We had a visit from Lennie’s QTVI (Qualified Teacher for the Visually Impaired) on Friday. She usually supports Lennie at nursery but occasionally visits us at home, which is wonderful because we are able to learn so much watching her with Lennie. This week, the two of them spent a long time with the SMART Brailler. As always, Sharon was very patient with Lennie – she was encouraging him to move the carriage back to the left after finishing a line, but allowed him to take his time, exploring the paper release buttons for a while before going back to his task. She takes every opportunity to help him to understand the world around him – not just by explaining things to him, but also by letting him explore and learn things for himself.
We sometimes feel very anxious about the future – how will we be able to help Lennie access everything a sighted person can? The ‘basics’ – walking, reading, writing, eating, dressing himself, taking himself to the toilet – are all so much harder for him. Having Sharon to work with him makes a huge difference. She shows us that yes, these things are more difficult for someone without sight, but that doesn’t mean they are impossible.
Bit by bit Lennie is learning to do things for himself, and (even more importantly) wanting to do things for himself. ‘Lennie do it’, he says crossly, as I try to help him to type ‘Lennie’ on the brailler. And he can’t quite do it yet, but I know that he will be able to – we just have to be patient like Sharon and support him to find his own way.
Marty has been visiting other families too – more about the brilliant backpacking brailler here…