When Judy and Arturo Loera's son, Antonio, was born, the doctors knew something was very wrong. Their baby was transferred to three hospitals in two days and had five surgeries in two months. They soon learned that Antonio was missing about 15 percent of his brain and that it was doubtful he would ever do anything more than breathe, sleep and eat.
Indeed, for the first year, Antonio would just lie there, barely moving. Knowing that they couldn't give up hope, Judy and Arturo began searching for therapists that could help their son make progress. Thankfully, one of these therapists recommended Junior Blind's Infant & Early Childhood Program.
Judy and Arturo had long suspected that there might be something wrong with their son's vision and were relieved to find someone who would listen to their concerns. During the family's first session with Junior Blind, a vision specialist named Diana noticed that Antonio was having trouble focusing his eyes. Diana made an appointment for him right away to see an optometrist and even accompanied Judy to the doctor to help ask questions.
Shortly after, Antonio was diagnosed as visually impaired and was prescribed glasses to help strengthen his eyesight.
"Since Antonio has been a part of Junior Blind," Judy says, "it has been like night and day. Between his glasses and the weekly vision stimulation therapy he receives from Diana, our son is now able to do things that other toddlers do. He plays with toys, smiles at others and is even showing signs that he may be able to walk soon."
Even more, the Infant & Early Childhood Program has allowed Judy and Arturo to connect with other parents of children with visual impairments. They most recently hosted a play date in their home for nearly a dozen Junior Blind families and shared how much they loved the camaraderie.
Remarks Judy, "No one else in our family has a child with a disability, so it has been hard not to feel alone. With Junior Blind, my husband and I finally have somewhere to turn."