We had no idea how many resources were available to Deacon because of his "legally blind" diagnosis. I feel like we are just beginning to get our feet wet, but this is the perfect time to share what we have learned this far, before we have so much info that it is overwhelming to write (and for you to read).
The street sign above was the easiest to obtain. Our street is adjacent to the entrance to our neighborhood. Frequent traffic and fast drivers have been a complaint of many parents on our street, so I figured a sign might slow some of the speeders down. I called City Hall and asked who I needed to talk to for getting a "blind child" sign posted. They connected me to the right person in Public Works. Within a week or so a sign was up, no documentation needed or anything.
I have said it before, but Deacon's VI (visual impairment) Teacher is a-mazing! She has taught us so much, and now that she is coming to our house for therapy for the summer, we are learning so much more! The craziest thing is that Deacon is much more receptive to new items if you introduce them to his feet first! lol She compares putting new objects in his hands to going inside a haunted house where they ask you to stick your hand into a box with an unknown object inside, kinda scary. It is much less intimidating to place it on his bare feet first, then he will reach down and touch it with his hands. She has also showed us Deacon's motivation for anything with movement and light, which explains why he has always liked the television. This has helped us pick the best toys for him to play with, and she even found spots in our house that he goes to most often to place the toys. Yes, our house looks like a playground!
She also connected us with Texas Division for Blind Services, part of DARS. We just met with them last week, so I don't know everything they can do, but they told me that they take children and their families on field trips/vacations to places that cater to visually impaired, and they will also purchase products suggested by VI Teachers. They just ordered Deacon this goody, for close to $200, at no cost to us:
These two items work together, helping Deacon to turn electronic devices on/off easily. The switch plugs into the power strip. When the button is pushed all items that are plugged into the power strip turn on. This will allow him to turn on the radio, help with cooking in the kitchen, and operate any other electronics associated with daily living.
Deacon loves banging, all things metallic, and noise; this is so perfect!
It has a suction cup at the base and a large lip on the side to help with scooping.
Miniature Disco Ball
We went to the skating rink this week and Deacon started crying when they turned the disco ball off!
This would go great with his new power strip!