BUFFALO, NY (WKBW-TV) - Like any other four-year-old Riley Aronica is playing, laughing and having a good time. This fall he will be entering Kindergarten but the road here wasn't easy his communication skills are delayed by maybe 1 or 2 years.
"He wasn't talking at 3-years-old," said Samantha Aronica, Riley's mother. "That is when he started saying mommy, daddy, replying to questions he just had no real interest in it."
At just 2-years-old Riley was identified to have speech, motor-skills and cognitive delays.
"We're just really trying to make sure he has all he needs to start kindergarten so he's not starting behind," said Aronica
He was enrolled into classes at the Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center. Riley's mother Samantha says in just two years she has seen a drastic improvement.
"He was able to respond to questions," she said. "He knew some colors, some letters he knew how to spell his name."
The Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center is considered a public school and therefore financed by New York State. This allowed Riley to be tutored, educated and cared for without his parents worrying about how they would pay for it, but it's fundraiser's like their annual black-tie gala on Saturday night that keeps the quality of education focused on the kids
"The gala allows us to support all of our programs especially some which are deficit producing programs," said Joe Cozzo, President and CEO of the Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center. "The gala proceeds go into our foundation."
Riley will now go off to kindergarten in September with a small setback but a full view of a successful life ahead of him.
"That is our goal that is mission accomplished for us," said Cozzo.
"Without their help during the day and their communication with us i have no idea what he would have done," said Aronica.
The Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center will be holding a black tie gala this Saturday, March 3, 2012, at the Seneca Niagara Casino
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