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Colton: From sports to art and meal prep, his success story has defied the ‘experts’

Colton and his family didn’t listen to the negative. They focused on the positive and had faith in Colton’s ability to overcome challenges.

Now, the boy who “experts” said would never walk, talk, or perform basic tasks plays basketball and volleyball, enjoys the sand beneath his toes on long beach walks, and is learning to prepare meals.

Colton, a sophomore at Westerly High School, is a success story by any measure thanks in large part to efforts by the Olean Center Children's Department team. The Olean staff and his family have watched him flourish as he participates in a wider range of activities than anyone envisioned when he started at the Center as a six-year-old. And his speech has progressed to the point that he can now give you directions to his favorite places in the community.

In addition to sports, Colton has shown significant abilities in art, where he focuses on Mickey and Minni Mouse and uses his creativity to transform them into other characters.

“Colton is a funny, creative kid and now he’s part of the Aldi’s grant program where he’s learning to work in the kitchen and prepare his own snacks and meals,” said Emma Collins, Family Support  & Respite Coordinator in the Children’s Department. “And he has a photographic memory, so beware what you say!”

Best of all for Colton’s family is his ability to communicate.

As Colton’s grandmother told us, "I never thought I'd get to hear his voice, and now he says good morning to me every day."

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