Jamal’s Story

Feb 15, 2024 | Stories

Valentine’s Day puts the focus on romantic love and connections, but there are many kinds of connections worth highlighting! That’s why we chose this month to share the story of a special connection that our SLP, Marshall, built with his student, Jamal.

Jamal is a sophomore in high school and has been receiving speech and other special education services since 2015. He has worked on goals like using irregular verbs in his writing and now is working on some higher-level language skills like identifying figurative language in texts he reads.

When he first started coming to sessions with Marshall, Jamal seemed embarrassed that he had to be pulled out of class. He shared that he thought needing therapy meant he “wasn’t smart.” After a few months of working together, Jamal started stopping by Marshall’s office before his first class at the beginning of the school day. When Marshall asked Jamal why this was, he said, “Because you’re nice to talk to and you give good advice. You sound like you care a lot.”

Because of the relationship Marshall has built with Jamal, his confidence and performance in class have blossomed. Last semester, Jamal made the honor roll and was talking about becoming a chef. This semester, he continues to work hard to improve in his classes, even in ones that he doesn’t enjoy. In recent morning visits, Jamal has started talking about college and what the future may bring. Jamal even made a special request that Marshall remain his speech teacher until he graduates in two years!

CHAT’s emphasis on relationships and rapport makes stories like this possible. CHAT SLPs are out there every day making connections and immeasurable impact on children’s lives all over Chicagoland.  

Help us give the gift of communication to more children like Jamal. Donate to our scholarship fund today.