Fund A Dream Through the Annual Campaign

Posted on May 4th, 2018 at 12:01 PM
Fund A Dream Through the Annual Campaign

The 2018 Annual Fund campaign is helping to fund many dreams for children and adults at the Barber National Institute.  Here is one of those dreams:

When Jose smiles, his teachers and therapists can’t help but smile back.  It’s a beam that lights up his whole face, and it is seen a lot these days.  Just a few months ago, however, that wasn’t the case.

Jose was a typical pre-teen when, suddenly, his life was changed forever in 2016.  While out riding his bike, he was struck by a car and suffered devastating injuries that left him unable to speak or walk.

When he started attending the Elizabeth Lee Black School last spring, he was not able to interact very much with staff or students.  Even getting him to hold an object was a challenge.  Therapists were looking for ways to help Jose interact at home and in school. “But he often became very frustrated because he could not communicate his needs,” said occupational therapist Amanda Schleicher.

After weeks of working with him, Carly Stewart, Jose’s speech therapist, noticed that he began to understand more of what was being said to him, and she focused on helping him find the right way to respond.  “I remember the first time he tried to get my attention and said ‘Hey!’  I was so excited,” said Carly.  

In December, Carly started training Jose on a new communication device that is customized with topics relating to his favorite activities at school and home, as well as other questions and responses that he commonly uses.

Through intensive work with his therapists and teachers, Jose is now holding a marker and writing his name, and requesting many of the things that he wants.  With his verbal and receptive language growing, therapists hope he will also be able to recover some reading and math skills. 

“The progress over the past year has been amazing,” said Carly.  “When he started, his expression was very flat, and we barely got him to laugh or smile.  But being able to communicate has made a lot happen.  He gets proud of himself, just as proud as we are of him.

“He just amazes me every day.”

To help make tomorrow's dreams come true, please donate now to the 2018 Annual Fund campaign.

 

Photo: Jose plays a game of basketball with teacher Craig Allegretto.

Photo Cutline:  Jude and Dawson Hanson were ready to start preschool after receiving therapies through the Bright Beginning Early Intervention services.

Additional Photos

Jude and Dawson Hanson were ready to start preschool after receiving therapies through the Bright Beginning Early Intervention services.