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Talk To Me
A Language Guide for Parents of Blind Children


Linda Kekelis
Nancy Chernus-Mansfield



As the parent of a blind child, you may wonder how you and your child can find ways of understanding each other. This will be of special importance during your child's first year before he can talk. You may wonder how you will know when your child is listening if he doesn't look at you. Will your child know he's being listened to even though he can't see you are looking at him? What should you talk about when you don't know what's on your child's mind? How will you help him understand the world when he can't see what you are talking about?

At times you may feel you have more questions about your child than answers — but remember that a blind child has the same basic needs as any other child. The two of you will need to find creative ways to meet these needs. Your child, just as any other, needs someone who is willing to share and respond to his interests. He needs someone who believes in his ability to develop into a competent and creative individual. Your child is like other children, but he does have special needs because of his visual impairment. Please remember that blind children develop differently from sighted children. In this booklet, we hope to provide you with different ways of making your interactions with your child both satisfying and fun.

Linda Kekelis, M.A.
Research Associate
University of Southern California
University of California, Berkeley

Nancy Chernus - Mansfield, M.A. Executive
Director Blind Childrens Center
Los Angeles, California

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