British blind boy ‘sees’ like a dolphin

Washington, April 30: A Blind British boy, 4, uses echo-location to “see” the same way dolphins navigate murky waters.

The Sun said Jamie Aspland, from Kent, makes clicking noises with his tongue to find his way around objects, after he was taught the revolutionary technique by a US expert.

“It’s amazing,” his mother Deborah Aspland said. “Since learning the skill we can walk to the park and Jamie no longer has to hold my hand.”

The technique works by rebounding the clicking sound off objects – creating a flash of light “mind map” of the obstacle.

Jamie is among only a handful of children worldwide to be taught how to copy dolphins by Californian Daniel Kish, who is himself blind.

Kish calls his echo-location skill “flash-sonar”.

He said: “It provides one with information of a fair amount of detail at distances of dozens of metres.”

Deborah Aspland said her heart was in her mouth on their first trip to the local park when Jamie walked towards a wall.

“He just went round it. I didn’t think it would be possible. He even clicks to find out where the handrails are on our stairs before walking down unaided,” she said.

Eventually Jamie, who gets around using a cane, should be able to detect buildings from 91 metres.