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Everything Gets Better with Time

Everything gets better with time...

Virtual school

It’s February 6, 2021 and we are still in the midst of a global pandemic; which for me means that my son is still doing school virtually.
I disclosed, in my previous article, the plethora of emotions I experience navigating virtual school with a visual impairment.

Since that article released my son’s father has taken over the majority of virtual learning. However, on this day-February 6, 2021, my son’s father informed me that our son had to complete and submit a few remaining assignments while he was with me.

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I instantly became nervous. In the past, when I attempted to assist my son with virtual learning, it was frustrating for both him and me. Looking to avoid the frustration for us both, I took a deep breath, and together we developed a game plan.

Completing assignments

I prepared myself mentally with some positive self-talk and I physically made sure I had my Ruby Magnifier to assist with seeing the font. At this point, my son is about six months into the school year and is navigating google classroom like a boss. He pulled up the assignments and I read him the instructions and provided support when needed.

After I looked over the assignment he saved and submitted it. I was thoroughly impressed and relieved. I thought, “Wow, that wasn’t so bad after all,” and we moved on to the next assignment.

Better with time and practice

Later that day I spoke to my mommy and shared that I had assisted my son with his assignments. I expressed how proud of myself I was. After all, a few months ago completing assignments were really frustrating and stressful, but this time felt much smoother. It is like the saying goes: everything gets better with time.

Living with a visual impairment

As you can imagine, being a mom with a visual impairment is a constant adventure. I am constantly having to juggle different emotions at each developmental stage. Each stage of my son’s life came with new wins and challenges. I feel like there are a few steps to combating the challenges:

1. Acknowledge that there is a challenge.

Virtual learning is difficult for most people and having a visual impairment adds an additional layer of challenges. In addition to learning the “new norm”, I also have to figure out which accommodations I will need in order to see.

2. Accept that there is a challenge.

I often say that if I saw what other people saw, I would do what other people do. It was important for me to remind myself that although my virtual school concerns didn’t look like my peers, they were still valid. This is a hard stage sometimes.

It often leads to asking for support, or not being able to be involved the way I would like to be. I knew with virtual learning it would be ideal for my son to have the support of another adult—accepting this meant I had to move forward knowing this was an area I wasn’t going to be as hands-on as I usually am in my child’s learning.

3. Accommodate

It was important for me to remember that accommodations come in multiple forms. In the beginning, I asked my friend Renee if I could come over to her house to do virtual school with my son. With her nearby, she could help my son navigate the system. Eventually, my son’s father and I worked out a system and he took over virtual learning.

4. Appreciate

I take the time to appreciate both my accommodations and myself. Together we can do great things!

Working through my visual impairment

By keeping in mind these 4 A’s, I am able to work through challenges in ways that address my mental health and physical needs. I remember that accommodations are available to assist me with most challenges in my life and I still have the ability to live a full life, unapologetically. Sometimes, it just takes a little more time... at least that’s the way eye see it.

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