About Orion Theodore

Skyler, Orion and Anastasia in Driftwood, TX, 9/28/2014.
Clare Cassidy Photography

Also known as Orion Theodore,
Lovingly called "O-T" most of his first four years, 
Took his first breath the evening of July 19, 2010
Long and lean with snowy white hair and lashes,
Ice-melting smile, rich laughter,
Has a self-amusing sense of humor,
Little brother of Skyler and Anastasia,
Youngest son of Thomas and Heather,
All relocated to Austin from Metro DC Maryland,
His family is Deaf except for his sister,
Profoundly deaf and only his right eye has some light perception,
Plastic jewels we call scleral shells goes over his micro eyes,
Wears white bilateral cochlear implants that frequently fall off,
Enjoys hearing danceable music, rhythm and voices, vocalizing his own sounds,
Predictable tickles, swinging and wind in his hair bring giggles and happy feet,
Would welcome eating cupcake after cupcake with his own hands,
Learns through experience, routines, thus object symbols, touch cues and then tactile signs,
His body does not follow the conventional 24-hour day, 
Often stays/wakes up at night "partying" at Mom and Dad's expense,
He has mild osteopetrosis, also known as dense bones,
Although he can sit, he loves to lay around and lean on people,
He will explore objects within reach,
Especially HOLES,
We need to help him learn to get up, down, crawl and walk,
In spite of loud crying objections during physical therapy,
So he can have stronger bones and muscles
And then explore his world some more!

Created by Mom,
a.k.a. Heather Withrow
January 6, 2013
[Edited March 21, 2013 and January 19, 2016]

Orion's song

Anastasia and I had fun with the Bingo song modified to Orion's song:

There was a little boy with white hair,
And Orion was his name-o,
O, R, I-O-N
O, R, I-O-N
O, R, I-O-N
And Orion was his name-o!

November 2, 2011

Orion with his sibs, Skyler and Anastasia, April 2013.
Photo by Michael J. Samaripa


  1. Hi Heather! My name is Jeni and we have a brand new baby girl who is deafblind...her name is Maggie :) I would love to get into contact with you and talk to you about your experiences with Orion and first steps you took in finding resources for him, learning how to communicate, etc. My email is jenix7@verizon.net or you can find me on FB: Jenifer Hirst Gross.
    Much thanks.

  2. Heather, I am so proud of who you have become, your life with your family is awesome to read. Keep up the good work!. Love and hugs. Darlene Britzius-Nelson

  3. Dear Heather,

    I'm reaching out about a project I believe is near and dear to your heart, one inspired by a moving experience I had with a DeafBlind man years ago and has grown into a true partnership with the DeafBlind community...

    "Feeling Through" is a charitable film project I'm making in association with the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) to promote DeafBlind awareness and authentic DeafBlind representation in media, featuring:

    *A DeafBlind actor cast as one of the leads, the first time a DeafBlind actor will be featured as a lead in a film (we just started casting!).

    *A documentary chronicling the journey of that actor and the unique process of bringing this story to life.

    *A national screening tour with both films accompanied by a panel discussion with prominent members of the DeafBlind community.

    I'm contacting you in particular because we're currently working with HKNC to raise the necessary funds to make this historical project a reality. It's really important that we make DeafBlind community aware of and get them involved in making this happen. I'm hoping that you can donate whatever you can, as well as follow our Seed & Spark page, and urge your network to do the same.

    There's so much more I want to say about this amazing project, but the video on this page explains it clearly and concisely: dougrolandfilms.com. Please take 2 minutes to watch it and let me know how we can work together to spread the word.

    Thank you so much for your time.


    Doug Roland
    Writer/Director - "Feeling Through"


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