I have been working with Abby periodically since she was born in 2004. Abby suffered a substantial brain injury at birth which resulted in a myriad of physical and developmental issues including a visual impairment. I began working with her through the Early Intervention program in our area and recently have been begun seeing her again on a private basis. Through the years I have witnessed Abby beat the odds at every turn. The therapists and doctors who provided a grim diagnosis of a child who would never learn, would be unresponsive and unable to communicate have certainly been proven wrong by this amazing little girl and her family!
When I began working with Abby, her visual
processing systems were immature and unable to comprehend the
information being received. Although she wasn't classically blind in the
sense that she could physically see objects, she was rendered virtually
without sight due to her inability to process the visual information
being received. We have worked for years to help Abby learn to
incorporate and to interpret what she sees. Progress has been slow but
consistent as we progressively strengthened her ocular muscles and
taught her to understand her visual world.
This past weekend Abby
provided me and her family with one of the greatest Christmas gifts I
will ever receive. For the first time she was able to establish and
maintain eye contact with her mom. I broke down in tears when I realized
that this was the first time Abby, who is now eight years old, was able
to look directly into her mom's eyes. Witnessing this wonderful moment
between mother and daughter, knowing how hard fought it was to
accomplish, is a memory I will always cherish.
Wearing so many
different hats often leads to my being frazzled. I am so lucky to be
able to work a variety of positions all of which lend themselves to a
different passion and skill set. Last weekend I was reminded why I went
into teaching. Although I don't see myself returning to the classroom, I
am so thankful that I am able to continue working with blind children.
Watching them learn and grow and knowing that I have contributed to
their successes, is an amazing feeling.