Help Elliot Speak!

Can you imagine not being able to communicate any of your feelings, wants, or needs?  Can you imagine being mute except for a few unintelligible sounds, hearing but not understanding, and possessing motor planning problems that keep your hands from forming sign language?  Can you imagine how lonely and frustrating that would feel?

This is what my little nephew, Elliot Daniel Berrier, struggles with everyday.  He is just about to turn 4 years old on October 1st and he is still unable to speak.  This project is to help fund the therapies neccessary for Elliot so he can someday talk, walk, and live life just like any other kid (and someday adult!).  His therapies include speech therapy, occupational therapy, music therapy, and nuerological developmental therapy.  

Here is his story:


Elliot was born October 1st, 2010.  We were so excited about Elliot and still a little shocked.  The pregnancy was a surprise.  His mother (my sister, who was adopted from a Romanian orphange when she was eleven) has extreme developmental disabilities and had become pregnant from her boyfriend who also has developmental disabilities/autism.  We did not even know she was pregnant until she was 5 months along.  In 4 months, there would be a baby.  Because neither of Elliot's parents were capable of caring for a baby, my parents decided early on they would raise Elliot. On that October night, my parents, only a few years shy of 50, entered into Parenthood: Round 2.

Elliot brought so much joy and hope to our family.  Truly our most precious gift.  But my parents were worried.  Elliot was slow to crawl, slow to eat, slow walk, didn't babble much, hadn't started talking, seemed to be clumsier than other children his age.  Finally, Elliot was approved by the State of Oregon to go for a full evaluation at Doernbecher Children's Hospital.  

In February of this year (2014), Elliot received his official diognosis.  He has severe Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Developmental Coordination Disorder, Phonological Disorder, Expressive and Receptive Speech Disorder, and Global Developmental Delay. It was a painful blow to hear the diagnosis list read off that day at Doernbecher and it left our family in tears.  In a nutshell, Elliot would struggle immensely with speech/communcation, as well as motor planning, academics, and social interactions his whole life if he didn't receive intensive early childhood therapy.

His insurance only covers 24 sessions of speech and occupational therapy a year.  Because of the severity of his condition, my parents are told he needs speech therapy 3-4 times a week in addition to other therapies.  Nearly all of Elliot's therapy is currently being paid out of pocket by my parents.  It's great hardship for them as they are nearing their retirement years.  Also, financially they are not able to provide for the amount of therapy needed for Elliot to truly improve.  

Elliot, a sweet boy who loves other kids, who desperately wants friends, tries to talk about his favorite things like trains, cars, and music, loves to play at the park, is left frustrated and isolated because he cannot express himself.  

Our family's prayer is that one day, Elliot will be able to talk.  

Please help that prayer become real and donate to Elliot's therapy fund.  

..."Everything He does is wonderful. He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who cannot speak."
 Mark 7:37-NLT 
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Organizer

Whitney Marie Berrier 
Organizer
Salem, OR
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