It Takes a Village to Raise a Child, by Eileen

By September 24, 2019 November 14th, 2019 NVLD Bloggers

Reaching success requires not only hard work on your part but also having support from others in the process. For students with an NVLD this is especially true because of their diverse deficits and strengths. I can’t stress enough how important it is to remember the lessons taught to you by those who helped you through the ups and downs in life to reach success.

The first adult I will never forget is my secondary speech therapist, Patty Bell. She always had such confidence in me. Thanks to this and her incredible teaching style I was able to learn the proper communication skills to navigate life even though the odds were against me learning them. Yes while we did encounter challenges as I was learning how to have a “normal” conversation, understand the importance of eye contact, practicing sounds, and use of the proper tone of voice, we did make a tremendous amount of progress in these areas. Her rich empathy and high level of care allowed for this to happen. Since my schooling I have kept in touch with her and I am proud to say her level of support hasn’t wavered.

Photo courtesy of Eileen

The next two adults I remember for all they did to help me are Jim and Joann Adams. They were personal friends of my parents. They always understood my disability the best since they also raised gifted and special needs children. For example when I was very shy they knew my disability limited my skills to effectively begin a conversation so they always started one with me. Furthermore, if I was using negative self-talk in their presence they knew how to end it in a beneficial way and help me decrease my further use of it. Now, later on in life, they continue to understand the significance of my successes and the disappointment of my failures from their experiences raising their own children.

Weaker social and communication skills are very common characteristics for those with NVLD so having the support of these adults lead me to make impressive gains socially. This was largely due to the personal conversations with the Adams’ and Patty’s incredible work with me. Gaining these skills helped me reached my full potential as they are vital for success. While it’s true their support came mostly during a difficult phase of my life that a part of me would like to forget, I will always remember how they went the extra mile for me. Without their confidence and trust in me I know many of my accomplishments in life wouldn’t have happened.

As you continue to navigate life always  remember the saying “It takes a village to raise a child” and  don’t forget those who are a part of your village. I will always remember Patty Bell and Jim and Joann Adams as they were and still are today a tremendous part of my life. The level of care and support they gave me has helped me be the person I am today.


I will always think the world of Patty Bell, Joann, and Jim Adams! They are truly the best of the best!

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