Dallas boy overcomes odds to walk and talk

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by SHELLY SLATER

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaashelly

WFAA

Posted on January 24, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 25 at 11:19 AM

DALLAS - With his parents behind him 100 percent of the way, Charlie Johnson is proving doctors wrong.
 
“We were told he may walk, he may talk,” said Brett Johnson, Charlie’s dad.
 
The neurologist gave no hope because Charlie was born with a cleft palate and brain malformation, affecting all motor skills, including speech.
 
“He had a lot to say and no way to say it,” said Jenny McGlothlin, speech pathologist at the UT Dallas Callier Center.

The therapy looks like play, but it’s strategic and targeted just for Charlie.
 
“He has such motivation to talk,” McGlothlin said. “He wants us to know what he's thinking.”
 
And with that strong work ethic, the Johnson's knew Charlie would reach his potential on his own timeline.
 
“We were going to treat Charlie as if he had no limits until he proved that he did,” Brett said.
 
“I would never say never to any of my children,” Kimberly Johnson, Charlie’s mother.
 
Now 5 ½ years old, that attitude paid off.

Charlie not only walks, he plays sports. He not only talks, but strings together sentences and one in particular hits home.
 
“Frankly the joy of any parent, getting to hear, 'I love you,'” Brett said.
 
And with no shortage of charm, this little man is making his mark, teaching the adults in his life a few lessons of his own.
 
“Patience, unconditional love, hope, and faith…. just, I'm going to get emotional, just so much,” Kimberly explained.

E-mail sslater@wfaa.com

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