“No, don’t touch my Garny!” Troy P. hollers at the TV whenever the “bad guys” get too close to his favorite player, forward Garnet Hathaway.
Coming up with hockey commentary, saying goodnight to his carefully curated list of favorite players before bed, and listing the entire Washington Capitals lineup by jersey number would be impressive for any four-year-old–but it’s especially impressive for Troy, who has a speech delay.
When Troy went to see his pediatrician for his two-year check-up, his parents, Jenn and Nick, learned that Troy was below the developmental verbal benchmarks for his age. After another evaluation, he was diagnosed with a speech impairment, which affects his ability to verbally communicate. “There are still many sounds he can’t express and say,” Jenn wrote, “and sometimes it is difficult for him and you can tell he gets frustrated.”
Luckily, Troy has his loving parents; a support network of friends and family; dedicated and skilled speech pathologists and teachers; and a hockey community that shares Troy’s passion for the game and welcomes him with open arms.
“Hockey in our family is so much more than just a sport he plays and watches,” Jenn wrote. “We are fortunate enough that Troy found something he loves at such an early age that helps to keep him motivated to continually help him reach new goals in his communication.”