Tag Archives: Learning

Gratitude List Once Again

A few days ago, I came across Corinne Rodrigues’ post on The Gratitude Diaries. She wrote this post for her monthly Gratitude Circle and included a gratitude list. Now I know I already did a gratitude list last week, but there’s much more to be grateful for. In this post, I am going to share both things I am grateful for this week and things I’ve been grateful for in general./P>

This week has been pretty good. I didn’t have a lot of energy and have had some health symptoms once again, but other than that, I enjoyed the week. Here are some things I’ve been gratefulf or this week.


  1. I bought two lovely shower gels online. One has a vanilla/coconut smell and the other has a vanilla/honey smell. Can you tell I love vanilla? I have been enjoying using both.
  2. Speaking of showers, I finally got used to the shower at my husband’s and my apartment. We have a thermostat in the institution but don’t in our apartment, so getting the temperature of the water right is a pain. I think I finally figured it out though. I still much prefer a thermostat and haven’t gotten the idea that I want one for our apartment out of my head yet.

  3. When I bought the shower gels, I also bought a fruity facial mask. I haven’t yet used it, because I have yet to ask someone to read the instructions for me.

  4. I found out about FutureLearn by the UK’s Open University and have enjoyed looking at all the free courses they have available. I signed up for one about the science of nutrition, but haven’t yet come far in it.

  5. I have been crocheting at art therapy this week. I used very thick yarn and a huge needle, which helped me feel my way through the project. I created a a flowery type of thing.

  6. I finally got down to buying some new nightwear on Friday. My husband joked that I must like one of the nightgowns, which has “I LOVE SLEEPING” on its front.

  7. I went to our apartment Friday till Saturday. Because I was not feeling very well, my husband went grocery shopping alone. This was the first time that I’d been alone in the apartment since we rented it in 2012. I was fine. Grocery shopping took just over half an hour only, but it’s a start.

  8. Barry, one of our cats, who is quite a bit of a loner, was showing affection to me on Friday. He tolerates being petted by and shows affection towards my husband, but he rarely did so to me. It was so cute!

  9. I had a good meeting with my psychologist on Wendesday. Though not much came from it yet, she’s trying to get informed about my options for outpatient treatment for once I go live with my husband.

This list signifies many things that I’m grateful for in general. For example, I am grateful for our two cats, Harry and Barry, who are way cute (though they can be annoying at times).

I am grateful for the things I can do as well. I’ve been quite productive in the blogging department lately and plan on participatng in an 31-day blogging challenge in October. I am grateful for my ability to be creative, for example my relative success at crocheting in art therapy.

Lastly, I’m just grateful for life in general. I have a great husband, a nice circle of relatives, good staff and a nice apartment. Despite some financial disappointments lately, I’ve been able to make ends meet this month too.

What Katy Said

A Reluctant Braille Reader’s Journey

A few days ago, I was contacted by Mary Hill from Mary-andering Creatively, whose blog is mostly on literacy. She asked me to write about autism and literacy, but I have little knowledge of this subject, partly because I wasn’t diagnosed with autism till age 20. I also do not know which of my difficulties learning to read were due to blindness and which were due to autism. I believe, in fact, that most of my difficulties were due to a lack of motivation.

I was a fairly early reader of print. When I was four or five, my mother made little books with large rub-on letters. Each page had one word on it and the books had a theme, such as “house” or “school”. In the Netherlands, at the time, kids didn’t learn to read till age six. I could read first-grade early reader books by the time I entered the special education equivalent of first grade.

By the time I had to learn Braille at age seven, however, I started to hate reading. It wasn’t that I didn’t like books, magazines or anything with letters in it. In fact, I’d listen to children’s books and magazines on tape all the time. I just didn’t like, or rather I hated, learning Braille. It was probably that learning Braille reminded me of the fact that I was rapidly losing my vision. After all, I did read print books till I’d lost so much vision that even giant print didn’t work for me anymore. This meant that, at age nine, I’d still be reading early learner books because of the large print. I had too little vision for low vision aids.

I continued to hate reading Braille till I got a computer at age eleven. Even then, I strained to read from the screen, magnifying the font six to eightfold. When I really needed to use another sense than vision, I rather used my text-to-speech software.

It was probably the annoying, robotical voice of the text-to-speech software that turned me into a Braille reader. By the time I entered mainstream secondary school at age thirteen, I could read computerized Braille with relative ease. I however still rarely touched Braille books. This may’ve been more a matter of convenience, as Braille books are bulky.

I did for a while read Braille books again through the UK’s national library service for the blind when I was nineteen. Unfortunately, some books were lost while being returned, so I was refused further library services. Now I enjoy a mixture of eBooks, which I read with Adobe Digital Editions and my screen reader, and DAISY digital talking books. I still hope to someday be able to subscribe to BookShare, the U.S.-based accessible book sharing site, but as I said before, my doctor still hasn’t filled out the proof of disability form.

Everyday Gyaan

Also linking up with Literacy Musings.