Matilda, who is a year old, has oculocutaneous albinism and is visually impaired. Her mum, Laura, found it difficult to get Matilda engaged with picture books, no matter how she tried. But now with Living Paintings’ Touch to See books, the whole family can enjoy reading together.
Laura tells us how Living Paintings’ books have changed Matilda’s attitude towards reading:
“When Matilda was born, she had the most amazing white hair (everyone in the hospital wanted to come and have a look!) We just assumed she was blonde; her older brothers were blonde, although born with darker hair like most babies.
When Matilda was 12 weeks old, she still wasn’t focussing or smiling at us. I also noticed that her eyes seemed to move from side to side a lot. She was diagnosed with oculocutaneous albinism and is now registered visually impaired. She has delayed visual development, photophobia – light affects her more than others – and nystagmus – the involuntary side-to-side movement or ‘wobble’.
We are a family of avid readers. Matilda’s two older brothers love books and were both very early readers. However, Matilda showed no interest in books, despite all our efforts to enjoy stories together. None of our picture books at home held her attention and visits to the library resulted in her getting fed up or throwing books onto the floor.
Matilda’s first Living Paintings book was a Spot the Dog story and she absolutely loved it! The larger size and tactile pictures meant she could actually see the illustrations and enjoy the story. It was a revelation to her. She does now use some of our ‘normal’ books at home (as long as they have big, clear pictures) because she knows what books are now, but Living Paintings books are still her favourite. Living Paintings’ books have opened up a new world to Matilda and I hope she will continue to love books as she gets older.”
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