How Years of Educational Support Have Made a Young Lady a Shining Star
With my friends blessing and permission, I would like to share briefly the story of her daughter's academic journey from the time she started nursery school to the present.
As Lana was growing in her mother's womb, Tessa somehow knew that this little baby was going to be a very special child. During her pregnancy, she would lay on her couch and watch the activity level as her belly was constantly in motion--Lana was either flipping, kicking, elbowing, stretching around--it seemed non-stop and Tessa knew that this was going to be a very busy and active little baby. This little girl definitely had her own agenda, so much so, that she decided that she was going to enter the world a month earlier--obviously, she got tired of the crammed quarters.
As Lana was growing, they enrolled in a mom-tot program when she was around 2 since she was such an active little girl and needed more stimulation than her mother could provide at home. Tessa noticed that when it was time for the children to sit in a group, that Lana could never sit still--she always took off. This was the first sign that made Tessa concerned. After several weeks, the pattern did not change. She was always a very active and busy little girl. Lana also had delayed speech, and saying a simple word as cat was a struggle for her.
One the referral of her pediatrician, they went to see a developmenal doctor, who after spending many hours and sessions with Lana, diagnosed her as a hyperactive child and one who had speech development delays. A year later she was officially diagnosed as having ADHD.
Tessa enrolled her in a small nursery where she got a lot of one on one attention and after several months, the teacher said that she was concerned about Lana's fine motor skills.
To make a long story short, Lana was seeing a speech and occupational therapist for many years.
She was never on any kind of medication, but had unconditional support from her family and teachers.
When she entered Senior Kindergarten, she had for two years an Educational Assistant by her side.
From the time she started grade 2 until mid grade 4 she was going for additional support outside her regular class for approximately 1 hour a day.
All things said, Lana always had to work harder than the average child. She tried her best staying focused and did the best she could. Her grades were a mix of b's and c's.
The sad part of this story is that because there was always intervention at school for Lana, several kids would tease her and made her school day at times, very difficult and she would come home crying. She had her friends, but they were also 'special children' like her and they all got along so well.
After a few years, Lana decided that she wanted a change from her school and that she wanted to attend a different middle school--perhaps the kids would be nicer and more accepting of her.
With the permission of the principal from the out of district school, she was welcomed with open arms and started to blossom socially. She was so happy and was making good friends. On the academic side she still struggled in some areas, but was still working very hard.
Two years later when she graduated, she got a summer job where she worked with the public. Lana excelled at her job, she was receiving constant positive feedback from the customers as well as her employer. As a result her self esteem and confidence were soaring. Her mother told me that "they paid my daughter for her work, well I should be paying them for what the job did for Lana"
This past fall Lana started high school. She did not know any one attending this new high school. Her confidence has made her go up to people and introduce herself. She believes in herself and is receiving absolutely incredible feedback from her teachers.
Lana has completely come full circle as she is achieving stellar grades. Her grades are the highest in her classes. There is not a week when she doesn't come home either with a perfect score or in the 90's. Her classmates look to her as a leader and go getter. They are also jealous and ask how she does it. "I just study for my tests, and am prepared".
Her parents always believed in her and knew of her unlimited potential. She was always a shining star, but now she is the brightest star.
Through all the years of therapy, intervention and love, this child is soaring. She had to learn to believe in herself, to change her self dialogue, to leave a negative environment, to receive contintual positive feedback to realize what a grand, wonderful and intelligent young lady she has grown into.
I am so proud of her!