Blog Hop Link: Nikki Cochrane: Raising Children Who Are Blind


 

PD: A girl stands against a white wall, wearing a traditional Indian sari that is hot pink, blue, & gold w/ paisley accents & sparkly glitter. Her hands are at her sides, wearing blue bangles.

 

My friend, Nikki, who is fostering 9 children at Sarah’s Covenant Homes in India along with her co-foster mama, Merissa, is writing a series of blogs pertaining to raising children who are blind. 6 of the children who live in Nikki and Merissa’s foster home have some degree of blindness (4 who are completely blind, 1 who is blind on one side, and 1 whose vision is affected by nystagmus). Nikki’s daughter, Deepa, is also blind. The first blog in the series is password-protected in order to conceal the identity of the children (India no longer allows full, identifying photos of children in care on the internet), but below is the last excerpt of that post.

Want to learn more about parenting a blind child? I would love to write a blog post answering any questions that you have, and sharing more about the ways we have changed our lifestyle to help our blind kids thrive! I would love to see our blind children be adopted into loving forever families […] and I want to start breaking down barriers about how “scary” blindness is! Click the link to submit your questions!

Following the link provided in the introduction paragraph above, you can ask Nikki anything  you want to know about parenting children who are blind.

The following posts are public (not password protected):

Part one includes some additional information about the blog series! It also begins to answer some questions that have been submitted to Nikki. Topics: sleep/melatonin, colors (video included from an adult YouTube user who is blind), and learning difference discrimination!
Raising Children Who Are Blind, Part 1

Part two in the series introduces you to a family who has adopted a daughter from India who is blind. It is an excellent introduction to some of the challenges involved with adopting and parenting children who are blind.
Raising Children Who Are Blind, Part 2

Part three in the series covers some more reader questions! Topics include: your child’s blindness and traffic; consuming media (including a Disney film audio description app!); and interacting with a blind child when meeting for the first time (hint: most often it is the new greeter who is uncomfortable, rather than the child)!
Raising Children Who Are Blind, Part 3

Part four in the series covers language, as well as echolalia (the repetition of words that are heard and mimicked by the child). Includes link to Bethel China’s Facebook page, for additional information and listings of waiting children. Bethel provides services to many orphaned children living in China who are blind.
Raising Children Who Are Blind, Part 4

Part five in the series discusses fine motor activities with blind children, including cutting and gluing; and, etiquette when it comes to interacting with and/or assisting someone who is blind.
Raising Children Who Are Blind, Part 5

Part six in the series discusses learning Braille (plus resources), tips for eating/feeding, and coping when adopted children have multiple disabilities and/or medical needs.
Raising Children Who Are Blind, Part 6

To learn more about SCH, visit their newly updated website, SCH India. To get involved, follow this link.

The following kids from SCH are listed for adoption with Reece’s Rainbow! For other kids who are also available and listed through RR, see the bottom of this post.

  • *Chloe (available to single moms) is 7 is totally blind due to being born with anophthalmia.
  • *Dinah (available to single moms) is 10 is not blind, but has some degree of vision impairment due to nystagmus.
  • *Eden (available to single moms) is 3 and is blind due to anophthalmia, and is also profoundly D/deaf with a cochlear implant.
  • *Honor (available to single moms) is listed as 12, but she thinks she is and appears to be about 15. She is blind in 1 eye due to a craniofacial disability.
  • *Jeanette (available to single moms) is 11 is completely blind. Note that, while *Jeanette does have a prosthetic left eye, it does not provide any vision.
  • *Victoria (available to single moms) is 13 is functionally blind. She has anophthalmos of one eye and microphthalmia and a coloboma in the other, but has about 10% residual vision in that eye. She can read very large print and write with glasses.

 

PD: SCH logo – black text reads ‘sch’; red text below reads ‘sarah’s covenant homes’; heart-shaped flowers bloom from the name.

 

Other children listed for adoption at Reece’s Rainbow who are blind are listed below. Children over age 10 are eligible to receive an Older Child Grant if a prospective parent files paperwork.

Eastern Europe:

  • Alisha (AT RISK OF AGING OUT!) (available to large families, older parents) has low vision/unspecified vision impairment (probably caused by strabismus, which she also has), as well as Penn-Sjogren syndrome.
  • Bowie (available to large families, older parents) is blind in one eye & has low vision in the other; he wears glasses.
  • Cambria (available to large families, older parents) has anophthalmia, meaning she was born without eyes.
  • Christina (available to large families, older parents) is blind; no other information is given in her profile.
  • Clio (available to large families, older parents) is partially blind due to absence of the lenses in her eyes, and wears glasses.
  • Delta (AT RISK OF AGING OUT! available to large families, older parents) has anophthalmia of one eye and has low vision in the other, as well as some hearing issues for which she uses a hearing aid, and some developmental delays.
  • Donna (available to large families, older parents) has retinopathy of prematurity, CP, and hydrocephalus.
  • Donny (available to large families, older parents) is blind, but has some residual sight/low vision. He has some additional needs.
  • Gage (available to large families, older parents) has an unspecified vision impairment.
  • Hollace (available to large families, older parents) is blind, with some other disabilities including mild CP and a heart condition.
  • Kanani (URGENT NEED, available to large families, older parents) has anophthalmos of one eye and optic atrophy in the other, as well as mild CP.
  • Posey (available to large families, older parents) has optic atrophy, CP, and epilepsy. She has a close-to-$9,000 grant available for her adoption!
  • Ronan (available to large families, older parents) most likely has vision impairment/low vision due to a condition called microphthalmia (small eyes), retinal deformity, and strabismus complications.
  • Scout (available to large families, older parents) is blind and has some other disabilities.
  • Todd (available to large families, older parents) is blind; no other information is given in his profile.
  • Wendy (URGENT NEED, available to large families) is completely blind, with congenital cataracts in both eyes and optic sub-atrophy. She also has CP and microcephaly.
  • Zoey (URGENT NEED, available to large families, older parents) has unconfirmed blindness – her listing states ‘coloboma of optic disc’, which can cause various degrees of visual impairment. She also has CP, epilepsy, and microcephaly.

Latin America:

  • Mandy (available to single moms, single dads, large families) is listed as blind.

Asia:

  • Armand is blind due to leukoma of the cornea; his photos are old, he is 7 now. He has a developmental delay.
  • Ava (available to single moms) has low vision/vision impairment.
  • Austyn has low vision due to having albinism. He also has some additional delays, including limited mobility and non-verbal communication. Read more about him here!
  • Emerlyse (available to single moms) is completely blind.
  • Gigi (available to single moms) is completely blind, and also has hydrocephalus and a developmental delay, including echolalia.
  • Jordy (available to single moms) has low vision due to congenital cataracts and one-sided microphthalmia.
  • Kendall (available to single moms) has anophthalmia of one eye and corneal degeneration of the other. She also has some hearing loss.
  • Kopelan (available to single moms) is listed as blind, no other info given.
  • Lizzie (available to single moms) has some residual vision in one eye, which provides her light perception, and is attending special education classes due to developmental delay.
  • Mark (available to single moms) has a vision impairment.
  • Rupert (available to single moms) is blind and may be on the autism spectrum; however, some aspects of blindness from birth can cause quirks that mimic autism.
  • Sadie (available to single moms) is blind due to anophthalmia on one side and what appears to be microphthalmia with complications on the other side. She may have an un-repaired cleft palate.
  • Tobias-James (available to single moms) is blind and has delayed development, most likely due to not receiving proper services since he is blind. He may be on the autism spectrum; however, some aspects of blindness from birth can cause quirks that mimic autism.
  • Victor (available to single moms) is blind/has low vision due to having albinism. He also appears to have some developmental disabilities and has a speech delay.
  • Warren (URGENT NEED) (available to single moms) is blind and has a repaired cleft lip/palate; update from 2017 showed Warren is severely delayed — doesn’t walk, talk, or play with other children. At 7 years old, he is only 19 pounds. He desperately needs the better care a family can bring.

Location Unspecified:

  • Brendan (available to large families, single moms, older parents) is blind and has a couple other disabilities including microcephaly. He was born premature, which may have contributed to his significant disabilities.
  • Harmony (available to large families, single moms, older parents) has anophthalmia and some other developmental delays.
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