Hesperian Health Guides

Chapter 17: As Your Child Gets Older

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HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Blind > Chapter 17: As Your Child Gets Older

When Your Child Realizes He Is Blind

A young child who is blind thinks that everyone learns about the world the same way he does. He is not aware that other children have different ways of knowing and learning about the world. But, as he gets older, a child who is blind begins to understand that he is different.

a child moving his mother's hand toward a pile of blocks.
Mama, look at what I did.

A young child who is blind thinks that other people look at things with their hands, too.
a boy pointing and speaking while another child is thinking.
Look at the fruits on the tree.
How can Kado see the fruits without climbing the tree?

When a blind child is around 5 years old, he begins to understand that other children do not need to touch something to "look" at it.

a child speaking to his mother.
Mama, how come Kado can see the fruits and I can’t?

As he begins to notice that he is different, he may have new, strong feelings about his difference. Some children who are blind or cannot see well feel sad about their difference. Other children are angry or frustrated.