A Long Lola Update

It has been just over a month since Lola began attending the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI) and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the progress we are seeing in our little girl. Prior to attending ISBVI, Lola had been in a three day a week, couple hour a day program. While she was learning in that type of environment, we could tell she was craving more stimulation which is why we chose ISBVI. Lola attends the school five days a week for the entire day alongside four other kiddos in her class. She is in a play-based classroom yet there is also structured learning. They focus on Lola’s abilities not her disabilities which means the classroom setting is challenging but not overwhelming for...
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2013 VIPS Retreat – A Reunion

Last weekend Rob, Lola and I drove down to Louisville, Kentucky for the annual VIPS Retreat. Last year we were quite impressed with the overall logistics of the event which meant there was no hesitation in saying yes when asked if we’d be going back this year. We arrived early Saturday morning and first to do on our list was check Lola into the VIPS preschool. The VIPS Preschool is specifically designed for children who are blind or visually impaired. Not only is the infastructure designed for kids like Lola, but the toys serve specific vision loss components and most of the personnel are trained teachers of the visually impaired. There is a nurse on duty for those children who are medically fragile which helps ease the mind...
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VIPS-Bloomington Play and Learn

We recently packed up the car and headed down to Bloomington, Indiana for another VIPS-Bloomington Play and Learn (PAL) get together. Originally, I was supposed to tap into my inner domestic goddess self and take a sewing class with a girlfriend, but I was feeling the need to be around my people. We hadn’t seen Ann Hughes in months as Lola’s vision continuously improves and what better way for Lola to spend an afternoon then listening to songs, seeing her little friends, enjoying the crisp outdoor air and of course…playing in the ball pit. The wonderful thing about these PAL events is that you walk into a room full of people that get it. This is our time to take down the protective barrier and simply be. We...
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The Gift of Sight

“With this beautiful child, (and her amazing family), I have been allowed to witness a child’s visual system “turning on.” On a scale of 0-10 on the Cortical Visual Impairment scale with zero being no vision/light perception and 10 being normal or near normal functional vision, Lola was about a “2” this past March/April, a “4” in May, and a “6” in December. And she has improved since then! (We will reassess in a month or two, but her progress has been fast so far, and she just turned two.) AND, thanks to her advocating parents, her First Steps therapists, and Lola’s strong spirit, when her visual system turned on, of course it helped LOTS of other good things begin to happen! Watch out world!” –Ann Hughes VIPS-Bloomington...
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A Different Perspective

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a creature of habit. I think, by default, most of us are. I like staying within my comfort zone because it is safe and it helps my neurotic brain feel like it is somewhat in control. Unfortunately this behavior has trickled over to Lola, I think in part, because I have learned I have virtually no control over Lola’s unknown condition. There are no books like “What to Expect When You Have a Child With Undiagnosed Developmental Delay” to learn from. I go by pure instincts on how to best care for Lola and I often have to think outside the box to best cater to her comfort level and abilities. So when my step-daddy Steve decided to put a...
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