Hayden is a friendly 11 year-old boy who is a ham in front of the camera. A fourth grader at Mulvane Grade School, he communicates through his iPad, sign language and gestures. “I can tell that sometimes he’s telling me a wild story,” said his great grandmother, Saundra who is heavily involved in his care. “I can’t always get the details of his stories, but I know he’s telling a tale. He has an amazing imagination.”
He is a delight to his family which includes his 3 year-old brother, mother and great grandmother. Born premature with Down Syndrome, Hirschspring’s Disease, congenital heart deficit, hearing loss and several other diagnosis, Hayden has developmentally delayed speech, social skills and motor coordination. He uses a wheel chair to get from place to place and is able to drive himself up the ramp to his home.
Stores like Target and Walmart are fun for Hayden because the long hallways allow him to be mobile in his wheelchair. “Hayden loves these stores for their space and I am always amazed at the people who know him when we got out,” said Saundra. “So many people stop and greet him, which he really enjoys.”
This year’s Blarney Breakfast will provide an upgraded iPad for Hayden that will help him communicate with his family, teachers and others. “Hayden will use the iPad to access his signing videos from his teacher for the deaf and blind,” said Shelby Fitzgerald, Hayden’s Rainbows’ Targeted Case Manager. “The iPad will allow him to communicate his wants and needs effectively and independently.”