When we first found out our son was blind, we started searching for books on the internet. What we were looking for were books about blindness in infancy, early cognitive development, gross motor development, and any tips in general about how to best interact with a congenitally blind baby.
We found a lot of books about blindness in preschool-aged children but very little about babies. One reseacher suggested that this was because babies are hard to study since they tend to stay at home with mom and dad. Once kids hit the preschool setting they're much more accessible to doctors and vision specialists. In other words, if you want to write a book about blind kids, just go to a School for the Blind and you'll find tons of subjects to observe; if, on the other hand, you want to write a book about blind infants, you'll have to set up relationships with multiple families, go to their homes, and observe the babies one-on-one. That sounds like too much work, doesn't it?
However, we did find two beginner's guides to raising blind babies:Get a Wiggle On and Move It!!!. They're very sweet and probably helpful if you're having trouble relating to your blind baby. If you're looking for something more comprehensive on your baby's development, though, these books won't offer much help.
What it's All About
These books, published in the '70's, are available through The Blind Children's Fund or you can probably get them through your local library or Early Intervention Program.
Or, I can sum up both books for you right now...
Blind babies need love, too. Please don't just leave them in their cribs all day! Pick them up, hug them, talk to them, and even throw them birthday parties.
As I said earlier, these books are sweet and the pictures are cute, but they must have been written at a time when blind babies were simply ignored or left on orphanage doorsteps. They really don't offer much more advice than the above statement. Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm sure you already know that it's important to love your blind infant! Chances are that you're not going to find the information you need in these books.
A Bit of Wisdom
There is one piece of wisdom you should hear from these books. Move It!!! offers this advice written in the voice of a blind child...
We should all take those words to heart.
Here's What You Should Read
The books you're looking for are out there, and we've read almost every one! Check out our Beginner's Book List for helpful suggestions and the best books to read first.