Thoughts from a Preschool Teacher About Teaching a Blind Student

stacking blocks

By Heidi S.

One of our MAPS moms, Heidi, interviewed her son’s preschool teacher, Ms. Louise Homstead. Heidi’s son, AJ, has bilateral microphthalmia and is autistic as well.

Here are Ms. Homstead’s answers to the following questions:

 

What thoughts did you have when you first learned you would have a child who was blind in your classroom?

I took great interest in finding out the ways this child learned. I attended several trainings and graduate level courses which helped me understand teaching approaches. Mostly, I collaborated with a team of people with equal interest (ie: parents, one:one, SP/L, OT, PT, TVI, etc.) to build approaches.

 

Once school got started and you got to know AJ, were things different than you expected?

We saw so many great strengths (auditory perception, auditory memory, imitation) to tap into. We were a bit perplexed to comprehend the etiology and appropriate approaches to counteract weaknesses such as lack of exploration and delays in communication.

 

What did you do to prepare your classroom for AJ?

We rearranged furniture in consult with the TVI to provide routes. We used auditory toys, developed as reinforcers to elicit responses. We helped peers to become “buddies.”

 

What things would you have liked to have known before AJ started school?

How to overcome lack of initiative to try novel experiences plus how to draw a team together with deficit of time to collaborate.

 

What have you learned from having AJ in your class?

More than words can tell! I have learned how incredible the human mind is. How people’s efforts can make a tremendous difference and how well someone with a talent and eagerness to learn can produce.

 

What advice would you give to a teacher who was going to have a child who is blind in their class for the first time?

Collaborate, Collaborate, Collaborate! Let successes move the child forward. Build social-emotional skills. Finally, friendships are vital!!

 
thoughts from a preschool teacher about teaching a blind student
 


Related Posts

A tiny premature baby girl being fed by bottle by her mother.

Feeding and Eating, Special Needs

Feeding Therapy Approaches for Infants with Special Needs

Many children with special needs have feeding difficulties. Working with a speech therapist, being patient, and experimenting with textures can help.

Three generation family sitting together in the garden.

Special Needs

How Extended Family Can Support Parents of Special Needs Children

The support of extended family members can mean so much to the parents of special needs children. Take a look at these ideas for ways you can be supportive.

Young parents comfort their cute daughter.

Behavior, Special Needs

How You Can Assist a Family Through Pediatric Mental Health Crises

Children may experience mental health crises for a variety of reasons. Even without psychiatric training, you can make a difference in a child’s life.