Ahwatukee student adjusting rapidly at Milenio after losing sight - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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Ahwatukee student adjusting rapidly at Milenio after losing sight

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Posted: Saturday, December 17, 2011 11:00 am

Adonis Watt continues to learn the ins and outs of his school's hallways. He has memorized how to get from the front entrance to his second-grade classroom, to the restroom, to the school library, and to the playground for lunch and recess.

The map in his head is still incomplete, but he remembers the major stops and will continue to learn the layout of his school, Kyrene del Milenio Elementary, as time goes on.

Watt, 7, lost his sight two years ago after succumbing to the effects of congenital glaucoma. He can be seen feeling his way against the hall or with his long, white cane out in front of him, guiding the way.

He attends Milenio full time now and spent the majority of first grade at the Foundation for Blind Children. His new environment is a lot bigger now, and while it takes getting used to, Watt is up for the challenge.

"That school (Foundation for Blind Children) is a lot smaller and less children, but I like them both the most," he said. "I kept getting smarter and smarter (last year), and I knew I wanted to come to (Milenio)."

The past two years are filled with events that might cover someone's entire bucket list. Watt has met President Barack Obama, auctioned off (and got to ride in) a car for Barrett-Jackson, and accepted a check from Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig for $1,000,000.

Watt said it was "cool" to meet the president and shake his hand, but that wasn't his favorite moment.

"I'm most proud of auctioning off the car," he said. "I got to sit in it and ride it up to the stage."

The check was for the Foundation for Blind Children, where Watt continues to go for help on Saturday mornings.

Things had been going downhill for sometime before, but in July 2009 his vision left him for good. He remembers that day quite clearly: "My mom and sister were going to the swimming pool and I went with them. After about two hours I started to see colors, like stuff in front of my eyes. (Later) I went upstairs to watch TV and I just started to bump into things. And the next day my eyes started to hurt."

Things haven't come easy for Watt and his Ahwatukee Foothills family over the last two years, but he and his teachers say he is learning to adjust rapidly, whether it is working on math problems on his braille typewriter or figuring out where the hallways take him.

"I like to do it by myself," Watt said. "But I can always get help if I need it."

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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