Siblings Kendra, Evie and Samuel have all successfully battled through speech delays with the help of AEA employees. Photo submitted by their mom, Jennifer TenKley.

Jennifer TenKley is very appreciative of AEA staff members, Lynn Cole and Meg Otto, for the services they have provided her three children: Samuel, Evie and Kendra. The children attend school in the South O’Brien Community School District and all displayed speech delays.

Lynn is a speech-language pathologist and Meg is an early childhood special education teacher, both at Northwest AEA. Without them, Jennifer says she believes her kids may have needed to learn sign language and fears they would be struggling with communication.

Both Samuel and Evie have “graduated” out of therapy, and youngest child, Kendra, is almost done with speech services. She can communicate much more clearly than in the past.

“Kendra has a hard time being understood by people; and when they ask her to repeat, she gets shy and doesn't want to talk,” Jennifer explained. “I hope that someday…she will be better off with talking to people.”

Jennifer believes the services of the AEA, along with the help of the school district, has helped her kids down the path of success.

“I would just like to thank everyone who has touched my children’s lives with their kindness and help. I couldn't thank any of you guys enough for everything you did and keep doing for my children,” said Jennifer. “It means the world to me as a mom that you guys work so hard for kids.”