When Matthew’s ophthalmologist detected a visual impairment at three months, his parents knew exactly where to turn. His older brother, Serges, who was also born with occulo-cutaneous albinism, had started his own Anchor Center journey three years before.
“After seeing the incredible progress Serges made, we knew that Matthew would also be able to navigate, grow and flourish there – and that Anchor Center would continue to be a moral and emotional support for our entire family,” recalls Matthew’s mom, Flora.
Throughout the weeks and the months, Matthew’s family witnessed him “changing from the little baby completely refusing to open his eyes under the bright light to a little energetic boy eager to discover everything around him.”
At Anchor Center, Matthew is overcoming his fear of new floors and surfaces, due to his impaired depth perception. He is learning to explore with his cane, and practicing activities like swinging, spinning and putting his feet on the grass.
Similar to his brother, Matthew is improving quickly – “wanting to be independent, becoming his own problem solver and not letting his visual impairment prevent him from achieving whatever he has in mind,” says Flora.
Even with all of their successes, Flora admits, “sometimes we feel overwhelmed by the task of raising children with visual impairments. But Anchor Center staff are always present with a smile, a word of encouragement, and tips and advice to help us on a daily basis at home.”
Flora also credits the Family Services program at Anchor Center for providing additional support. “The possibility to share experiences with others going through similar experiences is like a group therapy for the parents,” she says.
“Our whole Anchor Center experience,” says Flora, “including the expertise of the staff, and the equipment and materials available, is irreplaceable.”