WALKER, Mich. — Kathi DeYoung has made a career out of talking to students as the Speech Language Pathologist for Kenowa Hills Public Schools.  

"When I hang out with them and I spend time with them it's just amazing," says DeYoung.

She says around 100 of her students have communication challenges and some have autism.

"We have students who are completely non-verbal, who don't use any words. They might use behavior instead to communicate, not always positively," says DeYoung.

That's where a 15-square-foot communication board comes into play.

"We often play with our students and we want to know what they would like to do. And so they could say, 'I want slide' or 'I want swing'," says DeYoung.

The idea came from a school in Livonia which has the board installed in their playground. It costs around $500 so Kenowa Hills created a video to help raise the funds.

DeYoung believes the board will have a lasting affect.

"Very positive—it's supporting communication and facilitating that. Engaging all the kids to work together and play together, that's our goal," says DeYoung.

The school has already raised more than half of the money needed. They are hoping to have the communication board installed later this year.

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