Devin’s Story

“Like his hero, James Bond, Devin wants to investigate all the possibilities.” But that wasn’t always the case.

Over ten years ago, the Cambridge Public Schools and Devin’s parents sought a school placement to address Devin’s multiple special educational needs. Their search led them to the Kennedy Day School at Franciscan Children’s.

At an early age, Devin’s mom could see that he was not developing at the same pace as other babies. And that is when the family journey began. Devin was diagnosed with choreoathetosis, which causes uncontrollable muscle movements in his arms and legs. That meant seemingly simple movements like pointing or reaching for an item, were met with involuntary movements triggered in his hands, arms, trunk, legs and face. While able to understand speech, Devin could not speak and active communication and participation was very hard work.

At age six, Devin seemed resigned to the fact that his life would be filled with obstacles and he wasn’t sure if it was worth the effort.

Fortunately, the Kennedy Day School at Franciscan Children’s believed nothing was impossible for Devin.

Devin and his family saw children with all ranges of needs, complexities and disabilities learning, interacting and living their best life . They knew that this was the place Devin needed to be. At age six, Devin enrolled as a student at the Kennedy Day School and began a bright future filled with possibilities.

With his care team of teachers, nurses, specialists and therapists all working together, Devin’s attitude and drive to achieve began to turn around. He was able to use technology to access new and varied educational materials.  With these supports he started to overcome the obstacles that once left him sidelined.

On any given day, Devin now whizzes through the halls of Franciscan Children’s on his bike, serenades his classmates and he even showed off his dance moves at the prom. Technology plays a big roll in Devin’s life – he uses a power wheelchair he controls himself by moving his head and he has a portable computer speech system that lets him communicate with his friends, family and classmates.

With the help of Franciscan Children’s and the support of his family, Devin was given the encouragement support, confidence and tools he needed to become independent, to communicate with others and enjoy his life. What’s possible? For Devin, the possibilities are just beginning.

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