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Colonna, A.B. (1981). Success Through their Own Efforts. Psychoanal. St. Child, 36:33-44.

(1981). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 36:33-44

Success Through their Own Efforts

Alice B. Colonna

THE NURSERY SCHOOL FOR BLIND CHILDREN AT THE HAMPSTEAD Child-Therapy Clinic was started by Dorothy Burlingham in 1957. I worked there first as a teacher and then as therapist with some of the children and their mothers. Many of the observations made on the early development of these children were described by Dorothy Burlingham (1972), (1979) and others (Curson, 1979); (Sandler, 1963); (Wills, 1965), (1970).

After the children left the nursery group and went to the regional schools for the blind, contact with them was not completely lost but became quite sporadic. Several members of the staff visited the children at the new schools, held annual reunions, and made home visits. I kept in touch with some of the children by letters and occasional visits. More recently I have in addition attempted to interview several of these young people and follow them into adolescence and young adulthood.

These follow-ups have given us some information on how the blind person experiences puberty and adjusts to the problems adolescence raises for him. These problems appear essentially the same as for the sighted, but there are also differences. The blind have to cope with the same developmental tasks of adolescence that all others have to solve—choice of work which will not only provide satisfactions but economic self-sufficiency; and choice of a future marital partnership and parenthood (Anna Freud, 1958). These tasks are enormously affected and complicated by blindness, which imposes realistic restrictions.

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