Crusade and VIPS team up to help visually-impaired children


by WHAS editors

Posted on June 3, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 3 at 5:32 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The WHAS Crusade for Children is June 7 & 8 and it's your chance to give back to special needs children in Kentuckiana. Firefighters have already been out collecting for them.

WHAS11 want to introduce you to one child who has benefited from the Crusade.

The parents of Addyson Clarkson found help for their daughter who has vision problems through a longtime partner of the Crusade.
"She was diagnosed at about four months," Addyson's mom said. "We noticed that she wasn't tracking things visually as well as other kids were at her age."

Addyson's parents were told she has optic nerve hypoplasia, which means that Addyson's optic nerve is severely underdeveloped. That diagnosis means that Addyson is and will remain legally blind.

"That was a really scary point for us because it's pretty scary when you don't know how to help your kids and you don't know where to go," Addyson's mom said.

The Clarksons got help through First Steps and at Visually-Impaired Preschool Services or VIPS.

"It was really a relief we had found VIPS," the Clarksons said. "We found somebody that was an expert in something we were dealing with and it was a big relief for us."

Addyson has been going to VIPS since she was six months old.  At three, she's learning the basics and joins the thousands of children with visual issues who've been helped at VIPS in the past 20 years. Those kinds of services started and continue thanks in part to the WHAS Crusade for Children.

"We want to make sure we reach those children so that we can provide them with the critical early intervention that they need to reach their developmental milestones such as learning to crawl, learning to walk and learning to talk and feed themselves," Heather Benson from VIPS said.