I have decided to share the story of our special son Noah. He is 5 years old and has retinal disease (the retina is the light sensing organ at the back of the eye) which means he has low vision along with some other developmental issues. Less than 2% of the population have his level of vision.

What does this mean for children like Noah? Although their disability is not visible, life can be quite difficult and scary when you cannot see clearly or if you cannot see much at all. Sounds, textures and smells are sensed often more acutely and even a trip to a supermarket can be tiring and overwhelming.

Educational needs are also different with special reading aides such as lights, print magnifiers, orirentation and mobility training needing to be shown to kids like Noah so they can have an inclusive and whole education.

Noah and children like Noah often cope well and therefore it is often forgotten how hard everyday activities we take for granted are not so easy to do. So maybe next time when you see a child or an adult who may be walking slowly, acting a bit odd or more obviously with a cane or guide dog give them some respect.

What I do know is that while my son will never drive a car, may one day ride a bike (he can’t quite yet) and will have to have help to become independent I would never change him for the world.

Posted by calinkal, 28th October 2013

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  • So true that everyday activities can take a lot of hard work and effort for those with special needs. My daughter at age 7 just learned to ride a trike now, so proud !

    • Here she is. We got a trike with a steering control and brake at the back, so we can help her steer and brake when needed.


  • Thank you for sharing this very important information. In SA there is a badge that some ladies wear who are vision impaired but I think it needs better design as all it has on it is VIP ( meaning vision impaired person) I have never seen a man with one but I don’t see why they shouldn’t wear one too. They may be available in other states too. One problem is some people who walk slowly are often but not always drunk and if you ask them if they need help in what could be a dangerous situation you sometimes get abused and some are quite aggressive. I know one vision impaired person who is so overly independent that hates being offered assistance. I will take the risk and ask if I think a person may be visually impaired or showing signs of illness if they need assistance. I have heard of people with epilepsy being ignored because the they think a person is having withdrawal from illegal drugs. People with some allergies have the same reaction appearance.


  • this story is good


  • hope everything will get better,pray for god,he is the only 1 that can help


  • You raised many issues which I’d never given much thought to. Thanks for sharing.


  • Thank you for sharing this insight into your son’s world


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