Living with ‘Special Disabilities’ featuring Niki who works at Lighthouse of Collier – May 2018 eBella Magazine
Jeremy is a 17-year-old boy with cortical vision impairment. Although his eyes are healthy, damage to the brain’s pathway affects his ability to understand and interpret what he sees. Jeremy is further challenged with cerebral palsy, affecting his ability to control his muscles. Jeremy receives services from the Lighthouse in his home with interventions focused on increasing his responses to visual, tactile, and auditory stimulation. He also attends monthly group events through the Lighthouse; his favorite activity is touching the alligator and bear skins at the Naples Zoo!
Jeremy’s mom invited Lighthouse staff to attend a recent Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting at his school. She was eager for the team to find new ways to engage Jeremy in his high school experience, especially interacting with peers. The Lighthouse instructor shared that Jeremy can activate a switch to turn on electrical devices such as a blender, radio, fan, and Christmas lights. She suggested that Jeremy apply this skill at school to access a recorded social greeting to respond to peers and staff. In addition, she suggested placing a notebook of conversational facts about Jeremy on his wheelchair, so classmates would be prompted to interact with him.
The team embraced the ideas and goals were added to the IEP. Jeremy’s participation at the Lighthouse enabled professionals to network and find solutions to enhance his life experience as a teenager.