Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Recently at the NOAH Conference, we noticed a lot of people, even children, with albinism use a white cane for walking and some even used service dogs. We talked to several people to ask what age they started using these assistance aides and many told us the younger they started with them the better they did and more comfortable they felt with using them. Everyone we spoke with told us to get Liam started ASAP with an Orientation and Mobility Specialist, who would train him to use these devices and other things to improve his day to day life as he gets older. O&M specialists help with many things like landmark recognition, voice directions, step counting, mastering stairs, locating items in a store, depth perception, and cane or assisted travel,etc. Our local school for the blind is going to be evaluating Liam in a few weeks to see how often he will need this training but for now we decided to take the other parents advice and get Liam a small "kiddie cane" to practice with at home and outside. Most likely from what he heard from others Liam will only need his white cane when he is in new, unfamiliar places or overly crowded environments but it's typically a must have for individuals with albinism as far as we were told. So here are some pictures and videos of Liam's first kiddie cane. He loves having it for outdoor steps already and to push into toys all over the house. If we can just keep him from hitting things/people with it for now we are doing good!! Never hurts to start them young though!