More than 80% of baby’s learning comes from sight, I read somewhere. From what they see, they learn to use their hands and body, alongside the brain development. For Sabrina’s case, as she was born blind, her development has been significantly behind. Even after her cornea transplant on her left eye and she has started to see something, there was no hand and eye coordination. Without eye and brain development, there was no incentive for her to move her hand, head or any part of her body. Her hands were always just dangling on the side, her head was flat on the ground when she was on her tummy. This lasted for quite a long time. What I did then was to guide her arm to try touching things, move her body to feel the existence of space and make a noise and speak to her to give her the idea of direction of where things are. This was a daily routine of us, regardless of whether I felt any improvement.
Sabrina is six and half months today. Her eyes now follow things not just the lights, holds toys with both hands, bring them to her mouth and tries to reach to things a bit further. She reaches out and touches my face too. She can also roll over from tummy to back and can sit supported. Although she is still behind the average, this is a huge development for her and I am so pleased to see this happening.
Her right eye with no transplant surgery is a weaker one and ultimately it has a tendency to rely on her left eye. If the eye is not used, the brain stops developing too. So she has to train her right eye, currently an hour a day by patching her left. She absolutely hates this, trying to take the patch off and crying. It’s been an another battle but it seems that her right eye has started to follow things too.
There won’t be ‘eye to eye’ contact with Sabrina, but this was my egoistic wish. When she reaches out to my face, touches and smiles, I now feel this is enough. Instead I know ‘heart to heart’ is connected. You know being a mother is really hard work but also you receive so much in return. xm