went for a course recently and was introduced to this condition – Retinitis Pigmentosa
the lady was talking abt her P6 daughter. she said this.
“take one fist, and put in right in front of your eye. take the other hand and block the side of that same eye. what remaining vision you have, is what my daughter sees…”
to put it simply, ppl with this condition (RP) have no central vision. they only have peripheral vision and the condition is progressive. so condition gets worse with each passing year. their ‘tunnel vision’ gets worse.
this girl they lady was talking abt, she cant see depth. so she finds it hard to climb down stairs. she had to hold her mom’s hand tight. it must have felt as if she was putting her legs into some unknown place. but she can climb up with relative ease. she has to put her face really close to her books/assignments when she does homework. so close that her chin would have blackish stains (pencil lead marks) by the time she finishes her work.
you might remember American Idol’s Scott having this tunnel vision thing. but i think, until you hear a parent speak abt the daily handling of situations, it doesnt really sink in.
i was amazed, because the daughter was present when her mom spoke abt her. she probably had her around in many other seminars/courses, cos the girl didnt seem to react to anything her mom said. she even was able to walk back up facing the rest of the audience – all watching whether she’s able to walk without aid.
how blessed we are, just to be able to live normally.
well, seems that RP is a recessive condition. so both parents need to have that recessive gene for the child to inherit it. but there’s the autosomal-linked condition, and the sex-chromosome-linked condition which results in varied probability of occurance in the child. otherwise, the condition can also be caused by random mutation, with no family history.
there’s 2 types. one if tunnel vision, which Scott has. the other is cone-rod dystrophy which this girl has. (peripheral vision). also leads to night blindness, and inability to distinguish colours, to some extent.
much research needs to be done in this area. however, if you suspect your child has RP, do consult a specialist. a child with RP can still learn and go through main stream. some adjustments need to be done. like enlarging the font to a larger size, or giving the student extra time. but, other than these adjustments, the child does not need any form of cognitive help. she’d be like any other child.
this mother even allowed her daughter to learn in-line skating. she said, “who wouldnt fall when learning skating? afterall , they will have to learn to work past their disability and get on with life.”