Saturday, October 18, 2014

Marshmallows & Kip Moore

Since we have successfully tackled the solid food hurdle, Max has been going for the potty trained hurdle. Yesterday was one of his most successful days using the potty. He didn't have school and daycare was able to get him to use the potty 3 times! He did have a meltdown at one point because he sat on the potty a 4th time but didn't go and still wanted a reward...I guess such is life for everyone sometimes, we want a treat just for the effort without the success. Anyway, once we got home he went once more on the potty and was rewarded.

Want to know what his rewards are???? They are his choice rewards--marshmallows and Kip Moore songs. Both, maybe aren't the most appropriate (especially some of Kip Moore's song lyrics) but they encourage Max. Besides, I think Max mostly enjoys the guitar in Kip's music. We recently took him to a concert and the little guy was screaming and crying during the break between Charlie Worsham and Kip Moore because he thought it was over and he didn't want it to be over.

Anyway, this weekend we are going to try one of those intensive potty training weekends...wish us luck!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sleeping through Noise

Lately Max has been having trouble sleeping through the heater when it turns on or off throughout the night. I tried getting a white noise machine but even with volume control Max didn't want it on. I'm not sure how to keep him from waking up because of the noise. I know quite a few families with blind children thatuse melatonin to help with sleep but Max is on a consistent schedule of 12 hours a night, it's just now he is being startled awake. What has helped you or your kids throughout the night? Is this a blind thing or an every child thing? So far it hasn't been a major problem but I definitely want to nip it in the bud. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Handicap Accessibility

If you have a child that deals with blindness or visual impairment and you're on Facebook, are you a part of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC)? There are some great stories, and resources that are shared but sometimes parents ask some great questions.

Last week, a mother asked if she should get a handicap parking tag for her blind child. Simple question, quickly asked. This question lit up the Facebook page with two types of responses: those in support of getting a tag, and those absolutely against the idea.

As people shared their opinions and I read the responses I was shocked at how quickly people started to state that being blind does not qualify someone for handicap parking, and using those spaces is abuse. I'm not here to argue for or against their points, I just want a place to recognize a couple of things I believe.

Blindness is a physical disability. Max is blind in a sighted world. I have purposefully pursued public education for him under the impression it will help him and his peers develop their understanding of his blindness together. That doesn't mean that I don't modify Max's world to make it more adaptable and a better experience. We have braille books, we use audio description whenever possible, he walks with a cane (always); it's countless the things we modify or do to help bring Max into a sighted world. I don't have a handicap parking tag for Max but I have considered getting one and still am considering getting one. Furthermore, when we go out to a restaurant I request a braille menu and when we go out to concerts I request handicap seating and specify it's for a blind white-cane traveler--why handicap seating at venue? Because...

I request handicap seating because it allows me to give Max the independence I see other parents giving his peers. Max tends to cling to the adult around him, getting them to do whatever he wants. He's really good a manipulating us and then rewarding us in hugs and kisses (if you know him, you know what I'm talking about--haha)! When I see other parents out in public whose 2 year old is running ahead of them I think to myself, "I want that to be me and Max." I want to chase after him as he just goes to explore the world around. So, when we go out to a concert I request the handicap seating so he can have another opportunity to be independent without being presented with too many challenges because in that setting sensory processing will be a MAJOR challenge. Along a similar line, that's why I want to get a handicap parking tag. My 8 year old nephew will walk through a parking lot on his own. I trust him and he trusts himself, but it didn't happen overnight. There were many lessons that went into him developing that independence. For a period of time, I think a handicap parking tag can provide me with opportunities to teach Max about parking lots without it becoming an overwhelming lesson. Do I think it's something that I will use every time--no! Do I think that it's abuse and puts someone else out--no! Is it abuse of a legal system--heck no! Will I continue to request handicap seating at concerts--no way, when he is independent and his behavior is less affected by sensory processing I think that we will forgo handicap seating, but right now it's helpful in encouraging Max to be himself and independent.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Little Message from School

Max attends school from 9-3:30. In the morning he attends a special needs Pre-K program and in the afternoon he walks to another school and attends a typical Pre-K program. This message was sent from his TVI that assists during the afternoon Pre-K. Children don't see blindness and I love it. It's great to hear about Max making friends in all sorts of settings, but especially at school. And, getting Max involved in the typical setting now will help him and his peers develop their understanding of blindness together. 

Halloween Costume Contest

Wonderbaby is hosting a Halloween Costume Contest until November 5th, 2014. Follow the link below and vote for Max (he's the mummy) or enter your child! The child with the most votes will win an inTACT. I have wanted to buy this for Max for quite some time but it's a bit out of my price range. So all the help and support and votes is much appreciated!

This is Max's picture, follow the link to vote on it!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Maryland 2015 Regional Braille Challenge Info

The Maryland State Department of Education and
 The Maryland School for the Blind
will be hosting the Maryland 2015 Regional Braille Challenge on
Saturday, February 7, 2015

Braille is an important key to literacy!  It allows for the enjoyment of reading, leads to school success, and opens the doors to future employment.  Come celebrate braille literacy with a day filled with fun, competition, learning, prizes, and enjoyment! In addition, bring in Braille books you no longer read for our first ever Braille book exchange!

Students who read braille in grades Prekindergarten through Grade 12 are invited to participate in the Maryland Regional Braille Challenge reading and writing contests. Parents are invited to participate in workshops while students are taking the tests.  Teachers and school staff are invited to assist with test proctoring and scoring and helping to facilitate the day.

WHEN:     Saturday, February 7, 2015 (Snow date:  February 21, 2015)


TIME:        8:30 AM to 4:00 PM (Lunch will be provided)

WHERE:   The Maryland School for the Blind
                3501 Taylor Avenue

                Baltimore, MD  21236