Celebration of Hope: The Wiley family

The Regional Rehab Center in Tupelo is helping one local family finally be able to communicate with their son.

Posted: Nov 9, 2020 7:32 PM
Updated: Nov 10, 2020 9:36 AM

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - The Regional Rehab Center in Tupelo is helping one local family finally be able to communicate with their son.

"We first came here when Holt turned two," Kendall Wiley said. "We noticed he wasn't talking a lot and making the normal baby sounds."

Holt Wiley and Anna Claire Jackson during a session.

Holt Wiley is receiving speech therapy at the Regional Rehabilitation Center.

Holt Wiley started getting speech therapy from Regional Rehab three years ago. 

He first began with basic play therapy to get him to start talking.

"We got to one point when he just took off and started talking and didn't stop," she added. "So that was good. Then we had to work on his sounds and articulation."

Holt Wiley now does speech therapy with Anna Claire Jackson, a speech-language pathologist at the Center.

"He's substituting sounds and simplifying his speech," Jackson said. "So one of the goals we are working on today, it's a pattern called 'cluster reduction.' So when you have a consonant blend, like 'spider,' he's simplifying that word and saying 'cider.'"

Jackson said Holt Wiley made a lot of progress in improving his speech. She can now understand approximately 95% of his words.

"He's made so much progress, it's been really rewarding to see the confidence that's come out in him," Jackson added.

Kendall Wiley said her son now has a sister taking speech therapy at the Center as well.

During the last three years of Holt Wiley's therapy at Regional Rehab, the therapist added occupational therapy also.

Like all the services at Regional Rehab, it's free of charge to the family.

"Honestly, I don't think we would have speech twice a week, and occupational therapy and our other daughter also having speech too if we were having to pay for all the sessions," Kendall Wiley said. "The fact that they [Regional Rehab] can do that and provide that to Tupelo is a huge blessing."

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