There's Still a Place for Him

I had a gut feeling that my son was slightly different from other kids his age and, despite my reservations, I pursued a clinical evaluation of his developmental progress when he was 19 months old.  

When I opened the evaluation report, I was surprised by how emotional it made me. It’s just very strange to see this cute, wonderful, little boy summed up for someone else’s judgement in black and white words on two pages. You can know that he doesn’t pay attention well, because you see it in practice—but I can’t tell you what seeing it in paper does.

This applies to my child. My perfect, beautiful, sweet, kiss-you child. This word is summing up my child?

With help from family and friends, I processed my son’s complex diagnoses and began pursuing a treatment plan. Through the state of Vermont, Danny was given a general therapist, case manager, behavior specialist, general development specialist, speech therapist and occupational therapist. But in addition to these services, we’ve seen great progress in Danny’s development since he was enrolled at Mt. Snow Child Care, a high-quality program in West Dover.

I just can’t say enough about the professionalism and skill that the staff at MSCC brought to Danny’s care there. It’s a much more integrated approach here. State recommendations have been very very adhered to and incorporated.

In Danny’s time there, under the instruction of his beloved teachers April and Chris (as well as others), he has made great behavioral and intellectual strides. Danny’s speech has exploded and his teachers have worked with him on impulse control as well. The behavior help is not something I could have provided at home. They don’t let things slide, so he gets lots of practice. I don’t know that the behavior issues would have corrected themselves had it not been for the ‘above and beyond’-type stuff that they do.

The progress that Danny has made under the guidance of these dedicated early childhood professionals makes me so hopeful for his future. One thing they’ve done a really good job with is giving him a toolbox. My hope for him is that he’s able to take those skills and apply them. He’s already flagged for high-risk for suicide, drug use, violent behaviors, oppositional defiance and general substance abuse on his IEP. My hope is maybe those things aren’t going to be a problem for him. Maybe he’s not going to be that 15 year old that feels so angry because he feels stupid. That is what my hope is for him, that he is competent and confident and OK with the fact that maybe he can’t focus like the kid sitting next to him, but there’s still a place for him.

~Allison, West Dover