Classroom innovation teaches 4th grader Braille

Classroom innovation teaches 4th grader Braille


Two years ago, we introduced you to Aidan Noyola. He is a student at Bennett Elementary in Frenship ISD. Aidan is blind and has Septo-optic Dysplasia, a disorder in early brain development. This made it harder for him to understand Braille. 

For his New Year's resolution, the 11-year-old said he wanted to read Braille. While it was not the traditional path of learning, Aidan gained a skill he will use for the rest of his life. A skill he would not have if it were not for his teacher, Sherry Airhart. 

"He makes everyday wonderful, we've been together a long time," Airhart said.

Nine years to be exact. Airhart said she had to get creative when it came to teaching. She started by adding textures to this keyboard, so Aidan could spell out his name. He would eventually learn to read using these textures. The next step was to get Aidan familiar with actual Braille. 

"Then we started using puff paint and it was a struggle for awhile, but one day it really clicked with him," Airhart said. 

Last May, Airhart said they started using a jumbo Brailler. It specifically creates larger, more spaced out dots. 

"Then this year we went from jumbo Braille to regular Braille in about March," Airhart said.

But his journey does not stop here, Airhart said they are still working on communicating and fine tuning his skills. 

"I really learned not to give up on your goals and to keep working," Airhart said. 

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