Greetings from the OC Childhood Language Center
Welcome to the RiteCare Childhood Language Center of Orange County where children’s smiles are brighter than the sun. We have two amazing stories to share with you this month but let’s take a look at the numbers first. In January we evaluated four children and all will benefit from the services we provide. 66 children are currently enrolled for weekly therapy sessions with our student clinicians at the CLC. Interestingly we have 3 sets of twins, another 3 siblings in one family and 2 families with 2 siblings each, all enrolled at our Language Center.
Children helping Children!
In this picture we have two young boys, Wade and Elliot, who attend the CLC. They have become great friends by sharing their time at the CLC.
When Wade started attending the CLC, he was non-verbal. His only way of communicating to his parents and teachers was through gestures, head nods, and tantrums. Wade was a very frustrated little boy. The smaller boy, Elliot, only spoke a few select words so a conversation or speaking in sentences was not possible.
These boys became friends in the waiting room. By the end of a 12-week semester, Wade had enough words to “read” a book to Elliot. Elliot thinks Wade is the “coolest dude ever.” Every week, Elliot, with a book in hand, waits for his buddy Wade to arrive to read to him. Elliot is talking more and tells us about the present Santa brought to him at the Scottish Rite Christmas party and he tells us about his new baby sister who will be arriving shortly. These two friends helped each other overcome their challenges and become great communicators.
More Children helping Children!
At a recent Board Meeting for the CLC we learned that more storage was needed to help organize all our equipment and make it more accessible to the student clinicians. This would help to make the therapy sessions more affective if they could easily find the right equipment in a quick manner. A Board Member, Jim Andronaco, quickly volunteered to purchase the wire shelves but now we needed a crew to assemble these at the CLC.
Our new Board Member, Danny Dunn, thought this would be a great opportunity to teach his son, Elijah, about helping others and the importance of giving back to the community. On a Sunday morning Danny and Elijah met at the CLC in Santa Ana to build the shelves. Elijah was fully involved in the entire process. Soon he was leading the effort while Danny was there to help and provide guidance as Elijah continued to build. When we were all finished Elijah looked around the office, he started to ask questions about what happens at the CLC. Danny and his family are very familiar with the challenges of overcoming communication issues, so he was able to remind Elijah about their past experiences. By helping to build these shelves Elijah was now part of something bigger. He was helping to change someone’s life by this simple act of building shelves.
I completely enjoyed meeting Elijah and getting to spend some time with his dad, Danny at the CLC. It is easy to see the love Danny has for his son and the gentle fun way they work together. Elijah is very bright; we had a great conversation on that Sunday. Hopefully I’ll get another chance to work with Danny & Elijah soon.
We had room for three shelves in the conference room area. When the student clinicians arrived at the CLC office the next day they were very excited to pull everything out of boxes and closets and arrange it nicely on the new shelves! All the tools they need are easy to find and are used to help our children and families.
Because of you these great stories are possible. Thank you for all your support!
David Frias 32° KCCH
RiteCare Childhood Language Center of Orange County