Kingwood community unites to help family struggling to educate blind, deaf 10-year-old girl
Thursday, May 09, 2013
HOUSTON (KTRK) — A local middle school is coming together this week to help a 10-year-old girl in Kingwood.
Lauren Daley has a rare disability that makes communicating with the world around her very hard. But her family and her community are not letting it keep her down. Instead, they’re doing everything they can to lift her up.
Lauren likes to swim and play outside on the swings like most kids her age.
“She just enjoys like jumping off of anything and running around,” her mom, Caroline Daley, said.
But unlike a majority of children, Lauren is blind and deaf. She is actually one of only 700 deaf and blind children in Texas. Her parents say they do not want her disability to keep her from the joys of life.
“We need to help her become as independent as she can, like you would with any other child,” Lauren’s father, Paul Daley, said.
To teach Lauren independence, they hired an intervenor, or someone with experience helping the blind and deaf.
“The very shorthand definition of an intervenor is the eyes and ears of a deaf-blind individual,” Paul Daley said.
“She’s much, much, much more independent as a person with an intervenor because she feels like that intervenor is a part of her,” Caroline Daley said.
But the licenced assistant can only be found outside of the U.S. and it is not cheap. The family says they spend $1,000 a week for the service.
But they feel its worth it.
“She just has the whole confidence about her that’s completely different and we know it’s 100 percent because of the intervenor,” Caroline Daley said.
To pay for the intervenor, the family plans fundraisers. But this week, the community is helping out with a community clothing drive.
Lauren’s family hope their efforts today lead to a brighter future for their daughter.
“We just want her to be happy and successful in whatever she chosen to do,” Caroline Daley said.
The community clothing drive continues through Saturday at Atascocita Middle School. The students say they hope to raise more than $10,000 to pay for Lauren’s ongoing therapy.
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Help Lauren Learn website: http://www.helplaurenlearn.net/