Parents of blind or partially sighted teens will be aware of a constant struggle for their offspring to be seen as one of the crowd. As parents, all that we want for our children is for them to feel confident and accepted. With the turmoil of the teenage years and the problems of popularity and peer pressure, this can be a hard enough task for teens who have it all going for them.
But for teens who are, in some way, different, the quest for confidence and acceptance can be one that is even harder. For this reason it is important that the parents of teens who are in some way vision impaired keep their finger on the pulse of teen culture and help their teens to integrate, if that is what their children want.
While we would all like to believe that appearances do not matter, it is an unfortunate truth that nevertheless is true during those teen years. And, while parents should continue to be conscious of not placing too much importance on superficial qualities, it is important to maintain an awareness of the things that are important in the world of a teenager.
Buying for blind teens is an important part of helping them integrate into the world around them and parents should not fall into the trap of assuming that, because a teen cannot see the labels or logos attached to their clothes, that what they wear does not matter.
Blind teens may be more keen than their seeing counterparts to appear as one of the crowd, so don’t discount the idea of investing in big brand clothes or Philip Stein watches on their behalf. Asking a trusted friend along on shopping trips can help offer a contemporary perspective and determine peer acceptability of purchases.