“When my son Matthew was born, I thought something was wrong with his vision. At three months of age, my greatest fears were realized when my husband and I were told that Matthew was totally blind. Matthew was diagnosed with bilateral optic coloboma, a gap in part of the structures of the eye causing a visual impairment. Not to be discouraged, we enrolled Matthew in the Early Intervention program. Their vision specialist began working with Matthew right in our own home. She soon realized that Matthew was visually tracking objects. Using a light box, sensory techniques and other professional practices, Matthew started learning to use his limited vision to maximum potential.
The specialist was an exceptional teacher. She interacted with our son with the upmost patience and care. She was not only teaching Matthew; she taught us as parents how to help him use the vision he had.
The teacher addressed every concern we had and educated us. She gave us the cause and offered simple and feasible solutions. At one point she told us our house was too dark and how this limits a person with Coloboma. She recommended that we remove the lamp covers, leaving only the bulbs. This change alone helped Matthew visually attend better when interacting with people and his toys. His teacher was also flexible and would adjust her schedule to work with the other therapists that Matthew was working with. She helped make necessary adaptations to meet his visual needs.
The communication between us and his teacher was excellent. We always knew what she was working on, the progress he was making or the problems he was encountering. Through one on one training, Matthew's visual and developmental progress was evident. Matthew always looked forward to his therapies with his teacher. Even after two years of training when he had transitioned from the EI program, he continued to speak of her and the activities they did together.
There are not enough words to express our gratitude to the EI program and their specialists for giving him the foundation to be all he can be!”
Monique & Andy Herrera