Layla’s Story: Learning is Fun

February 2023

girl playing with sand

Layla was born on Christmas Day, five years ago. Despite the joyous occasion, her parents, Salvador and Roxana, were faced with uncertainty when they learned their daughter was severely visually impaired due to glaucoma and aniridia. Layla endured multiple surgeries to relieve pressure in her eyes that first year, and more recently, a corneal transplant; yet her vision is still extremely limited. The family faced a difficult journey, but they were determined to build the very best future for their daughter. 

As they searched for support, Layla’s parents kept hearing about the Blind Children’s Center. They visited and immediately felt at home. Since Roxana is a working mother, the family first benefited when Layla’s grandmother attended the Infant Program with Layla. This is the essence of the Center’s family focused approach: Grandma then transferred what she learned to Roxana and Salvador at home. 

Roxana, who has been in special education health care for years, was inspired to begin working with visually impaired children to better understand her own daughter, and has now made that her career path. “I knew certain things from my work,” she said, “But being a parent is a totally different ballgame. There’s the emotional part. The teachers and specialists have been really supportive and open in answering any questions we have.” 

As an only child in her home (she has an older adult sister), Layla has become very imaginative and creative and she brings that spark to school. She loves art, painting especially, and can occupy herself for hours. Layla is already working on her braille skills since her vision may deteriorate over time. She has also become quite resourceful using technology to help her and is learning to advocate for herself and ask for the things she needs due to her diagnoses, like sunglasses and a hat outdoors and tools like a magnifier in the classroom.  

“The Blind Children’s Center has really opened up our world, and I see so much progress in Layla,” Roxana said. Thanks to the support of committed donors, the Center has been able to provide these services completely free of charge since 1938. We ask for your continued support so that we can keep providing children like Layla with the education and resources they need to succeed and reach their full potential.