After Xander was diagnosed with Septo-optic Dysplasia, his family was lost and “everything seemed like chaos,” recalls Xander’s dad, Ryan. However, when Xander was referred to Anchor Center at 6 months old by Children’s Hospital Colorado, his family started to feel a sense of relief.
“Early on, the staff at Anchor Center were very supportive and understanding. We also met other families in similar situations. Seeing their success stories and learning how Anchor Center was able to help their child helped us to better adjust to Xander’s diagnosis,” says Ryan.
Quickly, Xander started adjusting too. When he first started at Anchor Center, he didn’t interact much with his surroundings or activities. As time went on, his family noticed that he became more interactive and even started focusing on objects more. “We discovered that he enjoyed the music room a lot – and it’s still one of his favorites today,” says Ryan. “Recently, he’s been the life of the party during classes and it’s just so exciting to see. He is a completely different child from when he started.”
Ryan also credits Anchor Center’s on-site eye exam room as a huge help. “With an on-site doctor, we can get answers quickly and teachers and therapists can share what they have observed with Xander during program. This helps us get a better understanding of Xander’s vision. It allows everyone to communicate easier and be on the same page when it comes to treatment. Also, because Dr. King (Anchor Center’s on-site volunteer Ophthalmologist) sees so many children with vision impairment, he knows what to look for and how to better explain the condition to parents.”
Xander’s family is hopeful for the future. “Early after Xander’s diagnosis,” recalls Ryan, “his future appeared bleak. Now, after the therapies and help he has received at Anchor Center, he is overcoming obstacles, exceeding expectations and is always surprising us with what he is able to accomplish. He is a fighter and I am excited to see what the future brings for him.”