Our family’s hero is Michelle Chastain. Michelle is a Speech-Language Pathologist at The Swain Center and has been working with our son, Aidan for 3 years. Aidan has Autism and as anyone can imagine, it is a terrifying diagnosis. When Aidan first starting seeing Michelle, he had a small vocabulary and wasn’t able to put two words together. Very quickly, with her guidance and tough love, we got swift results. I cannot begin to explain how powerful and heartwarming it is to finally hear him say ‘I love you’ to us and to finally be able to communicate with our son. Michelle has also been a great guide to us as parents. New to this scary and unfamiliar world, we we’re lost. She has become much more than Aidan’s speech therapist, but a friend of our family and a great resource for our community.
Michelle, along with other speech therapists at The Swain Center also started a badly needed social skills group for kids on the Autism Spectrum. These kids need this behavior training to make friends and participate on all levels in society. Michelle also walks and raises money for Autism Speaks and collects cans and bottles to earn money for a great program called Paws As Loving Support (PALS), an organization that raises and trains Autism service dogs to work with special needs kids.
I don’t know what KZST thinks, but to us and other families like us, Michelle is our hero!
From Elise Krawchuk