Franklin was born with hemiplegic cerebral palsy, his childhood doctors did not expect Franklin to walk. The brain damage that caused his learning disability also prevents him from speaking. Franklin has significant paralysis on the left side of his body, and his thin frame makes it uncomfortable for him to sit for long periods of time.
Now a freshman at Havre High School, Franklin has learned to cook, learned to swim, competed in Special Olympics basketball and track and even served as a member of Blue Ponies’ Junior High School football team, attending all the games and traveling with the team to matches across the state. Franklin even runs his own small business, a coffee cart called the “Blue Pony Express” from which he sells morning refreshments to the faculty and students of Havre High School.
“In the three years he’s been here, Franklin has gained 12 years in knowledge and maturity. He has come so far compared to before that, ” said Florence Walter, Franklin’s grandmother and custodial guardian.
Perhaps the greatest obstacle Franklin faced before arriving in Havre was his difficulty in communicating with other people. In 2012, the Havre School District bought the newest upgrade in alternative communication devices: Proloquo2Go. The technology made an immediate difference in Franklin’s life, allowing him for the first time to “speak” with other students and his teachers.