As the parent of a young college student with high-functioning Autism, I’m thankful for the dedicated special education professionals who work with a most needy and difficulty student population. My son was driven to clinical depression (1st & 3rd grades – shame on them) in a “good” neighborhood charter school.
Teachers there refused to work with IEP required therapists, or provide the modifications and accommodations required so he could succeed (I don’t do that in MY class). I found a little non-public school outside our district as no other options nearby had openings, appropriate settings, or wanted our child. I drove a 75 mile round trip – twice a day for 7 1/2 years to this little non-public school “that could”.
I am forever grateful for the owner/administrator, the teachers and aides for giving my son the chance he deserved. When he was placed, he hit, kicked, screamed, bit people and threw things (all learned at the charter school – he never had such violent outbursts at home until treated so badly). It took one full year before he realized he was “safe” and could sit and attend in class.
Once he realized it was ok to be himself, he learned and has been an A/B student ever since. He is now in a community college, takes the bus by himself and is very proud (as are his parents) of his accomplishments. He worked hard, but could not have been able to do so without those wonderful people who gave him the confidence to believe in himself.
I continue to work with other families of students with disabilities in K-12, because I believe all students have the potential to succeed if we allow them the tools to do so. My son is a sign of hope for the success of their children.
I have no idea what he’ll end up doing as a profession, but I know he’ll be happy and feel proud in whatever he accomplishes. He could not have come so far without that little non-public school.
Thank you for giving my son his future.
By Sonja L
Submitted By Ken Brzezinski
* Stories From the Heart is an ongoing series of user contributed heart warming stories, that shine light on the Autism and special needs experience.