Collin was half way through 3rd grade and although not by standards for the typical 8 year old he was having the best school year to date. He was attending public school, was in the classroom with limited support from aids and the special education teacher. He was receiving OT, speech and he also participated in an advanced reading class for the talented and gifted. His reading and math skills were in the 4th and 5th grade level. In January he started acting out in the classroom. Unable to sit still, was disruptive, refusing to do work. It was perceived as a behavior problem. He was choosing to be defiant and could control his actions if he wanted to. It was addressed with loss of privileges and punishments. Being misunderstood, he became aggressive He would tip over tables, chairs, hit others and at one point held a scissors point to the back of an aid. The police were called. My happy, loving child was someone I did not recognize. He would come home miserable and describe school as torture and he could not be forced to do work. At 8 years old he was miserable, angry, depressed, and was threatening self-harm and running away. I felt I knew him best and even though I could not identify what had changed when he started to act out he was trying to tell us something. He was not choosing to be naughty he was in distress. I felt sickened that my son had been trying to tell me something was wrong and I was not understanding or hearing his message. I worked with the school and several different approaches and schedules were tried. Collin turned 9 and I did the best to help him recover over the summer. He started 4th grade and after one day he had what is best described as a break down. He was diagnosed as a school phobic with severe anxiety. Collin missed an entire school year. I searched high and low for anyone who could help. Then I found Common Threads!
(Collin in HIS art on a PCA shirt)
(Collin in our logo shirt)
(Collin and his mom, Tammy, at Common Threads)
On their website it says they focus on unique behavior, communicative, emotional, sensory, and social challenges. I took a tour and I describe it as a match made in heaven. I saw first-hand how they could see inside my son. They saw his gifts, talents and found a way to slowly bring him out again. They focused completely on my sons learning style and adapted their teaching style. Common teaching standards the child must conform. In just a few short months I saw him laughing, smiling and making friends. After a year he is a completely different kid! He comes home proud, has an increased self-esteem is at or above grade level and is currently learning computer coding.
Common Threads has been a life saver. They gave my son his life back!