Problem-Solving Skills for Grade Schoolers with Blindness or Low Vision
Grade school life is a rich environment for learning problem-solving skills. Just think of the typical situations your child or family member who is blind or low vision confronts at this age:
- Establishing and maintaining friendships
- Handling sibling and other relational conflicts
- Finding time and motivation to complete homework and study for exams
- Establishing individuality while desiring to “fit in” with peers
- Increased independence in mobility and self-care
- Accessing technology and visual information
- Enhanced self-awareness
- Handling the changes of puberty
Instead of immediately removing or solving problems for your child, consider problems as opportunities to train your child in problem-solving skills. Your child needs your coaching in learning to recognize and identify problems as well as in choosing and implementing solutions.
Instruction and rehearsal with support, followed by independent practice, will prepare your child to handle complex, emotional, or significant issues that will present themselves in adolescence and adulthood.
In the future, your child might face many tough situations. These can include things like problems with getting around, technology not working, or trouble at work. They might also have to handle arguments at home or at work, losing a job, finding a new job, difficulties in getting places, owing money, or being in relationships that aren’t good for them.
Activities To Help
Read APH CareerConnect’s problem-solving lesson plans and work with your child in the phases of problem-solving:
- Identify the problem
- Gather information
- Anticipate outcomes and consequences
- Plan and implement steps to solve the problem
- Request, accept, and decline assistance
- Evaluate the outcome
The CareerConnect article “Solving Problems at Work” may help parents and older grade schoolers understand the challenges a person with visual impairments might experience on the job.
One valuable career-building skill is perceiving your work as part of a larger company or organization. Identifying and solving issues for the organization can be a key to advancement (see “Advancing in Employment: Solving Problems and Filling Gaps as a Professional Who Is Blind”).