West Texas Rehab Center - Language delay to linguistic success

Abeline_Saturday will be the West Texas Rehabilitation Center's 38th Annual Telethon, airing on your 7News station.  In honor of the great service the center provides, we are bringing you inspirational success stories from patients who benefit from the therapy they provide.

Kendall Hastings has a speech delay.  His mother brought him to the center for speech therapy, and after just three short months, Kendall is speaking already.  He's an average two-year-old - he plays, he laughs, he runs around.  But, there's one thing he doesn't do - speak like the average toddler.  "He has a language delay," says Speech Pathologist Lexi Bone.  "When Kendall wants something, he doesn't have a way right now to tell his mom what he wants."

As any parent could tell you, this problem makes communicating with a child frustrating, and sometimes heartbreaking.  "I want to give him what he wants, and if I can't understand what he wants, then yeah, that makes it hard," says his mother, Krystal.  "It's like having a 1-year-old when he's 2-and-a-half."  

At the West Texas Rehab Center, Kendall and his mother work with a speech pathologist.  They use objects and signs to develop his language skills.  The great thing about this type of therapy is that it's work that doesn't seem like work.  "We work on getting him to follow directions, name toys and objects that we're playing with or that I present to him," Bone says.

Krystal says it's not the typical experience of a child's visit to the doctor, which can be a scary experience.  "They come here, and they like it," she says.  "They get excited, and they get to play."  This fun work has made a world of difference.  "Even just the word 'more', that's a great thing," says Krystal.  "If he can just go like this to me and tell me 'more', and I know...because most of the time he would just get frustrated." 

For something as simple as 'more', Krystal is grateful to the West Texas Rehab Center, and all those who make what they do possible.  "Thank you, because without them there's a lot of children that wouldn't be able to learn walking or talking," she says.  "They help me learn how to understand him."

Kendall will continue to go to the center for as long as it takes Kendall to improve his speech.  Some spend years - even decades - seeking help from the center.  The West Texas Rehab Center says that's exactly why they are there: to help those who need it, for as long as they need it.