The San Diego RiteCare Legacy Circle recognizes individuals and families who have designated a gift to the San Diego RiteCare Childhood Language Center through their estate. This includes gifts through wills and bequests, revocable living trusts, charitable remainder or lead trusts and gifts of retirement assets or real estate. Your Legacy Circle membership helps us to ensure the continued success of students like Ophelia and their families.
Ophelia first came to the San Diego RiteCare Childhood Language Center at 2 ½ years of age. Prior to coming here, she saw a few other speech-language pathologists, but little progress had been made. Although Ophelia understood everything that was said to her, she only had 70 words that she could say and most of those words were difficult to understand. For example, she called a necklace a “nay nay.” Her mother, who was with her throughout the day, could only understand about 10% of what Ophelia said. When Ophelia tried to string words together, most everything came out like “t” and “d.” She only had 7 different consonant sounds that she could produce and only a handful of vowel sounds. The family and Ophelia were quite frustrated.
After working with Ophelia for a short period of time, I diagnosed her with a speech disorder known as Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). For children with this disorder, the brain has problems planning to move the body parts needed for speech. The child knows what she wants to say, but her brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements to say those words. While Ophelia’s parents were relieved to finally have an explanation for what was causing Ophelia’s speech difficulties, they were scared about whether she would ever be able to speak like other children her age.
Ophelia participated in intensive therapy at our Center, twice per week, with strategies specific to children with CAS. Progress was slow and steady as we worked on words and sounds session after session, gradually adding new targets. Ophelia’s mother sat outside the therapy room, listening in to each and every session over the next 2 years. She cheered as Ophelia learned to say new sounds and cried tears of joy as Ophelia said words and sentences the family never thought she would be able to say.
The amount of progress that Ophelia made during her time at the San Diego RiteCare Childhood Language Center is amazing! She is now a non-stop talker who loves chatting about her siblings, puppy, and princesses. Best of all, everyone can understand what she is saying! She can now produce every vowel and consonant speech sound that a child her age should be able to produce. Her love of jewelry continues, as she enjoys complimenting everyone on their necklaces. However, she now talks about necklaces using full sentences and perfect speech sounds as she says the word “necklace.” Ophelia will start kindergarten this fall and I am confident that her speech and language skills will no longer hold her back!
To become a member of the San Diego RiteCare Legacy Circle, please send a copy of the page that names the San Diego RiteCare Childhood Language Center in your estate plan to Caitlyn McTaggart, Director of Business Development, at:
If you have already included the San Diego RiteCare Childhood Language Center in your estate plan, please let us know! Contact Caitlyn McTaggart, Director of Business Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can ensure that you receive the recognition you deserve for providing our children with the gift of a lifetime.