Jeremy Finds His Voice

November 1, 2011

“He smiles and he holds his device out, and he presses it so that you can hear it clearly. He just has this big smile on his face,” recounted Linda Friel, a Speech Pathologist at Elim Christian Services. Linda is talking about Jeremy, a young man at Elim who requires the use of a communication device. Christine Scholma, Jeremy’s teacher, remembered, “When Jeremy came to my classroom last Fall, he would get very frustrated that I struggled to understand his speech.”

With the use of his communication device Jeremy, “is able to use it to clarify himself when he is misunderstood,” said Scholma. But, Jeremy has gone well beyond using his device just for clarification. Sharon Maack-Connolly, the Assistive Technology coordinator at Elim, matched the device with Jeremy. She’s excited to see that now, “Jeremy makes a point of going out of his way to use his communication device to pay you a compliment.” Pushing his potential in class, “Jeremy is typically the first one to raise his hand. He’s grown into a leader. He definitely understands that this is an extension of his voice,” says Maack-Connolly.

Jeremy’s teacher, Scholma, commented as well on his wide usage of the device in the school and community to, “socialize, answer questions, participate in activities, and create complex sentences to make sure his thought is understood.” As Jeremy has grown during his time at Elim, so have his skills with his communication device. Today, he is free to express his own thoughts and opinions.

Jeremy is reaching his own God-given potential through opening his own door to others with his device. Often times you may forget just how lost you may be without the ability to express yourself to others, As for Jeremy, “He really does see how important it is, the value of communicating,” says Maack-Connolly. Christine Scholma went further to explain, “This tool will help to build his confidence over time and will benefit him in his future pursuits as well.” We can all share in the pride and joy that Jeremy feels with his ability to communicate. Your gifts give Jeremy and other students at Elim Christian School the gift of communication through Assistive Technology. Give a life-changing gift to support this program today!

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