Adaptation

Do you know who Ben Underwood is? We found out about him in 2006 when he did this interview with CBS News. As parents of a blind child you can imagine how astounded and encouraged we were.

At any rate, Ben Underwood had retinoblastoma when he was 2 and lost his eyes. Since, he has miraculously taught himself to echolocate by making a series of clicking noises like a dolphin. The videos of him rollerblading & playing basketball are nothing short of amazing.

I was very sad to catch the last bit of a news story on him Friday night that mentioned he is suffering a recurrence of his cancer. He is only 16 years old.

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D is just beginning to show signs of echolocating. As I watch him manuver throughout the house he occasionally stomps his foot on the floor to “see” where he is. Even without the stomping he will come close to a wall or table, hesitate, and turn exactly parallel to it and continue walking. I used to have to prompt him to step down when there was a step coming up. Now he takes his cue from his environment. He has already anticipated the stair because I’ve taken the step already.

I find it amazing that at not quite 3 years old he has begun adapting to his environment in ways that we could never imagine.

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