'I love Living Paintings books' Eleanor aged 10 - Living Paintings

Living Paintings

‘I love Living Paintings books’ Eleanor aged 10

16th December 2021

A close up shot of a girl in front of a Christmas tree and holding the snowman book.

Eleanor is a lively 10 year old who lost her sight at the age of 4 after being diagnosed with two inoperable cancerous brain tumours known as a Hypothalamic Low-Grade Gilomas.  Eleanor has undergone strenuous chemotherapy for one so young and to this day her doctors are doing all they can to keep the tumours at bay and contain the impact on her life.

Eleanor describes what little sight she has:

“I can see very big shapes but not when they are the same colour next to each other and if I haven’t seen it before then I don’t know what it is.

I can see the shapes on their [my parents’] faces and they have a line for their mouth and black dots for their eyes. If I get really close up I can just about tell the colour of their eyes.”

A child's fingers counting pig's noses in Spot Can Count

A blind child’s reading journey filled with books

Shortly after they lost the battle to save her sight in 2015, Eleanor joined the Living Paintings library and started receiving free loans of our unique Touch to See books with braille alongside audio described tactile images.

Eleanor’s Living Paintings journey started at the age of 4 when she borrowed our Introductory tactile and audio resources, specially designed for young blind and vision impaired readers. These resources helped her learn to track and trace, listen to audio guidance and become familiar with braille – all with the help of much loved pre-school characters Peppa Pig and Spot the Dog.

Having got to know how our tactile and audio books work, Eleanor has borrowed many age appropriate titles that have helped her become a proficient braille reader and also supported her mainstream school education.

A child reading the braille page in The Snowman in front of a Christmas tree.

‘Living Paintings books are an absolute joy’

Eleanor’s dad, Tim, recently got in touch to tell us how much Eleanor loves the Harry Potter series, and so we were able to loan her our ‘Magical Worlds’ pack which includes raised images that enable her for the first time to see differently some of the main characters from this mysterious fantasy fiction world. She is loving discovering what Harry, Dumbledore and Voldermort look like.

Eleanor’s dad had this to say:

“Being able to feel what things look like along with an audio description is just amazing and so accessible. Some of the books have touched upon curriculum subjects so have helped with a greater understanding of these subjects alongside content that has been converted for her at her main stream school.

Eleanor is a busy soul so when we do get the time to sit down and read her Living Paintings books they are an absolute joy, an invaluable resource and a lovely way to spend some quality time doing something that is so accessible to all of us.

When Eleanor was younger she really enjoyed reading the Living Paintings books with our help, now she is older she often reads them alone but sometimes we still read along with her.”

Thank you to Eleanor and Tim for sharing their story.

Eleanor is a fantastic ambassador for Living Paintings and has recently launched a fundraising appeal for Christmas 2021, which you can read about here.

Eleanor’s best-loved books

A mobile phone sitting on a wooden table top and wrapped in earphones displays the Living Paintings website.

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