In the summer of 2008, our daughter Tess was diagnosed with a receptive and expressive speech and language delay by our regional center.

As you can well imagine, a diagnosis of a child’s developmental delay is not easy for a parent to contend with. Speech and language is such a vital part of our lives and brings people together in the most fundamental ways, letting us understand one another and the world we live in. The inability to express thoughts, ideas and feelings is like being a prisoner of your own body. Having limited ways to communicate can lead to feeling of anger, sadness and isolation. These emotions can bring about other developmental and behavioral issues. Seeing your child struggle like this is heartbreaking, but knowing there is help is encouraging.

Upon the recommendation of our pediatrician, Tess started speech therapy services and in 2009 through HEAR Center in addition to those she was receiving in preschool. HEAR Center has done an exceptional job with keeping in contact with her school’s speech therapist to make certain that similar goals are set and achieved, and a cohesive effort is made to help Tess progress. And progress she has. Tess really looks forward to her HEAR Center sessions each week and her therapist Lauren and Cassandra have done a terrific job with her. I benefit as well because I watch the speech sessions from a monitor and can then bring the techniques learned to our everyday lives.

Today at five years old, Tess is still significantly behind her peers but she is catching up. She can now let us know when she wants something is hungry, tired or upset, but she can also let us know when she is happy. The most wonderful thing she can tell us is that she loves us. Anyone is a parent know what nothing in life can surpass the absolute joy that the simple words, “I love you mommy” can bring, particularly from a little girl who could not say these words too long ago.

For this and many other reasons, I thank you all for supporting HEAR Center and our family.