TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - The Regional Rehabilitation Center in Tupelo has allowed Chance Summerford to finally be able to enjoy spending time with his family out in public.
"I don't know where we would be," Jessica Summerford, Chance's mother, said.
Before coming to the Regional Rehab for speech and occupational therapy, Jessica said she had to make life-altering decisions to take care of her son.
"The aggression and the behavior with him was so bad from not being able to hear and from me not being able to understand him when he was speaking," she said. "It was so bad that I had to quit my job.”
She added that their family did not know this behavior was caused by not being able to hear, and that a year ago, their family could not enjoy vacations or sporting events together.
“The noise level would hurt him so bad," Jessica said. "He couldn’t handle it.”
"It was hard to transition from the waiting area," Lauren Gann, a speech pathologist said. "He didn’t really want to separate from mom which is normal for little kids. Whenever we would get back here, he just didn’t want to talk to me. He didn’t want anything to do with me.”
Gann started working at the center in June 2019. Chance also started that month. Since then, the two have helped each other grow; Gann in her career and Chance with his speech.
“It’s special," she said. "It really is. Just to be able to have a conversation with him now and understand what he’s saying, and he’s just making so much progress and I’m so proud of him.”
Each week, Gann works with Chance on final consonant deletion.
"So, he tends to leave off the end sounds of almost all of his words," she said.
“Since he’s been able to hear and been able to talk, we can understand him," Jessica said. "He’s doing so much better. He started pre-K this year. It’s a blessing. Regional Rehab Center is a Godsend to our family.”
To help the Regional Rehabilitation Center provide free services like speech and occupational therapy to children like Chance Summerford and his family, you can tune into the Celebration of Hope telethon on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 1 p.m. on ABC-WTVA.