Friday, February 3, 2012

The Imagination of Blind Children

Imagination and blind children. I've thought about this a lot recently, well really ever since Madilyn was about 4 years old. When I was little, not a day went by that I didn't play school and house, or store, with my friends; and sometimes by myself. But Madilyn never was interested in imagination or role play type toys. If it didn't make a sound, it didn't stay in her hands more than a couple seconds. I remember being so frustrated that we couldn't find more accessible toys. Not that my frustration has lessened over the years either. We visited a museum gift shop yesterday in high hopes of thinking we'd find a new, fun toy for her to enjoy. I thought being a museum gift shop there would surely be something that made music or sounds and of course, educational.

Nope. We couldn't find a thing. There were a couple toys that we'd come across before, but still they were not fully accessible. Many people think that if it has sound, then Madilyn can play with it. Yes and no. She will probably enjoy the sounds, but most likely she will not know which button (if there even are tactile buttons!) does which command, as they all feel alike or there are multiple buttons all over the toy that she has to guess and learn the layout before she can even answer a question correctly. And that's only if the question is audible! Most electronic toys these days have LCD screens that display the question or picture- definitely NOT accessible to a young child. Board games and workbooks are all printed. Sometimes these can be adapted but it can be very time consuming for a parent or teacher to do this, too!

Anyway, imagination. We'll get back to my frustrations at a later date; as there are many [laughing]. It wasn't til after buying dress up clothes and magic wands that I finally understood (or more so, 'accepted') that Madilyn uses her imagination through words and voices, making funny sounds and mimicking others. She'll insist, "You pretend to be Queen Mommy and I'll be Princess Madilyn." Ahh a smile comes to my face just thinking of her saying it. Even since she was one or two years old, she has been 'pretending' or 'mimicking' various sounds and voices. It wasn't until then that she could tolerate the Passy Muir Valve on her trach, the device that allowed air to go in through her trach, but blocked it from coming out of it, thereby forcing the air through her vocal cords and ah-ha, producing sounds! It was a glorious day when we visited the ENT doctor to try it out for the first time. Before then, Madilyn could only make little squeaks and whistles. In fact, the first  sound she mimicked (as far as I remember) was a squeaky door. LOL. We would say, "Madilyn, be a squeaky door!" Her face would light up with a smile and somehow she could make the air pass through her trach just right to make a sound JUST LIKE a squeaky door, "eeeek"! So I guess it all started with that... Maybe one day she'll be an actress or be the voice behind a beautiful cartoon princess. Oh, the dreams we have for our children. Happiness. #dreamswehaveforourchildren

Madilyn in her Halloween costume (Abby Cadabby) during a Miracle League baseball game, 2011.

1 comment:

  1. I had forgotten the squeaky door. I just remember our saying,"If she will make a sound, we will never yell at her for being noisy."


Thanks for the comments!