By LLH Staff Member
Kian’s journey began as a baby. After 11 months of not taking milk and not getting the nutrition he needed, Kian’s parents decided to take him to the doctor where they were given news no parent ever wants to hear: Kian had a brain tumor.
The family made a trip to St. Jude, but despite the doctors’ efforts, on Christmas Eve, the tumor burst. Kian was left blind, and his parents were left with a world of unanswered questions. At this time, one of our certified low vision therapists and assistive technology service providers, Lynda Crouch, was introduced to Kian and his family at a private therapy clinic. Kian was not able to crawl, dress, feed himself, or use his right hand, but his journey was not over. While working with Lynda, Kian began trying to crawl. He started to play with toys, and that was just the beginning. Kian was enrolled in our developmental program around age 4 when a spot miraclulously opened for him to attend LLH. Since then, Kian went from using a kid walker to a modified PVC pipe walker that Lynda created herself. This walker caused Kian to gain independence and to use more of his own strength to move rather than putting all of his weight on a normal walker.
Currently, Kian continues to make incredible strides, experiencing the world through touch. With the aid of a mobility cane and trailing with textured tiles, Kian is learning to navigate his way from his classroom at the end of the hall to the braille room and back. He is practicing early braille literacy on classroom signs along the wall and learning how to use his braille writer with scribbling by pushing the keys in random order. In the braille room, he has learned his name and, so far, letters A-G. Braille is also a tactile experience that strengthens and engages Kian’s brain in a different way than auditory experiences. Not only does this give him the ability to read, but also to write. These skills will be translated when he is older into using additional assistive technology that will prepare him for independence and employment.
Throughout the years at the Little Light House, Kian has learned that his strength comes from the Lord. When Kian is having a tough day, we remind him to seek joy, to which he replies, “Whoo Hoo!” and starts singing “I’ve got that Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy…” Though blind, Kian never stops seeing more of the world, and we know that this is just the beginning of his incredible journey!
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