Nine-year-old Braylon Stafa is a bright spirit that laughs and jokes, but there was a time when his family thought he would never talk. When he joined the Stafa home at 16 months old, Bryalon was nonverbal and non-ambulatory. After speaking with their case worker at Fostering Connections, the Stafa’s were referred to Columbus Speech & Hearing to work with Braylon’s mom and dad, Molly, and Jim, on developing strategies to help with feeding and communication.
Braylon has faced medical and developmental challenges in his life. He is Autistic and has been diagnosed with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia (ONH), a congenital disorder characterized by underdevelopment of the optic nerves. When Braylon started with CSH, he didn’t engage at all, and after three years of diligent work with our speech team, he spoke his first word, and his first sentence soon followed. Braylon now can retell and add details to stories. He makes his family laugh and he actively participates in school.
Braylon can communicate during his other doctor’s appointments. When seen for his ONH, he can explain what he can and cannot see, making his treatments more effective. Molly and Jim contribute much of Braylon’s progress to the work of his Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP). Molly explains, “His SLP gets him and appreciates his personality, which is very special.”