ERIC Number: ED085934
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1973
Reference Count: 0
The Blind Child and His Parents: Congenital Visual Defect and the Repercussion of Family Attitudes on the Early Development of the Child.
Lairy, G. C.; Harrison-Covello, A.
Discussed are the effects of parental attitudes on the early development of the congenitally blind child. The disproportion between family reactions and the limitations of the handicap are attributed to symbolic aspects of blindness and previously existing pathological elements in the parents. Compared are developmental milestones (such as the year's delay in establishing J. Piaget's concept of object permanence) of young blind and seeing children. Stressed is the importance for emotional health of the 4- or 5-year-old blind child's recognizing and verbalizing his blindness. The author reports on his examination of over 500 blind children under 6 years of age which involved a scale of development and an interview with the parents (usually the mother). It is concluded that one third of the children are relatively normal and come from accepting homes (more than half of these children have some useful vision); that another group of children with high verbal skills but low autonomy, sensory-motor, and sociability skills have mothers who are nonrejecting but overprotective due to lack of information; that a third group with high autonomy but low sociability, language and sensory-motor scores typically have mothers who were never able to overcome initial depression and rejection; and that a final group with very low overall development appear to have suffered severe affective deprivation. It is stressed that a blind child's upbringing requires greater virtues in the mother than does the normal child's upbringing. Appended are two scales of development for preschool blind children. (DB)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Reprinted from the American Foundation for the Blind Research Bulletin, n25, January 1973