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Wallace Braveheart is a 20-month-old superstar!

Wallace has several diagnoses and is our miracle boy, hence his middle name Braveheart. We went from planning his funeral at 33 weeks during my pregnancy, to 193 days in the NICU/CICU following his birth, to home and thriving.
We were introduced to VIPS once we were home for a few months and started to receive services through First Steps. Due to many of Wallace’s diagnoses and complications in the hospital, he was left with visual problems. Wallace has thrived through vision services. We are very blessed with the provider we were given through VIPS (Ms. Dixie). She is very encouraging and has been a support to our entire family.

Wally's family poses for a photo. Pictured are mom, Julianna, dad, Tyler, three-year-old brother, Braxton, and dog, Tank.

VIPS has educated me on Wally’s vision diagnosis and helped me understand so many different things about how to work with Wally’s vision when it comes to developmental milestones. Hearing about a new diagnosis that impacts your child’s vision is a huge challenge, especially when it was not caught while in the hospital for 193 days!
I would encourage any parent who receives a visual diagnosis to first and foremost accept the diagnosis. Acceptance is the first step; once you are able to accept the new diagnosis, then you can hit the education and resources hard and put them into practice to learn how to work with your child or to adapt things in your home.

Little Wally sits at his high chair, smiling happily, with cookies displayed in front of him celebrating his year anniversary of being home from the hospital.

COVID 19 has not impacted Wallace’s development — it was not an option for us. We looked at it as another barrier that we learned to overcome. As for his diagnoses, we do not look at them as “impacting” us, but as a way to educate ourselves and to adapt and overcome.  
Tele-intervention has been important to utilize because it allows more direct one-on-one work with the parent and child. It gives parents so many more opportunities to learn the skills to put into play daily, compared to the therapist coming to the home for a session and taking the skills with them.
We are very thankful for VIPS and their teachers. VIPS as an organization has so many different things to offer to families and we are very thankful for the support they have offered us during this time and to have gotten to know the VIPS family.
To follow Wally along on his journey, check out his Facebook page here!

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