How Can I Best Support a Child Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired? - Life.Church Leaders

How Can I Best Support a Child Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired?

by Leaders.Life Team

I have been an older sister for most of my life, and it’s one of the greatest titles that I hold. My brother and I are your typical, run-of-the-mill sibling pair. However, there’s one major difference between us: our vision.

You see, my brother was born blind. I love the Buddies program at Life.Church because it is the very resource my family prayed for: someone to make my brother feel included, not different.

With this in mind, my family came together to share some of the most crucial things we’ve learned over the years. Our hope is to equip you to make your buddy feel included, safe, and ready to experience the abounding love of God.

Some Best Practices to Support a Child Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired

This is a broad list of ways you can help your little buddy feel safe, secure, and included during their LifeKids experience. If you want even more specific ways you can best help your buddy, take a look at the tips below!

The Dos and Don’ts of Free Play

Transitioning Into Clean Up

Clean Up is a wild two-minutes, no matter who the child is. Here are some helpful ways to include your little buddy.

How to Thrive in the Video or More Teacher-Led Portions of the Experience

As you help your little buddy get seated in a small group, think about these things.

Think through the different portions of your experience. In the younger Early Childhood rooms, you’ll have a teacher-led Prop Talk. Be sure to quietly describe what’s happening and what the teacher is showing the other children.

In Crosstown, you may need to help the child through playing a game in the group.

In all rooms, there will be a video portion where your verbal cues will come in handy!

Help with learning and doing anything that’s visually led in a video or in the room.

All rooms have music and movement to lead through.

Supporting Through Activity Time and Small Group Discussions

As you help your little buddy get into a small group, think about sitting behind them instead of next to them. This way they will feel like they are more a part of the circle, while knowing you’re still nearby. Here are some other things to consider:

Transitioning Back to Parent/Guardian

This can be a stressful time for your little buddy, especially if the noise level increases like it often does.

Remember, this is not an exhaustive list. Each child will have different needs and preferences. The most important thing your little buddy needs is you. You are helping to create a safe environment. You are the familiar voice for this child each week. You are the person they look forward to spending time with.

It’s okay if you don’t feel that way at first, but I promise that with time you’ll watch this unique relationship impact both of your lives in radical ways. Thank you, for saying “yes” to this calling!

Oh! And if you’d like to hear directly from my brother, be sure to check out this article next!