Learning What you Need

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Learning, starting at 3 months Old

I always tell people I want to get children "Coming from the Womb." Well, 3 months is pretty close. I did not get him earlier because the family did not move into my district until he was 3 months old.

We spent the first 3 years with tactile and full sensory exploration. By 3, he was ready to begin formal braille, technology and cane skills instruction. From 3-5 this little guy learned his braille and technology and by kindergarten was ready to fully participate as any other child. Since he was low vision, he learned his print letters and numbers also. He would type to output his work and hand it in to the teacher at the same time as his peers.

For Braille instruction, before reading time, he would go with the teacher of the blind or braille certified para educator, to learn the new contractions he had in his reading class book coming up that day, so when he was with his class he could read the same material as his peers. This enables him to keep on grade level now and in the future.

There are many wonderful Braille instructional methods, but if you go this route, the child will always be behind his peers until he learns all the contractions according to the particular Braille instructional methods and manuals you are using. You will also have a frustrated child because he is never reading the same stories as the rest of the class. This will lead to resistance in learning the braille. All they can see is they are behind their peers and they blame braille for the lag.

If you just teach the contractions the child is using in class in the books everyone else is using, he can keep up with his peers. More importantly, the child sees braille as a method to help him, not keep him behind his peers.

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