My name is Kristen Kaul and my son, Benjamin Kaul , was a child that received help when he about 2 years old. As a baby, he was diagnosed with laryngomalacia and had issues with his adenoids and tonsils. He had a total of three surgeries and almost died from the laryngomalacia. All of his help started with the Great Falls Scottish Rite Language Clinic. I don’t remember how we found the clinic, but it was an answered prayer. Ben had no words at all, well maybe momma and dada but nothing else. He has two older brothers and of course lots of extended family. None of us really forced the issue and then one day we realized there was definitely a problem. He was even starting to get angry because he couldn’t express himself to us or even ask for a drink. We ended up at the Scottish Rite and we began working with Julie Borgreen and Martha Reeves. Martha was his teacher and she did amazing things with him and with us. She also helped us get Ben into the special education pre-school room at Riverview Elementary School. Between the Scottish Rite and Colette Getten, his preschool teacher, he was being taught how to talk. Julie started by teaching him some basic sign language. He then came home and started to teach all of us. Everything changed in that very moment. He was finally able to communicate with us and that really opened up the world for him. We knew Ben was going to be ok when we could finally put his picture folder away and we didn’t have to carry it with us anymore. We even got to the point where he would not stop talking – ever! Ben worked with Julie and Martha for a while. While he was there, the Great Falls Tribune did an article on Benjamin and the clinic. From there it was picked up by KRTV for the News and the Scottish Rite National Magazine. KRTV came by during the Christmas Party and filmed Ben and the other kids and the National Magazine published the Tribune’s article.
Now let’s fast forward to today. Benjamin will graduate from high school with a 3.4 GPA. Ben has been very active in his school years. He has participated in Graduation Matters, FFA, Leadership High School, Golf, and lots of volunteer activities. He has won several awards and competitions. He has traveled twice to national FFA convention to compete and receive awards. This year has been a big one for him. He won his first AA Golf Tournament, took 5th individual place at State and the boy’s team took 1st place at State. He and his partner won his division for AG Science Fair in Food Products and Processing at State FFA, plus he won gold in his proficiency in AG Mechanics Repair/Maintenance, he also won the Most Inspirational Essay Contest for this district. This just names a few of the great things Benjamin has accomplished. This fall he will start his next chapter by attending the University of Providence with a golf scholarship, majoring in Criminal Justice/Political Science. We are very proud of him and all of his hard work. But as we look back, it becomes very clear that it started with the help of the Scottish Rite Language Clinic’s Julie Borgreen and Martha Reeves as well as Colette Getten from Riverview Elementary School.
I cannot begin to express how grateful we are to the Scottish Rite Language Clinic. Our little blonde haired boy who couldn’t even ask for a drink of water has grown into an amazing young man who has spoken at several big events; all of which could not have happened if he couldn’t talk. What was done for our son will never be forgotten! Thank you for helping all of the children before him; for helping him; and all of the children after him!!
Matt and Kris Kaul