On Braille and the Hand

Stay tuned for this upcoming article on the anthroposophical expression of how Braille develops the brain, as does the tactile educational program in the Waldorf school.  Learn how to take care of a most valuable resource for a blind child, the hand.

(photo credit Marata Kindergarten, Russia)
Marata Kindergarten Russia


  • Maura kutnyak-smalley

    June 10, 2016 at 6:02 pm Reply

    My name is Maura Kutnyak and I am in need of help.
    My daughter Sonya and I are legally blind. Sonya is just emerging from her second year of kindergarten at the Aurora Waldorf school.
    As our family and the school prepares for first grade it has become clear to me that the school harbours a lot of uncertainty about how to best integrate Sonya into the classroom. I might go so far as to say they are afraid. I am heartbroken and I don’t know what to do.

    Friend of mine found your website and I have been reading through your blog posts. I want to know more. I think you’re writing enjoyable and insightful.
    Please email me if you can and we can develop a conversation. Thank you,

    • ava sonnenthal

      June 13, 2016 at 5:33 pm Reply

      Hi Maura, so grateful to hear from you. Thank you for sharing your child Sonya’s journey with me, and many thanks to your friend for sharing my work with you! Sending you a personal email to offer my assistance and advice. I have worked with a number of parents in your situation, except that you have an advantage. That is, you know, more than anyone, how your child can navigate this next phase and I’m here to help you as much as possible. I understand the school’s concern and offer this comment from Steiner in regards to their “fear of the unknown”: (from The Education of the Child in the Light of Anthroposophy, 1927)

      “Looking at all these things of life with deeper vision, one cannot but feel – indeed the impression forces itself upon one – that the men of our age are in the position of trying to meet the demands involved in modern life with means which are utterly inadequate. …He must investigate its depth.
      Life in its entirety is like a plant. The plant contains not only what it offers to external life; it also holds a future state within its hidden depths. One who has before him a plant only just in leaf, knows very well that after some time there will be flowers and fruit also on the leaf-bearing stem. In its hidden depths the plant already contains the flowers and fruit in embryo; yet by mere investigation of what the plant now offers to external vision, how should one ever tell what these new organs will look like? This can only be told by one who has learnt to know the very nature and being of the plant.
      So, too, the whole of human life contains within it the germs of its own future; but if we are to tell anything about this future, we must first penetrate into the hidden nature of the human being. And this our age is little inclined to do. It concerns itself with the things that appear on the surface, and thinks it is treading on unsafe ground if called upon to penetrate to what escapes external observation.”

      You, my dear, know the very nature and being of your child’s experience, and so this is very inspiring to me. I will contact you & I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you!

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