Braden is blind, nonverbal, and nearly 11 years old. A big part of his life is about safety. Even his favorite toy, a vibrating bean bag is meant to keep him safe and calm.
Another essential safety piece is Braden’s cranial helmet that keeps his head safe from self injurious tendencies. With help from the Children’s Miracle Network, Braden is on his fifth helmet. His mom Lyndsie said “without this helmet we wouldn’t be able to function as a family. It acts as his security blanket.” She added that Braden wouldn’t be able to sit calmly without it and would require someone to constantly hold him. Braden receives a new helmet from the Children’s Miracle Network almost every 18 months.
“It’s hard to describe Braden’s personality; he’s a kid you just have to meet,” said Braden’s case manager, Melissa. “He is non verbal but has found his own way of communicating. He’s developed different yells depending on what he needs. And he’s very vocal about what he needs. He can be ornery but also very sweet when he wants to be.” Melissa meets with Braden’s family twice a year to complete annual documentation and to attend his Individualized Education Program. In addition, she communicates with Braden’s mom via email whenever she has questions.
Last year Braden received a service dog named Andes. Braden is now able to walk without the aid of an adult by holding onto Andes and trailing walls. Right now Braden enjoys hanging out on the family’s back deck listening to Johnny Cash. His favorite thing is being outdoors.