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This fundraiser ended on 08/10/11

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Please help Brayden find a way to communicate with his family and loved ones.

At an early age Brayden was diagnosed with numerous developmental problems that affect how he lives his life to this day: Hypotonia affects his ability to meet physical milestones and delays the development of his strength and large motor skills; Sensory Processing Disorder affects his cognitive, small motor and behavioral development; and a pre-mutation to Fragile X Syndrome seems to affect everything. Each of these diagnoses have contributed to continued delays in most areas of Brayden’s development, yet he is still the perfect little baby boy that we only dreamed would come into our life. This little blonde haired, blue eyed child is our world – and just like any parent we will do anything in our power to ensure he is able to live his life to its fullest. We truly wish everyone could hear his loud “mouth-wide-open” giggle in person and see his adorable smile that lights up a room. But what we wish for even more is for him to have the ability to tell us what he needs, what he wants and what he dreams about.

After nearly nineteen months of physical therapy he has come such a long way – his muscles may never work the way God intended, but what he lacks in physical strength he makes up for in an immense inner power that any of us would be jealous of. He learned how to crawl even though it took him a year to do it; he learned how to walk on his long, skinny legs - and he is now able to run through the house like a wobbly toddler should, with his arms flapping behind him the entire way. Fifteen months of occupational therapy have given him the ability to pick things up with two fingers instead of an entire fist; the ability to discern a simple puzzle and ensure the pieces all go in their proper place; and the ability to feed himself, however limited his diet may be.

All this success is such a joy to see and he could not have done any of it without the support of his therapists and particularly his loving, adoring mother who has been with him every second of his journey. Although he has made these enormous strides there is still one thing we are still hoping for him to figure to communicate. His speech therapy has been continuous for seventeen months and we fully understood this was going to be the toughest one, yet he is nearly two and a half and still no words, nothing yet for us to decipher and nothing yet for us to understand.

Back in early July we were thrilled to find out that Brayden was accepted into a trial program being offered by the Speech Garden here in Charlotte – one that uses technology to help children learn how to communicate. This program uses two main components; an iPad and an app from the iStore…seriously! Everyone loves the iPad (or iAnything for that matter), but can it really help Brayden learn how to talk? The two week trial he was engaged in just came to a close and we are here to tell you this is an amazing tool. We always knew Brayden was extremely intelligent, but to see him zip through the iPad at two years old is a thing of beauty – and the specialized therapy apps truly have an ability to hold his attention long enough for him to understand what he sees and hears, with the hope that one day he will be able to turn his understanding into verbal communication. As this was merely a trial it unfortunately had to come to an end and we were asked to give the iPad back, so for Brayden to continue his learning we will need to get him an iPad of his very own, but we are not in a position to do so by ourselves. As the title says we are seeking a gift – a gift to help Brayden learn how to communicate. If any of you are able to help us on this journey we would be more grateful than you can possibly imagine – and we hope one day Brayden will be able to tell you how thankful he is too.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. God bless.
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