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Letter from Jim's Parents

posted Oct 14, 2009, 11:51 PM by Carl McGrath   [ updated Mar 30, 2011, 7:53 AM ]

Jim could not read, write or speak intelligibly when he came at age 6 years to see Dr. McGrath.  Because they had to drive 7 hours round trip to get to our office, Dr. McGrath trained a local SLP so Jim could receive CLARA Therapy closer to their home.


Dear Dr. McGrath;


I would like to thank you for the lasting influence you have had on my son’s life. 


We met [you] when Jim was just 6 years old.  He could not read, write or speak intelligibly and no one could tell us why or how we could help him.  You spent several hours evaluating him and I still cherish the memory of how much fun the two of you had.  When you finished your evaluation, you came out smiling and stated that Jim was a wonderful child.  For someone with such profound disabilities, he had none of the anger or frustrations that are normally present.  You stated that he was willing to work for you as long as you wanted him too, but three hours was enough for one day.  You also laughed at how Jim would take your face in his hands, look you in the eye, and slowly repeat a sentence whenever you had trouble understanding him.  You seemed to genuinely enjoy your time with Jim and care for him as a person and you confirmed what we knew, that he was a smart little fellow.


Over the next several months, you worked with Jim and his speech therapist, [Sheri] from the [Speech Center], teaching both Sheri and Jim the CLARA [therapy] program so that we would not have to drive 7 hours round trip on a weekly basis, for therapy.  This was the turning point in Jim’s life.  You taught him how to learn and from here on he began to stop falling behind his peers and began to make up lost ground.  Your work also helped numerous children in our little school here in [Clinton] through the efforts of [Sheri] as she taught them your CLARA [therapy] program.


As you recommended, Jim was not held back and every year he closed the educational gap between himself and his peers.  In 8th grade he graduated out of Special Ed.
Today Jim is 16, 6 ft 2inches, and in 11th grade.  He has chosen to challenge himself by going to [Gatewood] Academy, a private college prep high school.  The work is very demanding but achievable due to your working with him to develop coping strategies.


Jim has learned how to enjoy reading books, though his true passion is the computer.  He is a marvel with electronics and an incredibly fast typist.  In fact, when he graduated out of 8th grade, the teachers were very sad to see him leave primarily because they didn’t know who was going to fix their computers now that he was gone!  Jim wants to attend College and get a degree in Computer Science.  I know he will get his degree. 


Jim is a different person today because of your investment in his life.  He has maintained his sweet spirit and not become angry or frustrated due to his limitations.  He laughs a lot and has compassion for those he meets. 


Jim, [Jim’s dad] and I want to thank you for your lasting influence on his life.




[Jim’s mom]