My Inquiry question: What are the impacts of being born blind compared to losing sight later on in life?
In my first round of research, I will be looking into the physical and emotional impacts of being born blind.
About 80% of children who do not have visual impairments learn through visual cues because touching and listening can be ineffective for many individuals . People born blind have to be taught compensatory skills and adaptive techniques as this will help them acquire knowledge other than sight . When growing up, people who are born blind may have low motivation to explore the environment, to socialize with others, and to manipulate objects . Socializing with others may be challenging at first as people will not be able to make eye contact and see someone waving or smiling at them . Their limited ability to explore the environment may affect early motor development . So it is important to make sure as the child is growing, to let them explore their environment with other senses other than vision . This will help the child spark their curiosity in their world . People also may have a hard time to share common visual experiences with their sighted peers which can impact their development of the appropriate social skills . As children are growing up blind, they will have a hard time learning to read and write . Children have the same development tasks as children who have sight, but the route to accomplish these tasks may be slower due to their absence of vision .
Next, to take care of children who are born with visual impairments may be very stressful for parents . This can strain relationships as it will cause worry for time involvement and uncertainty about the future for their children . Parents may worry about financial concerns and can feel stressed due to feeling inadequate to meeting their child’s needs .
Born blind will limit opportunities for them to explore their environments as many objects can be out of reach and may not produce any sound . Being born blind means needing assistance when first learning to identify objects, both tactically and verbally . They will need more assistance to understand how to handle an object, naming the object, as well as learning the functions and characteristics of the object to be able to recognize it in the future . However, children who are sighted have a reduction in needing assistance as the child can learn to explore and to interact with the environment much more easily . Children born blind will miss opportunities of nonverbal interaction as they will not learn the signs of recognition, discrimination, and evaluation which is usually interpreted through visual responses .
In my second round of research, I will look into the physical and emotional impacts of losing sight later on in life.
Thank you for reading!