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cellomama

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WALBRIDGE SCHOOL
September 29, 2010

T has always struggled in school. He learned to read late and felt "stupid." He underwent testing in the public school and they found nothing wrong with him, though he tested with a very low IQ (having been taken out of gym class for the test). His self-esteem suffered to the point that, as a 6th grader in public school, he was walking into school each morning with his head hanging low and coming home each afternoon asking if he was "mentally retarded." A very sporty kid, who loves to laugh and is thoughtful and generous, speaks French and English -- he is far from being cognitively challenged in any way. Finally, we couldn't continue to allow his self-esteem to be battered any more so I quit my job in order to keep him home and assess the situation. We had him tested privately and came up with a diagnosis of ADHD, a little dyslexia and learning disabilities in math and writing -- basically a different type of learner than the public school was able to cater to. Now knowing more what we were dealing with, we investigated the idea of his attending Walbridge School, where the teachers are trained in all sorts of methods of teaching different learners. The class size is very small - so small that 6 kids studying fractions in math class can all be at different levels and still progress each at their own rate. They teach kids from where they are in their learning rather than just expecting them to "catch up" and "adapt" (two phrases we heard a lot at the public school). Walbridge was extremely flexible in how T started to attend. He was very skeptical about school and didn't want to set himself up for more disappointment. He started with just academics and after 2 months was attending full-time. Now, in his 3rd month of full-time attendance, he is bringing home mostly a's and b's but more importantly, he is learning, progressing, is happy to go to school, his needs are being met and he sees himself as a smart, capable, normal boy! The change is dramatic. In fact, the individualized curriculum at school has much more to do with countering his ADHD symptoms than his medication for it and he no longer takes the medication. We could not be more thrilled with Walbridge. It is scandalous that public school can not help learners like my son, but that is the situation we are in right now and Walbridge gave us a solution.

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About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Client Served & My son is a student at Walbridge.