New parents worry a lot. About everything. When their babies or young children are blind or visually impaired, the worries intensify.
Iowa Educational Services for the Blind & Visually Impaired (IESBVI) is offering a morning for these Iowa families to meet one another in person, and discover they are not alone on their journey. Parents, their children under the age of 5 years old who are visually impaired and their siblings are invited to attend a new IESBVI offering, Meaningful Connections, on Saturday, Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. to Noon. Location is the Ames library’s Danfoss Room, 515 Douglas Ave. There is no charge, but registration is required by Nov. 1.
Recker said there are about 145 families in Iowa with children under five years old who are blind, visually impaired or deafblind. “These are the early, tender years and parents feel confused and alone,” said Deena Recker, IESBVI’s early childhood, transition and family services consultant. “It helps them to meet someone else on the road and know they are not alone. Families can help each other deal with the challenges ahead and reduce the isolation they may be feeling.”
At Meaningful Connections, every family will learn about book boxes, and will make one to take home. Book boxes hold items featured in a specific book in one place, and provide a tactile approach for young children who are blind or visually impaired to experience a story instead of relying on the book’s pictures. Early literacy skills are also supported through book boxes. Hedgehugs by Steven Wilson is the featured story.
Recker and IESBVI staff will lead the activities. There will be time for parents to interact with one another, connect and exchange contact information if wanted, while their children are engaged in other fun activities.