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Session 5:  Study Questions and Answers for Recommended Reading H: Miller

Miller, D.D. (1985). Reading comes naturally: A mother and her blind child’s experiences. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 79(1), 1-4.

1. Choose your favorite children’s storybook and describe what a “book bag” for it would contain.

Participants’ responses will vary.

2. What types of materials, besides sandpaper, might be tactually unpleasant for children with visual impairments? What materials might be tactually appealing and good additions to a homemade tactual book?

Participants’ responses will vary.

3. What are the potential challenges for caregivers using print-braille books with their young children?

  • Caregivers may be unsure of where to direct a young child’s hand for “reading along.”
  • It may take too much time for caregivers to find particular letters in braille, causing the child to lose attention.
  • Caregivers may be unsure of their ability to accurately and efficiently identify braille letters found in the text.
  • If caregivers do not know contracted braille, they may be unable to read or identify braille letters or words in the text.
  • Braille embossed over clear overlays is difficult to read by sight.

4. Explain Goodman’s (1976) theory of how children learn to read. What are the implications of this theory for infants and toddlers with visual impairments?

  • Children learn to read at young ages by being exposed to “literate environments,” that contain several forms of print and have access to information regarding their uses and meanings. Additionally, children first learn about books and their relationship to language as a whole. The individual pieces and structure are then learned and decoded. Learning to read, according to Goodman, is a whole-to-parts process.
  • For children with visual impairments, it may be difficult to create a “literate environment.” Materials in braille are sometimes difficult to find and can be expensive for families. Additionally, for children with visual impairments, it may take large amounts of time and money to appropriately adapt materials in their environment for children to have access to the same amounts and forms of print that sighted children have.