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BRAILLE CHALLENGE: Adel Student Wins Big

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Competing against the best and brightest blind students in the country can be intimidating, but 14-year-old Lauren Thomson says there’s only one thing more distracting than her nerves. Thomson says, “We were all just sitting there laughing and they all had to yell at us for like a minute because we were all just sitting there laughing and not taking the test.”

Despite her inability keep a straight face with her competition, Lauren’s braille skills beat everyone in her age group at the National Braille Challenge.

When Lauren was 4 months old her parents discovered their daughter was different. Lauren’s mother Carrie Thomson, “You always pray that they’re healthy and they have all their fingers and their toes, but we never prayed that she could see. It never even crossed our mind.”

Instead of having her blindness be a barrier they focus on what she can do, which is a lot. Carrie Thomson says, “She loves to swim. She loves to water ski. She loves to snow ski.”

Her parents admit Lauren has her ups and downs, like when she was learning to ride a bike and crashed into the garage door.

Lauren’s father Bryce Thomson says, “Full speed right over the front of the handle bars.”

But like any other teen, she handles it with sarcasm and a sense of humor. Carrie Thomson says, “She gets up laughing and goes well I guess that’s why I won’t drive a car daddy.”

Perhaps, but she can say something almost none of us can say. She’s a national champion.