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How do we change lives? Why donate to us?

Dear Friends, 

The boy in the photo is PJ, one of our patients. At two and half, he was diagnosed with autism and nonverbal. Things have changed…

Sometime back in November I got a letter from PJ’s mom — you can read the full text immediately below.  Reading her letter takes you from her original anguish to her joy of hearing PJ count out loud, “One, two, three” — you can feel her heart skip a beat.

PJs Mom's Letter

My son, PJ, started speech therapy at Sertoma Speech & Hearing Centers in January, 2015. At the time he was 2 1/2 and just 2 months prior diagnosed with autism, nonverbal. Prior to the diagnosis, he had received speech therapy since the age of 15 months through Early Intervention/State of Illinois. He made no progress as far as speech was concerned. 

It was the Developmental Pediatrician during his autism evaluation who suggested I contact Sertoma Speech & Hearing Centers and speak to Dr. Michelle Morrison for a reevaluation and to start services at Sertoma. 

When I made the initial call to Sertoma in November, 2014, Dr. Morrison just happened to be the one who answered the phone. I think that day Dr. Michelle and I spoke on the phone for about 45 minutes. 

When you're a parent of a child newly diagnosed with autism and he is nonverbal, your head is spinning and you don't know what to do or which way to go. That day on the phone with Michelle, something changed. It was the first time since receiving his diagnosis that I finally thought to myself, ‘he's going to be okay’. There was something in her voice that was calming and reassuring. And I'll never forget when she said to me, "It's okay. We'll get him there!"  

We started speech therapy in January and just in September, so 9 months into therapy, my nonverbal child, said “one, two, three” while working on a puzzle during a therapy session with Michelle. As a mother, who has never had her child say,” mom” or “I love you,” trust me when I tell you, that simple counting of  “one, two, three” in context was all I needed. 

If it wasn't for Dr. Michelle Morrison and the entire staff at Sertoma Speech & Hearing Centers I don't know where PJ would be today with his speech progress. But, I have faith and trust that Dr. Michelle will "get him there." 

Now you know how we do it

We change lives with professional speech and hearing therapies, attentive one-on-one care, and by building relationships with our patients. In PJ’s case, we not only changed his life, but also his mom’s, and all those in his family and circle of friends… 

And when you donate to us, your financial generosity helps us change the lives of the thousands of other families we care for every year. It’s that simple, that incredibly powerful. Your gifts change lives.

Please give generously to the 2015 Circle of Care Campaign. Your tax-deductible donation makes it possible for us to rehabilitate thousands of patients annually.

Thank you. 

Dr. Michelle Morrison, Executive Director