SOESD / Learning Matters / Newsletter Archive / February 2009 / A Parent's View: Raising a Child With a Visual Impairment
A Parent's View: Raising a Child With a Visual Impairment
By Debora Norton, Parent
Often people comment on my referring to my son as “the boy”. To my great joy, I explain that I had so much help in creating this productive child, that I would be selfish to call him just my boy.
It all started in the mid 1990s when I searched for counties where Braille services along with mobility training were adequately provided in the schools. The county in which we resided in Northern California had very limited personnel and services. Most of my research pointed to Jackson County. Upon visiting the town of Medford I had great contact with Mark Moskowitz at SOESD. Long story short: we were sold and moved here.
When we arrived here, Curtis was far behind in school due to a prior lack of appropriate educational services. The teachers of visually impaired and braillists here had their work cut out for them. Talk about having surrogate parenting! Being a single parent myself, I loved having all the help. Cheri, Laurie, Susan, Phyllis, Mark, Craig, Barb and many others were all responsible for molding “the boy”.
Curtis was able to participate in many great activities such as NASA Space Camp for the Blind, Goal Ball, cross country skiing, rock climbing, coast trips, visits to ScienceWorks and mentoring (as part of his senior project at South Medford High School.) Now Curtis is a well-adjusted sophomore at George Fox University with his Guide Dog Renna.
The whole purpose of my writing today is to express my thanks and support to the Southern Oregon Regional Program for the Visually Impaired. The program staff go the extra mile: they have great morals, values, and invest their knowledge and hearts as if the children they serve are their own.