“I stared intently into my second baby Alfie’s eyes, desperately trying to remember if it was something I’d seen before. ‘I’m being silly,’ I told myself and picked him up again, his warm face resting up against mine.”
“It was a few weeks later I was looking adoringly into those same eyes when I saw it again, his eyes were constantly ‘flickering’. It was no longer a surprise as I was noticing it all the time now.”
Diana Fisk, mother to William (6) and Alfie (4) recalls her first few months with Alfie with a heavy heart but, as Alfie prepares for kinder next year, she and husband Rob have a new determination and a positive outlook on the amazing things that Alfie will be able to achieve.
After Alfie was diagnosed with Nystagmus – a condition of involuntary (or voluntary, in rare cases) eye movement, that may result in reduced or limited vision – there were tears, but surprisingly, through those tears came something different.
“This challenge could shape him in a way we never could have imagined.”
The sadness and fear started shifting for Diana and her husband Rob as they realised that along with this diagnosis there was the hope of something new. They decided not to think about the limitations and focus on empowering Alfie. “We now understood the challenge that had been dealt to our little boy,” Rob says.
They made a decision right there and then that they would take his lead on the life he would live. He would literally be viewing the world in a different way, and they could only imagine what he would be capable of with that unique perspective.
To help accomplish that, the family reached out to Vision Australia, firstly to get support and helpful information via its website and more recently to help to prepare Alfie for his first big milestone – going to kinder next year.
Alfie’s Vision Australia specialist Sue, will visit Alfie at home regularly and will also go along to the kinder with the family to talk to the staff, explore the school and visit the classroom to make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible for Alfie. “He can’t see things in the distance, so Sue and the teaching staff will also ensure he has a front-row seat in the classroom!,” Diana adds.
And, the Vision Australia team will be there for Alfie, as he discovers his personal challenges. Support varies, from orientation and mobility training, provision of Feelix library kits, his education and even helping with employment.
“It’s amazing to have such expertise available to ensure that Alfie is able to fulfil any dream that he may have growing up,” says Diana as she reaches out to the Australian community. “With your help to support Vision Australia, fears can be replaced by determination, by pride and by hope.”
“We now understood the challenge that had been dealt to our little boy.”