: Behavior
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Posted by Amber Bobnar on Jul 03, 2014 - 4:35pm

I posted this question to the WonderBaby Facebook page and the primary response was to treat your boy like you would any child. You can see the responses here: https://www.facebook.com/wonderbaby.org/posts/834498466568097

I understand your point though that if he is developmentally delayed then you don't want to discipline him too hard, but I think a good rule would be to discipline him as you would a child of his developmental level. If he begins to display behavior issues, then it may be a good idea to look into getting ABA services from a certified behavior therapist.

Here's more info on curbing behaviors: http://www.wonderbaby.org/articles/self-injurious-behaviors

And here too: http://www.wonderbaby.org/news/webcast-behavior-issues

Posted by anonymous on Dec 04, 2015 - 4:05pm

Hiya. I know this is an old post but I wanted to let you know what has been working for me. I currently work with a 5 year old blind child with additional needs in a mainstream school. The child has shown aggressive behaviours towards staff and children with regards to things the child doesn't like. We have been using exaggerated emotions in our voice for positive and negative behaviours. For example, when the child has done something really good I use a really excited voice and give motivating rewards when praising the child. When the child has done something 'naughty' I use a very low, firm voice and the child is put in 'time out' and given the statement "That is not good. I am am cross." This seems to be working with the child as they are reacting correctly to the different voices and the aggressive behaviours aren't as frequent. With a young sighted child, SEN or not, you would use exaggerated facial expressions, which obviously wouldn't work for a blind child, so exaggerated emotion in the voice would be the only way a blind child would recognise emotion.

We have also put regular motivating activities in the child's daily routine, which the child is beginning to remember. We can then use those activities as a sanction for poor behaviour. For example, if the child has done something 'naughty' the child will not being going on the piano before break time. "You pinched your friend. No piano before break time for children who pinch their friend." This seems to be working some of the time as the child emotionally reacts correctly to this sanction.

The child is very happy and content in school and using these methods have really helped with enabling the child's social interaction, communication and education.

The parents are happy for us to use this method and have been doing the same at home.

I'm not saying it will definitely work with all children, but it's worth a go :)

Hope this helps.