Boy “sees” with sound – level 3
This is the longest Mason has walked on his own without holding someone’s hand. He’s 6 years old, and he’s blind.
“You’ll know where the sides of the path are. I’ll let you go in front, cause you’re so good at it!”
His parents have taken him to meet Daniel Kish to learn echolocation.
“Echolocation generally speaking is the use of reflected sound. Any sound that reflects over any object can be referred to as echolocation. We use a specific kind of pulse of sound or flash of sound, which can be a tongue click that bounces off of surfaces all around us and returns to us and an image can be constructed from the patterns that reflect back.”
After only 10 minutes of teaching time, Mason learned how to click and scan, meaning he can accurately locate objects.
“It’s been going quite well, actually…”
For his parents the process of letting go conjured up a mixture of pride and fear.
“This is just going to transform Mason’s life. It’s going to give him the independence to travel alone, to go to school independently, just to have a normal life.”
“Some sort of normal life!”
His parents are stumping up £500 a day for these contact visits, a price they feel is worth it for learning to decipher the shape of sound.
Daniel has invited Mason to one of his workshops in the United States where he’ll continue to learn from and be around others who are in a similar situation.
Difficult words: bounce (to move quickly back), pattern (type of sound), pulse (a quick sound), scan (to understand something quickly), conjure up (to cause somebody to feel or think of something), stump up (to pay), decipher (to understand something).
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