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Callier Center for Communication Disorders

Patient Stories

Brock's Story

Brock Burson is 4 years old and has Autism Spectrum Disorder. He participates in Callier's Early CLASS program, a classroom-based speech, language and communication program for children ages 2 ½ - 5 years with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

"This clinic, this building, this area is an absolute blessing to the Dallas community. It's just victory after victory every day." – Dustin Burson, Brock's father

Malcolm's Story

Malcolm is 19 years old and has high functioning autism. He benefits from individual speech-language therapy, which has helped him progress in his understanding of language and his ability to communicate more effectively with his family and friends.

"I'd always heard about Callier. To me, they understood the true meaning of a communication disorder. I don't think I got that anywhere else." – Terry Dewberry, Malcolm's Mother

Bev's Story

Bev Cavitt is a retired French teacher. She has primary progressive aphasia, a neurological syndrome that results in impaired language capabilities and eventually impaired cognition. Bev is enrolled in the Communication Learning Program (CLP), where she participates in individual and group activities that help her with reading, writing, speaking and listening.

"Callier has really changed my life. It has helped me so much." – Bev Cavitt

Howard's Story

Howard Palmer has cochlear implants as a result of profound hearing loss in both ears. Mandy and Jaime Palmer, Howard’s parents, discovered his hearing loss when he failed the newborn hearing screening in his left ear. The Palmers were referred to the Callier Center, where Howard receives a continuum of care including audiology services through the Cochlear Implant Program, speech-language therapy, and deaf education in the Callier Child Development Program.

Howard has made progress in all areas of development. He is able to communicate better with his teachers and his peers, and he is able to express his emotions appropriately.

“I don’t know that there is a better place for us and for Howard than Callier. It was the best decision we ever made.”
– Jaime Palmer, Howard’s father

Bailey's Story

Bailey Turfitt was diagnosed with progressive hearing loss in both ears as a result of Enlarged Vestibular Aqueducts (EVA) at the age of two and a half. She received the diagnosis after her parents noticed that her speech was not developing properly. Just before she turned three, Bailey was fitted with her first pair of hearing aids. After receiving the aids, Bailey’s parents enrolled her in a preschool for children with communication disorders. The early intervention allowed Bailey to mainstream into kindergarten.

When Bailey was six years old, her family moved to Dallas. She began a lasting relationship with the Callier Center where she received pediatric hearing aid services throughout her childhood. Living with a hearing impairment is difficult, but Bailey has refused to let that stop her from enjoying two of her passions: theater and music.

"The reason I am able to speak with you today is a direct result of my extensive speech therapy, provided by Callier. I’m excited for what the future holds for me and many others who are fortunate enough to have Callier as a resource." Bailey Turfitt

Sydney's Story

Sydney Morris is 3 years old and has Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Her parents noticed that she was not meeting her developmental milestones in her first year. She was not making eye contact, was nonverbal and seemed detached. She did not want to interact with other children and acted as though they did not exist.

Sydney began therapy at Callier in the Preverbal Communications Program, where she focused on social interaction, pretend play and functioning within a group. When her language began to develop, she transitioned into the Early CLASS, where she works on eye contact, conversation, pronouns and pretend play with a deep communications focus. Her parents say that as a result of Callier's autism preschool programs, Sydney has "blossomed into enthusiastically participating in all aspects of interaction and play."

"To watch my child play and interact with other kids, I can't describe really how much that's meant. I think that is a direct result of her experiences at the Callier Center." — Susan Morris, Sydney's mother

Rhoni Golden Speaks on Autism

Rhoni Golden is a certified assistive technology practitioner, former physical therapist, blogger, mother of three children, and an advocate for her son, Gray, who was diagnosed with severe autism at 19 months old and apraxia of speech at age 3.

In this video, Rhoni shares her personal journey of navigating her son's treatment and care towards the goal of a happy and fulfilling life.

"During Gray’s time in the Preverbal Communications Program and the Early CLASS preschool program, I always felt confident that I was placing my son in the hands of experts who based their recommendations and treatment plans on solid research-backed evidence." — Rhoni Golden

Caroline's Story

Caroline Johnson had a stroke in utero and developed hydrocephalus, the buildup of fluid in the brain. The prognosis was that if Caroline were to live, she would not eat, hear or talk — basically be a vegetable. Fortunately, this was not the outcome.

Speech-language therapist Jenny McGlothlin works with Caroline at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders to help her with a motor speech disorder called dysarthria. Dysarthria results from impaired movement of the muscles used for speech production, including the lips, tongue, vocal folds and/or diaphragm.

“When we first came to Callier, and I were to see Caroline now, I think I would be blown away by her speech and how far she’s come. I can’t put into words how much Callier has helped Caroline and our family, and the tools that she leaves with to go out into school that she really does carry with her are just invaluable.” — Leigh Johnson, Caroline’s mother

Purity Macharia Receives the Gift of Hearing

Imagine trying to hear a conversation through heavy-industrial earmuffs — the kind used for jack-hammering or hunting.

The noise may reach your ears, but understanding speech is nearly impossible.

For one young girl, this kind of muffled and unintelligible noise was her reality. Born with a medical condition called congenital aural atresia with microtia, Purity Macharia, 5, has malformed outer ears. The opening to the ear canal — the tunnel which allows sound to travel to the middle and inner ear — is completely closed. Her inner ear is perfectly healthy and capable of receiving sound. Read More and Watch the Video

Purity Macharia
“[The Callier Center] has been there for us since the first day. She was little and we came here and they tested her and, since then, they’ve been there for us, helping us with the resources. It’s a lot of stress — a load taken off.” — Mary Mwaura, Purity's mother

Terry Price Shares His Battle with Tinnitus

Terry Price, Director of Music at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas and Callier grateful patient, shares his battle with tinnitus.

Terry's tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, began after a recording session at Abbey Road Studios in London where he conducted members of the London Philharmonic in 1983. The sound never went away, but fortunately, it was only a minor annoyance, until a few years ago when the sound became unbearably loud, and music began to distort.

Price visited different doctors, received MRIs and brain scans, tried meditation and acupuncture, but his tinnitus just got louder. When he was referred to the Callier Center, he received treatment that changed his life.

"In my opinion, you could go all around the world and not find better care or treatment options than those offered at the Callier Center." Terry Price

Breaking Through

Andy Cobb's parents didn't know he was deaf until he was 2.

The diagnosis of hearing loss led to the Callier Center where a technological breakthrough made a difference in how his life and his family's unfolded. Researchers in schools and centers across the University collaborate on defeating barriers to communication––from tinnitus in military veterans to language deficits in small children to
apraxia of speech in stroke victims. Read More

Breaking Through

Share Your Story

We want to hear your story. Sharing your story helps other children and adults know that they are not alone.
It also helps the community understand how their support of Callier significantly impacts a patient's life.
Together we can transform lives forever!

Step 1: Share your story.
Step 2: Email your story, or mail your story to:

Office of Development
Callier Center for Communication Disorders
1966 Inwood Road
Dallas, Texas 75235

For more information, contact: 214-905-3097

Share Your Story