(It starts with BB services, but transitions into CP. Without the CP program, there would be a gap and the children can and will regress)
Christian was born with a rare genetic eye condition called Blue Cone Monochromacy (BCM). BCM is a retinal disease which causes loss of visual acuity, color blindness, photophobia, myopia and nystagmus. Christian’s mother learned about Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches when he was four years old through another parent of a child with BCM.
Christian’s mother registered him for the Lighthouse’s Blind Babies Program, which provides services for children from birth through age five. He has since transitioned into the Children’s Program (ages 6-13). The Youth Services Specialist (YSS) began providing weekly services at Christian’s private pre-school. The YSS made suggestions for accommodations in the classroom, such as, using textures or designs instead of colors, preferential seating and worked with him on using the optical devices prescribed for his vision loss.
Christian uses a dome magnifier and wears sunglasses on the playground. He recently got bifocals and a monocular telescope. The YSS assisted him in becoming more efficient and comfortable with his devices. She facilitates activities that encourage Christian to systematically scan and track with his monocular and magnifier. For example, she places small familiar pictures on the wall and asks him to locate and describe the pictures. Christian also enjoys iSpy books where he can practice using his bifocals to access near activities.
Christian also participates in the Lighthouse’s Summer Camp, as well as group activities throughout the year. During the summer and year-round activities, Christian enjoys field trips, including going to the movies, the fire station, swimming, bowling and more. He especially liked the Beeping Egg Hunt during the Spring Family Picnic. During the activities, the children learn important life skills like making macaroni and cheese (pouring, measuring, stirring…), cleaning up and doing the dishes. The children went to a farm and picked their own produce, which Christian was excited to prepare for dinner later at home with his mother. They are introduced to accessible games and assistive technology, and went to a workshop at the Apple Store to learn about the iPad and its accessibility features.
Christian is very outgoing, social, and curious. He plays soccer and other sports. He has lots of friends and advocates for himself well. The YSS nominated Christian, who was selected and awarded, a Tandem Bicycle through the local Rotary Bike Project.
The services Christian received were instrumental for pre-school and kindergarten success. At school, he won the award for “most confident” in the classroom!
Way to go Christian!