The five year old walks for the first time with support from family and FBC staff

By: Cara Martinez

Foundation for Blind Children student, Izan, joined FBC’s Early Intervention program at three years old after being diagnosed with a Cortical Visual Impairment. He’s now five years old conquering major goals, including taking his first steps, with an infectious laugh and quirky personality in tow.

“He popped up and started wobbling around. He was ready to walk,” says Brea Bornscheuer, a physical therapy intern from Northern Arizona University. “We took him out to the playground, and he just took off. It has been exciting to see.”

Brea hovers around Izan as he walks independently around FBC’s Central campus playground

Izan’s progressed from using a seat with wheels, to walking on his knees to walking independently on his feet with minimal assistance. Meeting this goal was a team effort. At school, Brea would encourage Izan to use a gait trainer for support. While at home, Izan’s mother, Fabiola would encourage Izan to use walls as support to navigate their home. Izan’s family pushed him to roam freely, further and further, until one day he was exploring all on his own- without walls!

“I tried to keep it to myself,” says Fabiola. “But my husband was texting everybody and showing videos to everybody. Everyone was excited at my house.”

With walking accomplished, Gabe Carrejo, Izan’s teacher, is currently focusing on Izan’s social and sensory skills. Gabe utlizes noise and movement to capture Izan’s attention especially with new items. Maria, Gabe’s assistant, will also sit with Izan to help him feel comfortable and less defensive about new textures.

“When I am trying to get him to explore, I show him what things look like, feel like and sound like,” says Gabe. “We try to use real items a lot to get him to understand concepts we are trying to teach.”

Izan’s next big goals include exploring new flavors and walking with shoes. Fabiola is working on feeding therapy at home to transition Izan from formula to purees. She’s so proud of her son and anxious to accomplish new goals crediting this success to the kindness of Izan’s care team at FBC, “They have the love and patience to take care of people who have needs.”

Next, Izan will conquer kindergarten. Because of your support, he is taking big steps into the future. Thank you.