Isaac, 6, was born with optic nerve hypoplasia in both eyes as well as nystagmus, a vision condition that can reduce vision and depth perception as well as affect balance and coordination. His mother, Xiomara, discovered his vision loss at six months of age and was devastated.

In 2021, Isaac’s ophthalmologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles referred him to Braille Institute. Xiomara jumped at the opportunity to get started with our Child Development program.

Isaac’s Journey of Learning

When Isaac started at Braille Institute, he faced challenges with attention and ability to focus. Now, he is excited to explore, participate in activities, and interact with Elizabeth, his Child Development consultant. Isaac also participated in Cane Quest, a fun introduction to travel and navigation skills for students.

Xiomara’s Journey of Learning

Xiomara has discovered life-changing tools such as various white cane tips, magnifying glasses, and a brailler machine. She reveals, “I’m learning all these things that can help him now and later on—like labeling things in the house that he can read and identify.”

One of the most exciting opportunities has been for Xiomara to attend Braille Bootcamp, a one-day workshop for parents, educators, and siblings of those impacted by visual impairment. She also feels empowered to advocate for Isaac, sharing resources with his school to secure braille books that support his education.

Through child development programming and events, Xiomara has met other parents who have children with low or no vision. As a single mother with a child who has a visual impairment, it’s been an important part of her journey to build these relationships.

Hope for the Future

As Isaac has become more verbal, he has been able to express what he can see, including certain colors. His ophthalmologist is thrilled with his progress and hopes that he can introduce glasses in the future to enhance Isaac’s sight. Xiomara is optimistic that he’ll eventually be able to read large text. Braille Institute is proud to be a part of Isaac’s continued growth and development.

Find more stories about children we’ve helped at bit.ly/berkleytst