During his mobility training, Fletcher and Anne worked as a team to learn different techniques to explore and navigate his home safely and confidently. He has learnt to use his other senses to navigate by sound and touch.
"Fletcher now runs around the house like any kid without an impairment would, but in new environments he needs to map the room or space before he can move around comfortably. We call that 'updating his GPS'," Kellie says.
Fletcher's nine-year-old sister Lily is a wonderful support in the development of her little brother, "Lily is often our best chance at getting Fletcher to do something he doesn’t want to do, as he’ll do almost anything for her. She’s the one who taught him to clean his teeth, catch a balloon, and have a shower, just to name a few things," Kellie explains
Our Orientation and Mobility Instructors have worked closely with Fletcher and his family to prepare him for daycare, preschool and now primary school. Anne and the team at Guide Dogs have taught Fletcher a variety of skills to help him navigate these new environments. He has learnt how to find his classrooms, the library and the bathroom, as well as play safely on playgrounds, make friends, use technology, ask for help, and much more.
In addition to new skills, Anne has attended his school to assess the environment and provide training and support to his teachers on how they can best support Fletcher’s development.
"Guide Dogs has been amazing in providing an Orientation and Mobility Instructor like Anne, who has visited him at home and school, and undertaken site assessments at his daycare, preschool and primary school. This has allowed Fletcher a much higher level of independence as well as safety with his mobility. It has also been instrumental in allowing him to enter a mainstream school," Kellie recalls.