Whether your child has a visual impairment from birth or is an older kid whose eyesight is declining, this is obviously difficult information to take. Even if teaching your child to read isn’t your top concern right now, the question “How will my kid learn to read?” will undoubtedly cross your mind at some point in the future.
Literacy training should begin early on for all children, regardless of whether they can see, and it should begin well before the kid can piece together the basic building blocks of reading and writing: letters, sounds, and words. A child’s blindness might make it appear difficult to introduce them to books and reading, but this is not the case. This article will provide some pointers on how to introduce books and reading to your young kid, even if they are blind or visually impaired.
1) Read to Your Child Daily to Share Your Passion for Reading
Pick times and locations that are calm, cosy, and free of interruptions where your kid can concentrate. A child’s visual impairment might make it challenging for them to concentrate on reading or hearing what you are saying if there are distracting noises around them, such as other children playing, a TV show going on or other disturbing noises happening around. Find a place that is easily accessible and convenient for both of you.
2) Encourage Your Child to Read Actively
Reading is a fantastic hobby that may help your child develop numerous abilities, so encourage them to read as much as possible. With your support, your kid is far more likely to take an interest in reading.
3) Find Books the Kid Can Easily Identify With
Including everyday activities like having a bath, visiting grandparents, or grocery shopping is sure to pique your child’s interest and can help your kid connect with the story.
4) Engage Your Child with Interactive Language to Enhance the Storytelling
It can be as simple as asking your child what he thinks will happen next (“What happens next?”) or allowing them to ask questions of their own (“Why do you think that happened? What would you have done if it was you?). In either case, these opportunities allow for deeper engagement with the story and help your child understand how stories work.
5) Get Braille/Large Print Books
If you’re looking for Braille books, there are a number of places you may get them, and in some cases, you may even get them for free. Your child can begin associating the raised dots on a braille book by reading, laying the groundwork for a future of braille literacy. Alternatively, you can take your child to a library for the blind or borrow Living Paintings Touch to See books that can help your visually impaired child understand what is around them.
6) Incorporate Real-World Items into the Story
While it’s true that your child won’t be able to enjoy the lovely images found in picture books, you can make up for it by using real-world objects that they can explore and learn from. To prepare for a story about taking a bath, for instance, you can include soap, a bottle of shampoo, a tiny towel, and a bath toy in the story box.
7) Use Textures or Vivid Colours to Highlight Crucial Information
This is a technique used by many people to draw attention to things that they want the audience to see. Make use of it to emphasise what you deem to be the page’s most crucial parts using distinguishable characteristics such as colours, textures, and shapes in the design. The idea behind this design approach is that kids and people tend to focus on certain things more than others when they stand out from the rest.
8) Put Your Child’s Experiences to Paper in the Form of Creating Tactile Books
Create personalised, interactive books with your young child by working together to include their ideas, hobbies, and life experiences in the content of the books. Make a book using pages made of cardboard, then use fabric and other small objects to illustrate it.
Check Out Living Paintings’ Curated Collection of Reading Resources for the Blind
Early reading is a chance to spend quality time with your kid while sharing in the wonder of a beautiful book, and it also helps to instil a lifelong love of reading. Therefore, nothing should stand in the way of it, not even blindness. This is why Living Paintings provides a broad selection of books in their library for the blind, each of which is crafted to bring the written page to life with tactile visuals and audible explanations. We have something for all ages, from pre-school to adults.