Talk to Me II: Common Concerns

Nancy Chernus-Mansfield, Dori Hayashi, Linda Kekelis

Summary Biblio Info Availability Producer Info Users' Comments Excerpts

Summary:

This booklet for parents of children with blindness discusses the importance of language for children who cannot see. It addresses three common concerns about the language of children with blindness, including repetitions, questions, and pronouns. Recommendations for parents include: () encourage early repetitions; (2) respond to the ideas and feelings in your child's repetitions; (3) reinforce language with hands-on experiences; (4) provide your child with a variety of experiences that enrich her understanding of the world around her; (5) talk often enough to let your child know you are nearby and are available to him; (5) describe new experiences before introducing them to children with blindness; (6) be direct and tell your child that he has asked enough questions; and (7) use games to teach pronouns. 

Summary Biblio Info Availability Producer Info Users' Comments Excerpts

Bibliographic Information:

Nancy Chernus-Mansfield, Dori Hayashi, Linda Kekelis. Talk to Me II: Common Concerns (1986). Blind Childrens Center: Los Angeles, Ca. (15 pages).

Language: English

Reading Level: Easy

Formats Available: Printed Material

Summary Biblio Info Availability Producer Info Users' Comments Excerpts

Availability:

Blind Childrens Center
4120 Marathon St.
Los Angeles, Ca
90029

Phone: (800) 222-3566
Fax: (323) 665-3828

Email: cathy@blindcntr.org
URL: http://www.blindcntr.org

Languages Available: English, Spanish

Summary Biblio Info Availability Producer Info Users' Comments Excerpts

Producer Information:

Intended User Audience:

This book is intended primarily for parents. The authors worked in Los Angeles at a center with a very multicultural student population. 

Product Development:

The authors were employed at the Blind Childrens Center at the time this material was developed. They had extensive experience in working with children who are blind or visually impaired. Information was primarily obtained from parents, although it was also supplemented by information from teachers and from observing the students themselves. 

Product Evaluation:

This booklet has not undergone any formal evaluation process after it was published. Prior to its being published, the Blind Childrens Center distribute the booklets among parents and professionals in the community for scrutiny and feedback. 

Product Dissemination:

More than 200,000 copies of this booklet have been disseminated almost worldwide-throughout the United States, South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia. The publisher has a list of 13,000 organizations throughout the world to which it distributes materials . 

Summary Biblio Info Availability Producer Info Users' Comments Excerpts

Users' Comments:

Masami Sakai and Jenna Weglarz - Graduate students in early childhood special education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

We recommend Talk to Me I and II (with the stated adaptations/cautions below) and feel these materials can be useful for parents and caregivers of children birth to 7 looking for strategies to support language development of their children with visual or communication impairments at home. We do stress that additional supportive materials as well as interventions from service providers should accompany the materials to insure that the concepts presented in Talk to Me 1 and II successfully affect long-term development of the child. We recommend the materials to parents or caregivers with average reading ability and those living in U.S. or Western mainstream cultures (since the techniques promote mainstream research on the value of early childhood education and its impact on child development).

Talk to Me I and II have several strengths. The photographs depict happy children of diverse ethnic and racial families. These photographs not only represent mothers closely interacting with their children, but also father figures. By including fathers, the authors convey an awareness of fathers' roles in children's development. The language used in the materials is supportive and encouraging to parents. The authors acknowledge the important role parents play in their children's development through the use of personal language (e.g., "You" know "your" child better than anyone else, number of ways "you" can do to help "your" child). The authors avoid the use of professional jargon, and the steps of the techniques are concise and easy to follow. The authors convey a sense of partnership with parents in the introduction of the materials (e.g., "it is important that families find their own ways to meet their child's needs," "we hope to alleviate unnecessary worry," "parents are not alone"). Offering the materials in Spanish also allows accessibility to a more diverse group of parents. As the main concerns presented in Talk to Me II (e.g., repetitions, questions, and pronouns) may be present in other disability categories such as autism, the material can be adapted to any child's needs from infants to primary school children, especially those with communication disorders (not only children with visual impairments/blindness).

With regard to limitations, the words "blind child" and "sighted child" are used throughout the material instead of using currently recommended person-first language. Some parents may object to this usage. We felt the material lacks direction regarding how to specifically use the information provided, and how or when to collaborate with professionals. With the exception of advice to seek out a professional if a parent is concerned about repetitious communication, the material does not provide techniques on collaboration. More information that emphasizes the supportive relationships between parents and service providers and encourages parents to seek assistance when necessary might have been beneficial.
 


If you have used this item and would like to comment on it, please send a message With your comments to the CLAS Webmaster. In your message, please indicate the title, author, and CLAS Accession Number (see Bibliographic Information above) for the document.



CLAS Search Page | Search CLAS Materials | CLAS Home Page | CLAS Webmaster