Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

Talking to your child is very important

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HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Blind > Chapter 6: Communication > Talking to your child is very important


A child who cannot see well has a harder time than other children learning what words mean. This is because he often cannot see what is being talked about. And yet, learning to listen to others and to talk are especially important for a blind child because these skills help him understand the world he does not see.

a woman speaking and a boy wondering about what she said.
The cows got out of the field.
What is a field?
How do cows get out?
Where will the cows go?
a woman chopping onions while speaking to a girl.
Whew, that’s a strong smell. Do you know what it is, Rina?


As you do your daily work or play with your child, keep talking to her in short, simple sentences. At first it can be hard, if you are not used to talking so much. But remember, this is one of the main ways your child can learn about the world — especially those things she cannot experience herself. Later on, this will give her more to talk about with others.

a blind girl speaking with a woman who is cooking.
What’s that smell?
I’m frying meat, Suma. Can you feel the heat from the stove? Can you hear the oil sizzling?


Remember that a child who can see learns a lot about the world by observing. A child who cannot see well uses her other senses to learn about the world. Whenever possible, let her touch, taste, or smell what you are talking about. This helps her begin to understand what the words mean.


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