Teaming Up to Help Jai’el See

Jai’el is a wonderful, funny, silly character. He makes me laugh and brings everyone around him joy,” says Margie, a Wayfinder early intervention specialist. Margie has been providing services to the 2-year-old and his mother, LaTosha for about a year. As an infant, Jai’el was diagnosed with a build-up of fluid in the brain, which caused cortical visual impairment damage to the pathway between the eyes and the brain. LaTosha enrolled him in Wayfinder’s Early Intervention Program to strengthen his vision and
communication skills.

When Jai’el started early intervention, he could not follow an object with his eyes or shift his vision between two objects. He could not see toys on the floor well enough to pick them up. He whined in frustration because he didn’t have the vocabulary to ask for what he needed.

Margie is working with Jai’el and LaTosha via telehealth sessions online during the pandemic. In their early sessions, with instructions from Margie, LaTosha would move a portable mirror from in front of Jai’el’s face into his peripheral vision to train him to follow objects with his eyes. LaTosha placed shapes from a shape-sorter box on the floor, and she and Margie encouraged him to pick them up and identify their colors.

In less than a year, Jai’el has made remarkable progress. He can follow rolling balls with his eyes and can
shift his vision from one toy to another. He is beginning to stack LEGOs, which requires picking up the piece, examining it, and making sure it fits the other piece. He is using three-word sentences to ask for what he wants.

“Wayfinder and Margie have been so good to us,” LaTosha says. “Margie is forever thinking about Jai’el’s and our family’s needs. You never know how the smallest acts of kindness can turn into the biggest joys for a family.”



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November 24, 2021