In a 2018 LCBDD commercial 2-year-old Axton Bryant takes a few tentative steps toward LCBDD Physical Therapist Annie Green and his mom, Autumn Hill.
Axton was using a walker at the time, and their goal, Autumn said to the camera, was for him to “walk independently at preschool,”
It’s been more than three years since then and Axton has blown past that goal and left it in the dust.
An energetic kindergartner at Garfield Elementary, he loves swimming, baseball and riding dirt bikes.
“He is an active dude,” Autumn said. “He doesn’t accept limitations.”
When Axton was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a toddler, doctors told his parents he might never walk unassisted.
His family got connected with LCBDD’s Early Intervention program, working with Annie weekly until Axton turned 3.
He continued receiving support from Developmental Specialist Diane Dodson and LCBDD service coordinators in addition to his PT, OT and speech therapies at Flying Colors Public Preschool, Autumn said.
By the time he was 4, he had mastered walking.
His doctors at Children’s Hospital told his family that keeping Axton active would be the best thing for his development.
Using LCBDD Family Support Services funds for a membership, Axton’s parents were able to get their family involved in activities at the Licking County Family YMCA and beyond.
The agency has supported their family during Axton’s IEP meetings and Autumn said she has always been able to brainstorm ideas with his service coordinators to find new resources.
Axton has had several falls that have affected his teeth, so their focus in the future is going to be on therapy to improve his speech.
Whether he’s showing off his killer baseball swing, playing games on his tablet or racing bikes at the dirt track in Nelsonville, Axton brings intensity to everything he does, his mom said.
Seeing pictures of him playing soccer at school or watching him jump on a trampoline fill her with pride and excitement about what his future holds.