Talk About It

This suggestion is part of a longer piece by Debbie Worman, M.A., a faculty member at The Hadley School for the Blind. (Read Debbie’s intro.)

Children are naturally curious. Be prepared to address your grandchild’s questions concerning your vision loss.

Even if your grandchild does not verbalize his or her questions, he or she may be wondering what is happening to you.

Talk about your vision loss openly and honestly. Use language appropriate to your grandchild’s age.

Take your cues from your grandchild. Some children may want more details, and others will want basic information.

Don’t be afraid to discuss your own fears with your grandchild, but also be sure to offer him or her reassurance that you are getting the support and services you need.

Exhibit excitement over the new skills you are learning. For example, you might show your grandchild how you are using raised markers to label cans in your cabinet or using a magnifying light to continue with your knitting projects.

Let your grandchild know that there are ways he or she can help you such as using descriptive words and specific directions.

For example, rather than saying, “That is over there,” suggest he or she say, “The blue bowl you want is on the top shelf on your right.”

Grandchildren like to be helpful, but be sure to let your grandchild know that it is not his or her job to “do” for you.

Demonstrate how you might work together by asking your grandchild to read the take out menu while you call and order the pizza.

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