Vision Loss and Solving Problems, Part One

Photo of Linda Fugate, EdD, CVRT

Editor’s note: Last month VisionAware honored Vision Rehabilitation Therapists and the critical role they play in helping with people deal with all aspects of living with vision loss. Vision Rehabilitation Therapist and new Peer Advisor Linda Fugate, EdD, follows on this theme and brings a very practical approach to finding solutions for living with vision loss.

Part 1 of a Two-Part Blog

Life is filled with challenges or problems and vision loss gives new and different ones. Here are some common ones:

  • You are trying to fix dinner and you know the recipe calls for cayenne pepper, is the can in your hand cayenne or cinnamon?
  • You met friends for lunch, all had a great time, the food was good and the conversation interesting. The waitress brings the check; you have no idea what it says.
  • You are taking your medicine and realize that you don’t know if the pill in your hand is the right one or not. Now what?

Do any of these problems sound familiar? Let’s talk about how you can methodically solve these problems and many others that you face every day.

The ADAPT Method

That is where the ADAPT (Nezu, Nezu,and D’Zurilla, 2006) method can help. This method has been documented as a useful for persons with vision loss in several studies and consists of using a step-by-step approach to problem solving. It can be used in many situations and will help with changes faced with vision loss.

Five Steps in the ADAPT Method

  • A is for attitude. The first, and probably most important, step in solving any problem is deciding that you can solve it.
  • D is for define. Be sure that you know what the problem really is. Has someone moved the cayenne or do you need to label it?
  • A is for alternative. Stop and think about possible ways that you can solve this problem. Can a friend read the check to you or the waitress, or perhaps you could use a magnifier to read it?
  • P is for predict. Look at each of the possibilities, what might happen if you choose that one? If you use cinnamon instead of cayenne dinner might be ruined.
  • T is for try. Try the possibility that you think is the best solution. Did it work?

Word of encouragement: Remember that you have always solved problems; now vision loss gives you different challenges and different solutions.

Reference: Nezu, A.M., Nezu, C.M., and D’Zurilla, T.J. (2006). Solving life’s problems: A 5-step guide to enhanced well-being. New York: Springer.

Note: The next installment will be: Applying the ADAPT method.