Oakland Tech special education student Jordan DeBose Holman is walking. She is disabled and spends most of her time in a wheelchair and usually needs help keeping her balance. That changed during the pandemic and she is now walking periodically with Oakland Tech staff.
"We went to 21 doctors and nobody has been able to understand why she does what she does. She has an expansive vocabulary for someone who cannot speak. She is non-verbal. And when she was born, they told us she wouldn't have the ability to balance," said her mother, Tandra DeBose.
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Because of Jordan's balance issue, doctors told her mother that if she wasn't walking on her own by the time she was five-years-old, she would never walk without someone helping her balance. But now she is defying those odds.
"I was totally shocked. Because she never did it when we went to the store, and not at home. And we never saw it. And since that day, it was in March just before the pandemic began, she was letting them know that 'I can do this.' And when she came home, she hasn't stopped walking since. That's why we say it was a miracle," said Tandra.
"Seeing her get up and move around here is incredible," said Jordan's teacher, Scarlett Kelly. "A lot of students with disabilities are infantilized or they think, 'I have a disability, I can't do much.' But I really strive for, and I think Tandra does a really great job, as well, of expecting the most. We have very high expectations for the students in this classroom."
So, what would Jordan's mother say to those doctors who said she would never walk? "You never give up hope."
Because walking and talking typically come around the same time in a child's life, Tandra DeBose is now hoping that someday soon, Jordan will figure out how to talk, as well. "Even though her time may not come for a while, I still have hope, that one day my daughter is going to talk to me."