BBC Home
Explore the BBC



Last Updated: Tuesday October 06 2009 16:00 GMT

Blind boy, 7, uses ears to 'see'

A boy who 'sees' with his ears!

A seven-year-old blind boy has learned how to see by using his mouth to make noises and listening for echoes.

Lucas clicks his tongue on the roof of his mouth and listens out for the sound to bounce back to him.

When it does Lucas can tell where an object is, if it's in his way, and even what sort of material it is made from - all from the sound of the echo.

The technique - called echolocation - has helped Lucas try rock climbing and play basketball.

Animals like whales and bats use a similar technique to find food in the wild, but very few people can do it.

Lucas learned it from an American man called Daniel Kish who said: "Lucas is one of the first in the UK to use this technique.

Tongue clicking

"He is able to click his tongue and determine where things are around him and what things are around him and he is able to travel comfortably without holding on to people.

"The click basically emanates a sound which bounces off the environment a bit like the flash of a camera."

The technique has helped Lucas learn to do lots of things for himself. He goes to a normal school and will never need a guide dog to help him get around.