Turning challenges into triumphs

Romeo has been blind since birth. His mother Rayonne knew he would need to be confident and independent to succeed in school.

Rayonne recognized that Romeo’s disability was unique and that he needed one-on-one attention from caring teachers and support staff. She enrolled him as an infant at our Children’s Home Society of Washington’s Highline Early Learning Center in addition to a local child therapy center.  

“I had consistent meetings with CHSW and the occupational therapist to ensure Romeo was getting the best care,” Rayonne said. “The partnership was fantastic. I didn’t know CHSW provided that kind of collaboration.”

CHSW’s work with Romeo, now 3, benefited him greatly. He ate better and used utensils to eat, he started to crawl and walk, and became more comfortable with being around other children. Romeo’s independence grew and he became more interested in playing with toys.

“All parents and their kids can benefit from early learning and additional support,” Rayonne said. “I don’t have a lot of people in my life who understand my child’s needs and the staff at CHSW know Romeo, celebrate his progress and care deeply.”

Because of his disability, Romeo needed to be placed in a developmental preschool for part of the day. Rayonne worked with the school district and requested that a school staff member be provided to work closely with Romeo.

School management agreed to help and offered a position to the staff member caring for Romeo at Highline Early Learning Center. That staff member now works part time at both Highline Early Learning Center and the school with Romeo to provide consistent care.

When Romeo recognized the voice of the CHSW staff member from Highline Early Learning Center at his school, his face lit up and he was thrilled. The transition became seamless for him.

Because of Romeo’s success, Rayonne has also enrolled Romeo’s younger brother Romari, 1, at Highline Early Learning Center. Romari has already benefitted, improving his communications skills.

“I’m very happy with the outcome we have had at CHSW with my both my sons,” Rayonne said.

Abby Ajaero is the site supervisor for Highline Early Learning Center.