WBZ Cares: Boy Communicates Through Eyes Thanks To Franciscan Children's

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Each month, "WBZ Cares" highlights a worthy non-profit organization, and tells the story of what that organization does for the community. This month WBZ is profiling Franciscan Children's in Brighton, serving children and adolescents with complex medical, mental health, and educational needs.  

The Kennedy Day School at Franciscan Children's provides special education, therapeutic and health services to more than 80 students. Bonnie Paulino is the school's the director.

 "We serve children who have significant challenges in learning and mobility and communication," said Bonnie Paulino, the school's director

They have to teach these students basic skills.

"They don’t have a mechanism to stand up and get what they want. They can’t necessarily because of motor difficulties, even point at something they would like to have." Paulino said

 Here's the story about one remarkable Kennedy Day school students who's come a long way. Devin Mears, 21,  has been a student at the school for a number of years. He can only communicate through a laptop on his motorized wheelchair.

"I like to use the computer," Devin said

Devin, who spoke with WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Doug Cope through a machine, explained how what this type of communication has done for him.

"I learned how to read," he said. 

Mears can only communicate through a system they call eye gaze. He looks at the screen, and is able to form sentences. 

Paulino says that he uses a communication system with a synthetic voice output.

"He looks at icons, he uses word prediction, and he can do all his class work right on his system that is attached to his power wheelchair," she said.

For more information about Franciscan Children's, go to franciscanchildrens.org or visit the WBZ Cares page during the month of December.

WBZ NewsRadio1030's Doug Cope Reports

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