My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for We Care Services for Children, Concord, CA, USA
My son came to We Care at age 4 having been deemed "emotionally disturbed" by his school district. That emotionally disturbed me, his mother. Our entire family was "rescued" by We Care. The administrators and teachers were not married to the qualifications on his school's paperwork. They looked at my son as an individual, a child with needs, and set out to provide him with the skills he needed to move forward in life.
My son was language deficient. He could not communicate. It was noisy at our home as he yelled and screamed a lot in his frustration. I have framed in our home a note from his teacher after 1 month in the program that celebrates his "through the roof!" progress in acquiring language skills. It has been very quiet at our home since.
My son did not know strangers, and so developed an attachment to his backpack for support. The school understood and accepted that. When a field trip was planned an exception to the "no backpacks" rule was made so that my son could share the experience and feel secure. It was "no big deal" to the other students who had learned to accept one another's needs and the supports in place to serve them. And these were 4 and 5 year-old children! Shortly a time came when my son's backpack would make the trip but was allowed to stay in the van. Eventually, a trip with no backpack! He was able to rely on the support of people in whom he had absolute faith. Faith that could not have been better placed.
The good things that came from our family's We Care experience were not constrained to serving our son. We Care, in addressing our son's needs, attended to us as a family. Discussions with teachers, classes taught by the then-director, as well as support from every one we encountered all helped us as we adjusted to having and handling special needs in our lives, while getting our arms around an Autism diagnosis to boot.
A very frightened little boy entered We Care, but was loved and gently guided for a very short 18 months. Somewhere in that time a doctor figured out that my was not emotionally disturbed, but impeded by Autism. The diagnosis was helpful, but it did not require a course correction for his teachers. They had already discerned my son's needs and made excellent plans on how to serve him. My son transitioned to elementary school beautifully and has been much adored by his teachers. His calm demeanor would never tell the tale of a child unable to communicate and scared in the world. He has built upon the lessons imparted at We Care. Some 12 years later my son is a wonderful, capable young man with a strong sense of self who has achieved academic success.
Every day, and I mean that with every fiber of my being, I see the results of the nurturing and development imparted by the wonderful teachers at We Care. My son moves through the world today a beautiful person because he - no, WE - had the good fortune to experience We Care. There is no limit to the debt of gratitude we have for the terrific We Care team. The amazing, hard-working, and truly caring staff make miracles happen every day for the families whose lives they touch.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
my role as a parent, then later as a board member, because I believe every child with special needs should have the opportunity to be given the chance - the gift - my son was given.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Expand the scope of services to support children into their first year in school through a "following" program. I would make more efforts to raise awareness of the agency, its services, and the excellent work they do in the community.