A NORTHAM couple has shared the story of their son Walt in a new short film which aims to educate people about Cerebral Vision Impairment (CVI).
CVI is damage to the brain which causes a disruption in the pathways between the brain and the eyes.
Walt Reidy, who is four-and-a-half, was diagnosed with the condition when he was seven months old.
His mother, Jess, fell pregnant with Walt at age 26.
She said she first noticed something was amiss when he was just weeks old.
“I had a normal pregnancy and delivery but I could tell something was wrong at seven weeks,” she said.
“He slept a lot and I felt he couldn’t see me.
“I went to my GP but initially he dismissed my concerns.
“Eventually at three months Walt was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and then at seven months CVI.”
Jess said Walt is a relaxed and “cruisy” boy, who is making excellent progress thanks to a range of therapists and services.
“He is a very relaxed, happy child,” she said.
“I live in Northam which is remote so sometimes I have to travel a distance to see his specialists.
“Today I was with a physiotherapist – Walt can’t use his arms much so we were trying to strengthen his legs and put some balls out so he could kick them.
“He really enjoyed this and it was lovely to watch.”
Walt attends AvonVale Educational Support Unit in Northam and Jess works one day a week at a local estate agent.
Jess said she had learned plenty about the workings of the body through Walt’s diagnosis, and said she had also learned to cut herself some slack as a parent.
“Living with a child who has a disability can be hard, but I am fairly laid back and I have learnt that it is okay not to be consumed by Walt and his condition.
“It is alright if I skip some services.
“He’s a happy-go-lucky child.
“I know so much more about the human body than I ever thought I would, but more than that I have learnt I am a capable adult.”
Watch the film Walt’s Story – Coming to Terms with CVI, which was produced by support service VisAbility, below.