Bright, shining strands of light adorn homes around the world. Inside, candles flicker and trees glimmer. Their opulence and beauty illuminate dark, snowy winter nights.
For 21-year-old identical twins, Scott and Ian, twinkling Christmas lights are a significant sight of the holiday season.
“Born premature, Scott and Ian have Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, and complex medical challenges. At two, we learned they are both deafblind,” said their mom, Paula Watson.
Deafblindness is a combination of hearing and vision loss that is unique to each person and impacts access to information, communication, and mobility.
“In learning that Scott and Ian have some light perception, we developed this sense in every way we could… Through sensory toys with lights, music, and sounds, in addition to physio and occupational therapies.
Over time, we trusted the doctors, therapists, and other members of ‘our team’ to address the boys’ needs, while also ensuring we had time to love and play together as a family.”
In early 2020, DeafBlind Ontario Services became part of the Watson’s team, when Scott and Ian moved into one of the non-profit’s Supported Living Homes in the Greater Sudbury Area.
“DeafBlind Ontario Services’ intervenors, professionals who act as the ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’ of people with deafblindness, mean the world to us. They are dedicated to ensuring consistent and holistic person-centered plans are in place for each person supported to live full, meaningful lives.
They consider the boys’ likes, dislikes, and goals. Scott is very serious; he is wiser than his years and a real thinker. Ian is always smiling and ready to crack jokes. The two love to be around each other,” said Paula.
“DeafBlind Ontario Services’ approach means that Scott and Ian continue to thrive as individuals, while remaining together. It is wonderful to see them live independently of their father and I, while continuing to be the same happy and confident people we have always encouraged them to be.”
The Watson’s are looking forward to Scott and Ian visiting for the holidays. Along with sensory holiday traditions, like music from the Little Drummer Boy, holiday movies, a visit from Santa, a bright, twinkling Christmas tree, and a delicious dinner with loved ones.
“We plan to have lots of Christmas music and Christmas lights of course, while creating new memories,” said Paula.