Mom Writes Surprising Letter To Parents About Her Blind Son As He Starts His First Day Of Middle School

The mom emphasized how crucial it is for other parents to have conversations about disability awareness with their own children.

ashton blind middle schooler @ourblindside / Instagram 

Middle school is a challenging time for many students due to the changes and transitions they face. For children with disabilities, the experience can be particularly daunting.

Hilda Dunford is a mother of three who often shares experiences from her and her family's life on Instagram. She recently posted an open letter to parents ahead of her blind son Ashton's entry into middle school.

She wrote a sweet letter to parents about her blind son to educate their children about accepting and including differently-abled peers.

Ashton was born with septo-optic dysplasia, which has led him to live his life without sight. Now, as he embarks on this new journey in his academic life, his mother seeks understanding and kindness from those around him.


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"Talk to your kids about students like my son who need a white cane to get around each class," she wrote. "Talk to your kids about students who may look or act different than the rest of the kids in middle school." 


This poignant message was overlaid on a video featuring Ashton confidently navigating the hallways of his new school with his white cane. Dunford's appeal didn't stop at mere awareness; she urged parents to instill values of inclusivity in their children as well — values that could significantly enhance children like Ashton's middle-school experience and beyond.

"Teach them not only be kind but also look past differences this year and make a new friend like my son," she wrote.

In the caption of the video, Dunland gave more information regarding Ashton's story. She shared that the transition from elementary school, where Ashton was "the only blind student," won't be easy, but Dunford anticipates the potential challenges that middle school could bring for her son.

Despite these apprehensions, however, she hopes that he will find good friends. "Middle school is a hard transition and all I ever want for him is to feel included... Being the only blind student was hard in elementary school and I know it's going to be even harder in middle school," she wrote.


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Dunford emphasized how crucial it is that other parents have conversations about disability awareness with their own children before they start back at school each year.


She shared Ashton's summer preparation efforts, highlighting how seriously he takes his education. "Tell them about my son who practiced walking around the school all summer just to prepare for his first day," she wrote. 

She further added an earnest wish, hoping that inclusive behavior would let Ashton enjoy not just academic success but also social growth during these formative years. 

"I hope Ashton will come back home smiling and excited after his first day of middle school because he made a friend," she wrote.

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She ended her post on an empowering yet simple note addressing fellow parents.

"Inclusion starts at home," she wrote.


Parents of children with disabilities took to the comments to share their own perspectives and stories.

"My son is special needs and in a special needs classroom. One of his classmates is blind & he helps her all the time. No one even told him to help her or said she needed help, he just does it. I will always teach my baby to love your baby & help anyone who needs it," one parent wrote.

"My son has tourette syndrome (same as I do)," another parent said. "I have spoken on this to classes many times. Since seeing your videos I have started speaking to HIM about others needs and acceptance of those needs."


Dunford's plea serves as an important reminder that while schools play an essential role in promoting inclusivity among students, much of this responsibility lies upon parents' shoulders, too.

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Ethan Cotler is a writer and frequent contributor to YourTango living in Boston. His writing covers entertainment, news, and human interest stories.