8. "Don’t worry, she’s doing fine. It’s normal for children who are blind to be a year or two behind."
Why is this statement problematic?
Blindness or visual impairment
itself does not cause children to be behind in academic areas. Academic
achievement can be affected, however, by circumstances such as low expectations
and not having books and materials in accessible formats. On the other hand,
achievement can be positively affected by having age-appropriate expectations,
accessible materials, good training for teachers and paraprofessionals, early
intervention, and consistency between home and school. If your child is
behind, a careful assessment of all areas including the child’s prior learning
experiences and opportunities can help identify the reasons why. It can be
helpful to consider the following questions: Have tactile learning opportunities
been limited? Is large print being used when braille might make the child
competitive? Have there been enough orientation and mobility instruction
and practice? Have expectations been appropriately high at home and at school?
Work with your child’s teacher of students who are blind or visually impaired
(TVI) to find answers to these questions.
Possible Responses for Parents/Advocates
- "Let's keep our focus on how Autumn's IEP goals compare to the state
standards for eighth grade. How can we ensure that the goals and services
we are talking about today will help her achieve what the state standards
require of all eighth graders?"
- “The assessment shows that Sammi is about two years behind in his academics,
even though everyone agrees that he should be able to keep up with his class.
Let’s put together a remediation plan with goals for each month so that
we make sure he catches up in every subject."
- “I’m concerned we are not expecting as much from Khalid as he is capable
of. I admit that I think we have not given him as much independence at home
as may be possible, but I’d like to change that and see if Khalid improves.
I’d like the bar to be raised at school too. We really need to work together
Read the Law
Collabortive effort between the
National Center on Severe and Sensory Disabilities
and the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
Copyright © 2008 National Center on Severe and Sensory Disabilities
Copyright © 2006 National Center on Low-Incidence Disabilities
Permission to use for educational purposes granted.