When I decided to go back to school for Special Education, I chose a
focus area of visual impairment. I didn’t have much experience with
people with visual impairments prior to choosing this specialization,
but knew they live an adapted way of life. They use Braille instead of
print, canes and guide dogs to get around, and digital audio output to
do work on their computers.

As someone living with HH, I can say that I also live an adapted life.
I wear certain clothes that won’t soak through, I use a towel under my
hand to write with pen and paper, and I keep a fan going wherever
possible to help dry my hands.

Although we share a need for adaptation, we can both live satisfying
and happy lives. This is what inspired me to want to learn more.

I am specifically learning how to be a teacher of students with visual
impairments (TVI). So far, I’ve learned a lot about different
techniques to use.  Since students with visual impairments cannot
observe what people are doing around them, a TVI can model various
actions by using a technique called “hand-over-hand” or
“hand-under-hand”. This involves the teacher to put his or her hand on
top or underneath the student’s hand while demonstrating a movement
like cutting food or spreading peanut butter on bread. This technique
is proven to be very effective.

Again and again, I learned how the TVI interacts with their students
using their hands.

Now, do you see an issue with this? I have palmar HH. What would a
student think if my wet hands?

Although not ideal, this fact does not deter me from this field. I
still want to  continue learning and help people.

Also, my hands have been relatively dry lately. I’ve been having
success with Iontophoresis and hope it continues. I feel like I can
also wear gloves in the classroom if I start having an issue.

From one adaptation to another, we can all help each other. I’m looking
forward to learning even more!

4 thoughts on “Adaptation

  1. gloves do not give the same tactile experience/stimulation that a real hand does. something for you to ponder. would a stiff cold surface make the person feel they are untouchable? would you explain to the person why you are not touching them skin to skin? being someone having experienced trauma and the results be sure you are aware of your patient/client’s needs and not the overcoming of your own. Not meant to discourage you but to be sure you understand why you picked this field.

    • Hi Lily, thank you for your comment. I think you are absolutely correct in what you say. I understand that every client is different and I would certainly put their needs ahead of mine. I’m sorry if it came across as if I would just put on gloves without explaining why I’m doing so. I can understand why people would think they are untouchable, as if they were in a doctor’s office with the nurse’s gloves protecting them from infection. I would let my clients know about my condition and only with their approval would I go ahead and wear soft cotton gloves. Soft cotton gloves would be more inviting to a client compared to stiff, cold rubber gloves, akin to those in the medical field. There’s a good chance I won’t need gloves at all. I do take your comment to heart and please know that I wasn’t discouraged by it.

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