At age 2, R.J. Liming has an incredible imagination and an infectious smile that his mother, Jennifer, said is easy to get attached to. At any given moment he may be driving his scooter across the living room floor en route to Chuck E Cheese (at least by his account), creating music on the family’s piano, or playing with one of his trains.
“This is Gordan,” R.J. said, holding up the long blue miniature replica in front of the window with the sun’s rays shining behind it. Resting at his feet are Douglas, the black train, and Thomas, the small blue train named after the locomotive that teaches kids, ‘I think I can.’
Giving him toys of different shapes and colors that can be held in front of light is just one of the suggestions made by CABVI staff to help R.J. focus his vision on objects. The little boy who now is into everything has chronic food allergies that caused developmental delays. He also is missing a fovea in his right eye which is responsible for sharp central vision, and only has part of the fovea in his left eye. As a result he has poor depth perception and limited visual detail.
CABVI early intervention vision specialist and music specialist have been visiting the Liming’s home every month offering support and guidance. Jennifer, her husband, Jeff, and R.J.’s older sister Melanie were shown alternative ways of helping R.J. succeed in everyday tasks like giving him a sponge bath and slowly acclimating him to being lowered into a tub of water or using different styled spoons when eating.
CABVI staff brought the parents the Oregon Project, an assessment and activities tool for families of kids who are blind or visually impaired.
“We didn’t know how to help R.J. before CABVI came into the picture,” said Jennifer. “They gave us so much knowledge and support.”