Before I share with you the charitable organization that I want to highlight today, I want to tell you a story about this beautiful boy. He is my son, Mason.
Let me preface this story a bit. When I was very young, right after I learned to talk, I became deaf. It wasn’t caught right away, as I got in trouble for sitting too close to the TV, saying “what” too much, and not doing as I was told. It wasn’t truly discovered until my mom yelled at me and I kept yelling back that I couldn’t hear her. My problem was diagnosed and taken care of quickly before it could lead to any developmental concerns, likely because my language had developed prior to the onset. Tubes were put into my ears to drain the fluid building up and blocking my ability to hear.
My son suffered from the same thing, but it happened before he learned to speak, so we did not catch it right away. One day we realized that when he said, “Wawoo,” he was really saying his own name. Wawoo was a far cry from Mason, and we realized many words he tried to say, like his little brother’s name, “Jaw-dee,” almost sounded like he was speaking underwater. We tried to get doctors to address our concerns, but they seemed to think it wasn’t a problem. We wouldn’t give up. Finally, we took my son to the same doctor who put tubes in my ears when I was a kid. The problem was quickly identified and Mason got his tubes.
From that point, things were better, but he still had difficulty learning to speak correctly because he had already started developing language when he couldn’t hear properly. From the ages of three to five, Mason was bussed to a public school that offered speech therapy. We were very lucky that we qualified for such a benefit and that our area serviced it. Some people in similar situations are not so lucky.
By the time Mason was five-years-old, he seemed to show no signs of having any speech difficulties in the past. This is super important, as that is the age kids begin real school. Mason seemed to be worlds ahead of the other kids in his first grade class because he had already spent two years in school.
Having speech difficulties in these early years can be so detrimental to the self-esteem, self-efficacy, and learning ability of a young child. That is why this charitable organization is so important to me.
I belong to the Pasadena Scottish Rite, so it is not unusual that I would support this charity. It likely is unusual that my family has had the need for such a charity to exist in our lives. As I said before, we were lucky to have such public services in our area, but not everyone is so lucky. Those who aren’t so lucky can come to the Childhood Language Center.
The following information is taken directly from the website:
The center provides services to preschool children 18 months to six years. There are no geographical restrictions, however our focus is on Pasadena and surrounding communities.
We do not provide long-term services to children who are already receiving therapy, who are eligible for intensive special education services through the public schools, or who have a primary diagnosis other than specific language impairment.
Parents may telephone to schedule an evaluation appointment.
Phone number: 626-564-8947
Fax number: 626-564-8056
e-mail: kidstalk @ pacbell.net
Office Coordinator: Becky Griffiths
The center is open the full calendar year, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
All services are provided free of charge. Tax deductible donations are gladly accepted.
Please visit their page and support this wonderful cause. I am currently working on a fundraiser to support them, and I will let everyone know when that is ready.
Also, please let me know of any charities you would like me to highlight.
Fraternally and Sincerely.
Jared K. Chapman