Antoinette Laughlin

Elks donation opens door for family looking for speech therapy

A quest to find a speech therapy program to help Antoinette Laughlin's child learn to speak has brought the family to a Seattle, Wash...

A quest to find a speech therapy program to help Antoinette Laughlin’s child learn to speak has brought the family to a Seattle, Wash. clinical program – one where costs are not covered by Alberta Health Services. The Stettler Elks stepped in to help shoulder the costs.

Every step of Laughlin’s child’s development, from the first kick in the womb until the first step, was met with excitement. That is, until her beautiful child didn’t speak.

The delayed speech eventually led Laughlin and her family to work with a therapist, undergoing “intensive and extensive” speech therapy. Despite that, Laughlin’s smart and growing child still had trouble communicating and speaking. Now a teenager, the younger Laughlin is shy but happy, she said.

A program in Seattle, Wash., offers hope for the family and they’ll be leaving for the first session later this month. The cost of the treatment is about $5,000, but that doesn’t include the costs associated with the treatment – multiple trips to Seattle, lodging, time off work, travel documents and so forth, none of which is covered by Alberta Health Services. Nor is the treatment itself.

That’s where the Stettler Elks stepped in.

“We’re always willing to help families, especially in medical situations, when they can’t afford it themselves,” Clive Spechko, leading knight of the Stettler Elks, said.

Spechko and Phil Holton presented Laughlin with a cheque for $1,000, and has helped Laughlin apply to the national Elks organization for further assistance.

The female branch of the Elks, the Royal Purple, is also looking into ways it can help the family.

For Laughlin, it’s almost too much.

“The speech pathologist told us early on if it didn’t work, to approach the Elks for help,” Laughlin explained. “She said they did lots of work with speech and hearing.”

Laughlin made presentations to both the Elks and the Royal Purple branches in Stettler, but said it wasn’t easy to go before the two groups despite how welcoming, friendly, and comforting everyone has been.

“It’s asking for more when I already have so much,” Laughlin explained, tearing up.

“I am humbled and overwhelmed with gratitude for the community in which we live,” she said. “And for the dedicated men of the Elks who spend their time volunteering, raising money to help in situations like these.”

The family has high hopes for the treatment in Seattle, trips they said they wouldn’t have to be making if the same sort of clinical option was available here in Alberta.

Just Posted

Local team wins Halkirk Seniors bonspiel

Yoga classes available in Halkirk area

Parental guide to “Hour Zero” program released

Clearview Public Schools advises parents what to in an emergency

Endiang floor curlers participated in Halkirk Valentine-themed bonspiel Feb. 15

Lots of clever Byemoor people escaping winter to warm destinations

Town of Stettler approves 2018 Capital Budget in the amount of $6,110,582

A new pathway, upgrades to the SRC, and utility and road work improvements are expected this year

Just stop the political correctness stupidity

Seriously, stop ‘peoplekind,’ leave the anthem alone

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates one year out from 2019 Canada Games

Community gathers at Great Chief Park to commemorate Games milestone

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Toddler missing as flooding forces thousands from their homes in Ontario

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

BC Wine Institute to take legal action against Alberta

The BC Wine Institute to seek injunction to protect B.C. wineries from Alberta wine ban

Trudeau reiterates denial of Sikh separatists in cabinet, condemns extremism

“We will always stand against violent extremism, but we understand that diversity of views is one of the great strengths of Canada.”

Canada wins gold in men’s ski cross

Leman earns redemption with ski cross gold; Homan out early

Trump says more must be done to protect children

In a tweet Tuesday night, Trump indicated he wants to strengthen the background check system, but offered no specifics.

Most Read


Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.