Aaron Springer is a tall, stylish, 26 year-old man with a gentle voice and warm smile. He has an obvious charisma, but is equally observant and reflective, putting you immediately at ease. Aaron is a man of many talents: he’s a photographer; a drummer; a barista; and a painter. But what many people don’t know is that he faced – and overcame – many challenges during childhood. And Boyer Children's Clinic played a big role in his development during his first few years of his life.
Aaron was born three months early at only 2.5 pounds, and spent much of his first year in the hospital. He came to Boyer in the early 1990s for speech therapy, and also participated in the preschool program once he turned 18 months. Now, 24 years later, he’s back at Boyer Children’s Clinic for the first time in decades.
As he tours the clinic, he stops and smiles at a large photograph in the stairwell: it’s an image of him at age two, standing near a basketball hoop. He remembers seeing the same picture at his mom’s house. “It’s so fantastic that this photo is still here,” beams Aaron. “It’s really special.”
Aaron doesn’t remember his time at Boyer beyond the stories his parents have shared, but he does feel strongly about the impact and importance of early intervention services. “I have a cousin with Down syndrome, and between my experiences as a preemie and having a family member with developmental delays, I have a deep love and respect for people of all abilities. Special needs is ‘normal’ in my family, and I learned from early on to judge people by their character rather than how they look on the outside.”
As he walks through the clinic, Aaron is particularly moved while observing a preschool class. “I love seeing the kids and parents working together,” he shares. “I think it’s so important for families to have the opportunity to participate in the classroom because it creates a social environment that everyone deserves to be a part of. It’s so great that kids – and their parents – have a chance to relate and connect in this way.”
Aaron’s experiences as a child with developmental delays are also reflected in his work as a photographer. “I love kids and I love photography, and I feel so fortunate to be able to blend these two passions together. I also understand – on a personal level – the patience and respect that’s needed to work with children with special needs. You have to let things develop how they will, slowly and organically. Just let them be them, and let their personalities come through.”
It was a true privilege for us to reconnect with Aaron, and we’re proud to see what an incredible young man he’s become!