≡ Menu

The Importance Of Touch

As a blind child, every part of your body and all the other senses become your eyes with which to take in information from the external world.

I always tease my sighted friends that I have ten eyes while sighted people only have two. This means that I can see better than they can.

Touch with all fingers, the whole hand, the feet, legs, back, arms and the skin can give so much information to the child about the environment they are in.

Always give permission for the child to touch things, to reach for objects, feel everything, explore with fingers, hands feet and toes.

When blind children explore objects through touch they form mental images in their mind. They can conjure up a mental picture of objects places and things when they speak about things and when other people talk about things. Blind children are better able to form the mental image of the verbal topic. When blind children explore through touch they can form images of objects. When they later read independently, when they hear someone reading them a story or when they listen to audio books, they can envision in their minds, the objects, and places and emotional feelings discussed in stories.

Active touch and tactile manipulation of objects helps blind and visually impaired children to form mental pictures of objects and assists with translating the physical object into verbal descriptions of three-dimensional objects. As blind and visually impaired individuals verbally describe familiar physical objects, their hands and fingers can be seen to trace the outlines of the objects and the various features of these objects as they verbally describe the various elements or features. Let your children live in a three-dimensional world and have the expected ability to describe that world. Don’t deprive them of normalcy and don’t deprive them from meeting normal standards and expectations.

When blind children are permitted to find stairs with their toes, follow kurb edges with their feet, reach for railings, trail walls, explore doorways and windoe ledges, children form spacial awareness, develop spacial orientation, they learn of physical distance and proximity. When they are allowed to walk independently from vehicle to buildings, they learn to form mental maps of the routes and physical layouts frequently visited areas. They come to expect physical attributes such as kurbs, grassy patches, driveway dips in sidewalks, gravel pathways, groves of trees, raised garden beds.

Children develop touch and tactile senses by not being carried around by their care givers. Not holding their hands while going from place to place. Children learn of their environment when they are permitted to make their own way independently from place to place.

Learning to touch, developing the tactile sense helps children with Braille literacy. Learning spacial awareness and spacial orientation help with Braille dot positioning to form braille letters.