A boy named Ben did not have eyes. Just was not - in the literal sense. They are surgically removed when Ben was not even three years. It was eye cancer, retinoblastoma. Until the moment when I became interested in the history of Ben, I have not heard about the cancer eye itself. This is in fact one of the most rare forms of cancer. Today it is able to heal without any loss of, but then the other ways in addition to the amputation was not. Although our story is not about that.
When Ben went to the new facility, he clicked his tongue loudly - and all, nothing more, he was not needed. He sat on the chair correctly, he took things could not even print text on the keyboard. He saw the whole room, until the small object. And he rode a skateboard, constantly snapping tongue and swam in the pool. He stopped using his cane to six years.
This is called sonar vision, and Ben was the most talented person of all who have a similar ability.
The boy was born on 26 January 1992 and was completely healthy. Not a single day in the hospital, a day at the doctor. But sometimes my mother (her name is strange - Akvanetta) noticed that Ben's right eye is different from the left. Slightly. It shone, reflecting light as it is glow in the dark cat's eyes. Two years after the birth of Ben, in 1994, it became clear that the right eye does not see the boy - the pupil began to dramatically whiten. The ophthalmologist said that the reason for this can be set - requires further investigation. And began the most difficult year in the life of Ben and his mother - a study to diagnosis.
Retinoblastoma, cancer in both eyes - a terrible diagnosis. Ben's grandfather died in 1977 from colon cancer - but the mother seemed to eye cancer than a monstrously impossible. By the way, my grandfather's name was Benjamin, and Ben was named in his honor.
This type of cancer eye is only found in young children. Up to three years. Once he was diagnosed in six boys, but this is an exception. If the eye is left untreated, the cancer affects the optic nerve - and the brain. That's all. Here is a typical view of a child with retinoblastoma:
The right eye was too late to save - it was removed. Left behind struggled for another eight months, but no chemotherapy has not helped. There were two options: die or Ben, Ben is living blind. Of course, they chose the second option. He was three years old. The photo above, seems to be reflected, because all sources have indicated that the first hit exactly the right eye, and red in the picture - left.
Ben is already quite well-spoken, and he said in a moment: "Mom, I do not see anything. Just do not see anything. " By the time it was clear that the vision will not come back, and though the eyeballs were still in their sockets, my mother began to teach the boy to "see" third-party methods - using their hands, ears, nose. "You can see without eyes," - she said. And she was right.
Everyone tried to help Ben. His older brother taught him Derius properly lay out things for permanent seats, the younger brother Isaiah often accompanied by Ben, describing his surroundings. All belonged to Ben well. He grew up really bright and cheerful child.
And, oddly enough, it behaved much the same way as sighted children. Riding a bike, skateboard, climbed into the trees. My mother was almost sure that he - without the eye - he sees. At least so it seemed from the outside. He could describe the landscape in front of you (though not in color, but in a form) or relief road. "This is an echo, my mother, - he explained to the mother - I just hear an echo of things."
And everything went on as usual, except for one case. The fact that Ben played computer games. He was "Geymboy," and it is quite normal to him to deal with. His mother, a religious man, not seen nothing unusual. God gave him this ability and right. But one day a blind boy saw Dr. Ruben. And a little surprised. Let's say even more: it is quite ofigel.
Ruben did not know who Ben. Just a boy sitting in geymboy plays. And that something was wrong with his eyes, obviously not. Glass or something ... Then it picked up Ben Ruben and looked at the history of his illness. And he asked my mother: he is indeed playing a game? Really? My mother said, yes, of course. He loves it. And he rides a bike, roller skating and, drives a scooter.
Since then, Ben became famous. He began to investigate. His name appeared in newspaper editorials - "Bees" Sacramento and "Observer". People Magazine paid for the trip to Ben and the largest dolphin studies linking sonar "vision" of dolphins and humans. Many times he acted in radio shows, and has lectured at various schools and orphanages. He did it with pleasure - because he helped others. In the same way he - the blind.
As "saw" Ben? Like a bat. Bats hunting in the clear sky or around the crown, usually emit a "chirp" that consists of tones of constant frequency, which is approached by an insect-modulated tones of the victim are replaced with a rapidly declining rate. They use these sounds for echolocation. It is the reflection of sounds from obstacles or from the victims are interested in their auditory system. Ben always issued sharp tongue clicks. It is their reflections from objects and make up for his world view.
About sonar "vision" of bats information can be found, for example, here: http://medbiol.ru/medbiol/ssb/001604ac.htm. Or here.
Of course, not all that easy. Of course, he had read books written in Braille. Or listen to audio books. As he played in "Geymboy" - you ask? Very simple. He memorized the time to obstacles in different "hodilkah" calculated the pauses between the sounds that accompany the game. And aims: to pass. And he went through. That is, there sonar was not working, konechno.No mother told the doctor about the abilities of Ben. About how he was on my way to the car, catching the reflection of buildings and can even identify their floors. As guided without a stick at any place, even strange. How to keep in mind any "hear" the landscape.
Immediately it should be noted that Ben - is unique, but not quite. Approximately 5% of blind people have developed a good capacity for echolocation. Moreover, the sighted - too. It's just that they have not developed. In the bud. Have you noticed for themselves: pass near the wall and feel, then the wall. Close your eyes, and all the same: here the wall. Yes, that wall.
Do blind people feeling worse. Ben, it was abnormally developed, it is anomalous.
Developer and promoter of human echolocation (human echolocation) - Daniel Kish (Daniel Kish). He - the blind, and he focused the world like Ben, that is, by flipping the language. Kish - graduate, teacher, his lessons are used by thousands of blind around the world. Kish:
He developed his technique in the area of 1996-1997. Ben has learned to "hear" the world without the aid of Kish - a man's abilities, but it was Daniel rail line to the blind boy. Kish has always claimed that Ben - the most able of his disciples.
There are a few well-known "human sonar" that can move freely, using the reflection echo. In addition to Ben and Daniel himself Kish, Kish is a student - an Englishman born blind Lucas Murray, Belgian Tom de Witte, completely blind at the age of thirty (2009), and Dr. Lawrence Skedden, one of the participants in experiments on human echolocation.
Long before there was a man of Kish-locator named James Holman. In the early XIX century, he traveled halfway around the world, being partially blind - its history, I must tell apart, because she is amazing.
But back to Ben Underwood.
If you look at the video about Ben, you'll see how it will print - and on a normal keyboard (60 characters per minute, not bad), and Braille on the keypad. In 2008 he even began writing a science fiction novel - Akvanetta says he has written about 20 chapters. He dreamed that it would be to develop computer games for the blind, and even recorded some of their concepts. It was quite beautiful handwriting.
He loved Japan and the self-taught Japanese to communicate with their Japanese friends in their language.
He never judged people by their appearance - because I do not see it. "This is a problem for you, sighted - he said - what do you see each other and blame on external features, to notice anything else ..." He loved everything, it's a boy who had less than them, but was able to - more.
This article - in the past tense. Because the January 19, 2009 Ben Underwood died. Cancer did not let him go.
Poor boy. Maybe he would write his science fiction novel. And he made a lot of games for the blind. And would have finished college. And would marry (he was a girl).
The main thing that he did not give up.
Never give up, even if everything is bad. Because it is actually good.
But the long, 50-minute film about Ben Underwood is very interesting. Embeds here only the first part, the rest just give the link. The film shocks: it is indeed often behaves like a sighted person.
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