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Lucas learns echo technique to ‘see’
WHEN little Lucas Murray was born blind, his parents feared his life would be full of restrictions.
But, after becoming the first person in the country to be taught an incredible sonar technique, the seven-year-old now knows no bounds.
Lucas, from Poole, clicks his tongue on the roof of his mouth and the sound that comes back tells him the distance, shape, density and position of objects.
Using the technique, which he learnt from blind Californian Daniel Kish, he can even tell what an object is made out of.
He tells distance by timing how long the echo takes to return, the ear the sound reaches first tells him location and he picks up the density and shape of an object by the intensity of the sound bouncing back.
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It means Lucas, who uses a long white cane alongside the tongue clicks to distinguish obstacles at his feet, can shoot basketball hoops, rock-climb and run around the playground like any other youngster.
Lucas’s parents, Sarah and Iain, contacted Daniel Kish after seeing him in a documentary and asked him to come to Poole to work with the family.
Sarah said: “He worked with us for four intensive days and we’ve seen him twice since when he’s been working with me and Lucas’s dad so we can help him.
“Over that four days we just watched a transformation in him.
“It’s the idea that a child has to explore things on their own. This approach means that you never get guided – we never guide Lucas at all and he knows no limits at all. It blew us away.”
Sarah is now planning to become an instructor in the technique so she can help other children in the area and is now focusing on spreading the word.
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