Matt loves to read. This 26-year-old young man with SMS spends several days a month reading, playing games, and assisting with show-and-tell with preschool children at St. James Catholic Church.

Sandy, Matt’s mom, knew something was “not right” shortly after Matt was born. But like many, it took 17 years before the doctors put a name to what was causing the developmental delays. “When they finally told us the name, we had never heard of it, but when I went home and looked it up on the internet I knew for sure that’s what he had,” Sandy said. “I ran upstairs and told my husband that we finally had the right diagnosis.”

Matt has always wanted to help little children. After graduating from high school, he asked St. James preschool teacher Terry Ward if he could read to her class. She agreed and says “The kids just love “Mr. Matt.” It’s good for him and good for the kids. He sits in a chair and the kids all gather around him while he reads to them.” Matt spends hours and hours over several days, making decisions on books, treats, and even makes the children little trinkets sometimes.

Matt says that seeing the children smile makes it all worth his time. “I love all of their smiley faces, and they say thank you,” he said. “They are adorable. I like kids. They are all so cute.”

imgSuperkidMHMatt likes to read stories about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Superman and Spiderman, as well as stories about Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving.

Ward says, “He is just the neatest kid. He talks about everyone else and is so interested in other people.  He’s really been an asset to our classroom.”

Matt is a member of Knights of Columbus, a Catholic Fraternal Service Organization that focuses on charity. He recently earned the fourth degree which is the highest degree of the order. He also enjoys working on daily living skills such as laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, and learning how to handle money.

Parts of this article excerpted from the Standard Examiner of Utah.


(excerpted from Spectrum, Vol 15, Issue 1, Winter 2011)