Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The World According To Jimmy

I am so excited to post a brand new addition to the bee! As you know, most of my favorite colleagues are my students. I love them, love learning from them, am inspired by them, just overall I love my students! I had an idea inspired by a pretty incredible kid named Jimmy. Jimmy is a favorite student and has been since he came onto my caseload in preschool. He's one of the most fearless kids and has a great family that has been right by his side nurturing him right along. Jimmy and his family are pretty open about his vision condition and their life, struggles and love that have happened over the past few years. With all of that being said, Jimmy is our newest blogger! Yay!! His mom, Kristi, has also signed on to share her views and experiences as they navigate life experiencing this crazy beautiful world. Jimmy's going to try out new things, tell us about school, life, whatever floats his way and together we can all learn about the world according to Jimmy!

Dear Blind Students:
Hi I am Jimmy! I am in 2nd grade in Stratford. I am a very low vision student. I read and write in Braille. Oh this might sound funny or weird, so I whacked my eye, right, so then the next day I could see a little better, I think. And just some advise do not try this at home because it is very painful. I like to play outside, dig in the dirt(this is most likely for boys), water ski, climb, run, build, try new things, fight with my dad (playfully of course). I am writing this blog to help Robbin get a young students life better. I am willing to answer any questions you have. I am hoping with this blog I will make a friend who is like me and to show that us blind kids are not any different than sighted kids, we can do anything (for the most part).
Talk to you later, Jimmy
Jimmy at Camp Abilities 2011. He caught a fish!
Jimmy at our Holiday Skills Day 2011. He's snagging an Oreo before our cooking project. 

 Jimmy at our ice skating event. He's on the ice with his cane checking things out.
Jimmy proudly supports our USABA Fitness Challenge.
And an introduction from Jimmy's super mom, Kristi. My editor note: I asked Kristi to also be part of this because she is one of those awesome moms who gets "it". Their family has had to learn a lot and she has done a great job of accepting, learning and empowering Jimmy. If I've got any moms out there reading this and just feeling like the blindness card is just overwhelming, this is a mom that gets it. She's 100% real and down to earth. Happy to have her!

Hi my name is Kristi, I am Jimmy's mother! In 2004 we got the devastating news that Jimmy had something called Retinoblastoma, cancer of the retina. In the years that proceeded we did treatment after treatment: chemo, radiation, enuculation of his left eye, plaque therapy on the right eye, retina reattachment, cataract removal...etc. In the process of all of this Jimmy lost the majority of his vision and is now considered Blind. He has the ability at times to see shadows and forms. In the years since Jimmy has gone blind (he was 3 ½ when he lost it) it has not slowed him down. He plays t-ball for the local team, he is an avid waterskier, he runs around outside our home like any other child and most people who pass by have no idea he actually cannot see them or anything else. Jimmy is now in the 2nd grade learning to read and write in Braille. He loves going to events with other children like him. He also loves music, books, and any excuse to get outside and RUN!

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