Preparing our Children for Educational Success

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Preparing our Children for Educational Success

May 15, 2019

We want to see our children uniquely as we provide the very best care for their particular needs, strengths, and gifts. It’s not a cookie-cutter approach, but one that ensures our children get exactly what they need, as they need it.

Due to past trauma, learning differences, severe malnutrition, or years of missed schooling, our children often need particularized care when it comes to their education. For some of our children, school is an easy fit. They are able to attend our local public schools and they thrive in and out of the classroom. Some of our children need more individualized educational care to help them flourish and reach their academic goals. Our model of care works to see each child uniquely.

Sisipho (name changed for privacy) came to us locked in an internal world due to autism and past trauma. From the moment she arrived to our care, we worked diligently to help her know that she was loved, safe, and belonged. We partnered with incredible therapists who introduced verbal, sensory, and life skill tools to help her engage with the world.

Helping a child succeed in school is often complex and happens over a long period of time as our team works together to ensure our children have the very best chance for long-term academic success.

Every child is unique and worth fighting for.

When Sisipho first came to us, our focus was on helping her settle into family life. We knew that she needed a one-to-one care giver in the beginning due to the fact that she was unable to communicate at all. We gathered a team of medical and early intervention partners to assess this sweet girl to better understand how we could help her thrive.

With the help of our therapists, we realized quickly that a sensory corner would be an important tool to help Sisipho calm down when she felt overstimulated, as children with autism often need extra scaffolding to help regulate. Providing daily sensory routines were just one way we could see Sisipho uniquely and help her feel comfortable throughout the day. We also began working with a speech therapist to help her learn and understand the meanings of words.

All of these interventions were required before we could even begin to explore the idea of introducing Sisipho to a classroom environment.  We knew that she first needed to learn sign language to communicate. Helping her unlock language was the beginning of a life transformed.

Over the past two years, her journey has included so much growth. She can now sign over 100 words and communicate with her House Mommy. Through our partnerships with amazing therapists, she has progressed in occupational, speech, and physical therapies. We’ve used weighted blankets and structured routines to help with sleep schedules, along with swim lessons, special backyard toys, regular therapies and daily exercises to help with her sensory integration needs.

She now attends a larger school that welcomed her and we are able to partner with her teachers and therapists to engage her in learning. She is happy and empowered, and it has been remarkable to see an incredible change in her life. Just last week she loved participating in a cooking class and baking a delicious cake. We love watching her grow, build confidence, and engage with the world around her.

Every child is unique and worth fighting for.

Each of our children come to us with different needs, strengths and gifts. We are passionate about truly seeing each one and offering particularized care so that every child can thrive. It is a gift to be Sisipho’s family and to be a part of her journey.