Meet Félix Gerardo Arinel
Fèlix is an energetic, 10 year old boy who loves playing outdoors. He has a love for animals and watches the wildlife channel on TV almost everyday. Fèlix already knows that he wants to be an explorer someday. He lives with his two parents who are very supportive of his interests. At a very young age Fèlix was diagnosed with profound hearing loss. Although Fèlix is an ambitious kid, his condition held him back. He has a very hard time communicating, especially with his peers at school. His parents could see his discouragement wearing on his ambition as he grew more and more frustrated with his inability to communicate.
Fèlix is a child who likes to participate in class but I’m not always able to sign with Felix, making it difficult where sometimes we can’t understand each other. I could never figure out the best way to help him as we both grew more and more frustrated.
As Fèlix grew older it became evident that public school wasn’t the right fit for him. His parents enrolled him in a school for the hearing and visually impaired called “Pro Ciegos y Sordos” or “For the Deaf and Blind”. Here, he quickly learned to read and write, and though these aspects of his communication were improving, something was still missing. After years of speech therapy provided by the school, Fèlix was still unable to articulate words correctly. Both Fèlix and his parents were getting discouraged with his inability to speak. Unable to afford any other means of therapy, his parents were at a loss.
We have tried to give our son the best we can. We desperately wanted him to receive speech therapy outside of school, but there was no possible way for us to afford that.
However, in 2015, everything turned around for Fèlix and his family. After hearing about his story, Fèlix was one of the select few chosen to receive a speech therapy sponsorship by FAST. He began working with CompleteSpeech and the SmartPalate and his pronunciation improved very quickly. First, he learned how to pronounce single sounds correctly, and then, after some practice, began producing full words like mom, dad, friend, pencil, and teacher. The frustration of being unable to communicate faded, and Fèlix became the energetic boy everyone knew and loved.
With using the SmartPalate, I learned to speak correctly. Now I can say what I want. That makes me happy!
By the end of 2016, Fèlix was able to say complete sentences like “I want to play with you”, “my house is far”, and “I want to go to the zoo.” Fèlix’s parents are incredibly thankful that their son can finally communicate. In the next three months he is expected to graduate from therapy. The skills he has learned through speech therapy with CompleteSpeech have given him the opportunity to communicate. He now has, in his own words, “a much happier life.” Fèlix is back to being the ambitious child with a bright future ahead of him, thanks to his sponsorship by FAST.