Philanthropy - SO Important

Philanthropy - SO Important

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Learning to See Through His Eyes

Clarence with Mom, Melody, when
he was in kindergarten
There are so many things I have learned through having a visually impaired child that I really don’t know where to begin. Clarence is a handsome, healthy looking 11-year-old boy and very excited to start 6th grade this year. Now, if you pay close attention, you would be able to see there’s something different about him. He plays at recess with his classmates, he loves to play sports, especially basketball, but he can’t always see where the ball is. That’s a snapshot of Clarence--you wouldn't think he had a disability if you just saw him in passing. Funny thing is, sometimes I forget he can’t see very well, especially in low light or dusk, or after a busy day. 
On his church league basketball team 
My son is legally blind due to a neurological vision impairment. This is a condition in which the visual centers of the brain do not process information normally, in his case, due to a brain bleed he suffered at birth. As a result, my son has hemianopsia, which means he has reduced peripheral vision on the right side with both eyes. His eyes also shake from side to side and in a circle--this condition is called nystagmus. This causes him to see images moving or jumping, affecting his depth perception, balance and hand-eye coordination. All of this at times slows him down a bit, but doesn't stop him, and he perseveres. 

Sometimes when I have a challenge before me and am tempted to quit I think of my son and how he figures a way to do whatever he sets his mind to. 

I also learned not only is it okay to ask for help, but that people want to help -- It’s a blessing to be a blessing. His classmates are a wonderful group of kids. Most have been with Clarence since kindergarten and they love him and want to be his helper for the day. 

Goofing around with a friend!
I used to lament when I see a beautiful scenic point or a vibrant rainbow that my son is missing something so special, but he taught me there are different ways to “see.” I have found out that sometimes my vision gets in the way of seeing beauty all around me. Sounds funny doesn't it? But since I can "see" quite well, never needing glasses, I hurry and rush through my day. I can't do that when Clarence is with me; I have to slow down and then I realize how I take my vision for granted and miss out on my surroundings. 

I am learning to view life and the world differently, through his eyes. He has taught me through overcoming the difficulties that come, that there is always an answer. There is always a way. 

Melody Kehres, proud Mom
Bakersfield, CA

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Melody. This is so inspiring. You just gained yourself an avid reader. I see you are blessed in so many ways, and so is your son for having a mom like you. I wish you only the best. Looking forward to your future posts.

    Kenneth Barn