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Canyon Stephenson

Rainbows Run Ambassador Family 2019

REGISTER TODAY and join Rainbows United for the 8th annual 5K and 1-mile walk to support kids like Canyon:

Canyon Stephenson is 2-years-old, and loves rough housing with his 2 brothers. His mom Rachael had a normal pregnancy and Canyon was born right on time. He proceeded to wrap his family around his little finger with his smiles and cute baby laugh. When he was 2 months old, his mom noticed that his eyes were moving unusually fast and she became concerned. Canyon was diagnosed by a local pediatric ophthalmologist with congenital nystagmus, a condition that causes the eyes to look involuntarily from side to side in a rapid, swinging motion rather than staying fixed on an object or person.

At 9 months Canyon received an evaluation through Rainbows’ Infant/Toddler Services of Butler County and he qualified for services. Joanna, a Rainbows’ therapist began seeing Canyon in the family home and working with him to meet age-appropriate developmental milestones. With Joanna’s help he used a few signs with gestures for communication while learning words. He quickly progressed to imitating words and now she models phrases to prompt him and he talks more. “Joanna gives me tools to work with him,” said Rachael. “I’ve learned to take smaller steps for him to learn. I now speak one word, then two words at a time to help him process what I am saying. These suggestions make a big difference in his understanding.”

“I love working with Canyon and his family,” said Joanna, Speech-Language Pathologist. “He has progressed quickly and now communicates so much more, which cuts down frustration for him and his parents.”

“He can now see and follow an airplane in the sky,” said his dad, Christian. “I know he is able to focus his eyes so much better now, I see progress in my son.”

Rachael also now understands that she knows Canyon better than anyone. “Through these regular visits, I’ve learned to trust my gut,” said Rachael. “It’s been so helpful to have Joanna to share ideas with as we work together to help Canyon progress.”

While surgery and eye glasses may be in Canyon’s future, his family knows the services provided through Rainbows have made a big difference in getting him off to a good start.