As a mom, I am often blown away and overwhelmed by the realization that I play such a big role as my sons develop their own beliefs and attitudes as they become men. Thankfully, it is a daily, moment by moment decision that takes a very, very long time to happen. And thankfully, we also have the ability to stop from time to time and consider taking a different approach. Maybe even a different philosophy.
As one of the family support gals with the TSBVI Outreach team, I get to call it my job doing what I love – supporting families and watching them lead us into some pretty awesome systems improvement. I also spend some time away from TSBVI doing something else I’m pretty passionate about – teaching Orientation & Mobility (O&M) to adults. There is something pretty cool about witnessing people become confident travelers, especially when you get to see all their hard work pay off by improving their safety and independence. Recently, I had the pleasure of working with a young lady who had such joy for life and for her independence that she often broke out in a little dance when she learned a new environment. Her enthusiasm was great to watch but she was never content to dance alone, she often grabbed me and invited me dance alongside her. It was so much fun, especially the follow-up conversations with other pedestrians interested in our little celebration. While I believe she was born with a natural bent towards being enthusiastic and independent, I also know a lot of it came from growing up in a family that encouraged such character traits.
Today, I saw a YouTube video of Precious Perez singing a rendition of a Taylor Swift song about her cane. This young lady can sing and her message is powerful – she will never, ever live without her cane! Why? Because she figured out that is one of her tools for independence. Want to find a fun, creative way to encourage your child to feel proud about using his or her cane? This is a great one to share! Want to see other fabulous YouTube videos to inspire your family to start young and bring that cane everywhere? Check these out:
- Blind White Cane Rap,
- Watch me go!!! Blind preschooler uses cane
- 4 Year Old Gavin Using His White Cane To Navigate Down a Curb Independent
Just in case you want to hear Precious’ song, it is available on vistar.org on her blog (#17)
Edgenie Bellah, Deafblind Family Support
& Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist