On Seeing

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ZZ was blind and the orphanage asked if we could find a foster home for him back in January.

He also could not roll over, sit, stand or do anything else a 2 year old was supposed to do.

They thought he had cerebral palsy, like most other kids who grow up untouched and unstimulated in orphanages, with resultant developmental delay.

No workup had been done on him, to our knowledge.

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We found out he had congenital cataracts and indeed was somewhat responding to light, so the doctors deemed him a candidate for eye surgery.

Then we found a heart murmur, with a resultant heart defect, and they wanted to fix that first, and then wait a period of time before fixing his eyes.

We’ve also found out he has no hearing, but is a candidate for cochlear implant surgery.

In the meantime, he has been receiving lots of one on one attention, and daily exercises to stimulate development.

He has progressed to standing, pushing a toy to walk, and reaching out to play with things on his own!

I am fairly convinced he does not have cerebral palsy at all, but has significant delays due to the combined visual and hearing impairment, plus the overall lack of environmental stimulation due to institutional care.

So finally in October he had his eye surgery, one eye each time, one week apart.

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Inpatient the whole time (10+ days including the pre-op and post-op mandatory hospital stay here), with around the clock babysitting provided by his foster mother’s church group.

Now he is getting visual stimulation therapy, which includes holding a blinking light in front of his eyes to train him to focus on it, and stimulate that dormant area of his brain.

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So far, he is liking it!
He’s even trying out new positions, just for show!

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6 responses »

  1. What a beautiful story to read and know, lives are being changed, one precious life at a time! Surely the ripple effects will be enormous!!!

  2. Oh Eva, I love your blog posts and I read every single one, but this one brings me to my knees. So precious. Will someone adopt him?

  3. My foster son (who is now 6) was born with delayed visual maturation and was blind for the first few months of his life, since also diagnosed with cortical vision impairment (and autism & an intellectual impairment) but…I’m wondering if I might be able to send this little guy some visually stimulating/therapeutic goodies? I also wondered if his foster carers know about ‘the little room’ (which can actually be quite big & made to suit the age of the child). I wrote a bit about it here http://lovemanytrustfew.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/i-knew-better/ . The best thing is that these can be easily made using whatever is at hand. These really are wonderful for developing their sensory awareness and willingness to explore – so important when there is limited vision. Please let me know if I can help out, Rose

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