Friday, March 28, 2014

Our Journey to The Piedmont School

For us, choosing The Piedmont School was no contest, we knew that public school just wasn't an option for our son.

We tried it, Lucas started school when he was 2 1/2 years old, and went through the 2's and 3's class at his local church preschool before we really saw any differences that stood out. During his first actual pre-kindergarten year though, we noticed he wasn't learning like the other children, his papers would come home undone, and his book bag would just be filled with taped together pieces of paper that he played with while the other children did their work. By the end of the year, his teacher recommended that he repeat pre-k, becasue he wasn't emotionally ready, and he definitely wasn't academically ready.

So once again, after lots of thinking and consideration, he tried pre-k again. We thought this time it would be different, maybe last year he was just too distracted; his younger brother was very sick and going through lots of long hospital stays and treatments and it was very hard on Lucas. But by halfway through the year we knew it was not different, and he was really struggling. We could see how hard it was for him to just simply write his name, and he was not able to keep up with the other children. He still did not know his alphabet or or how to write any letters. He could not remember multi-step directions for schoolwork, and he needed the constant one on one attention to complete assignments. There were 20 other children in his class, and he was falling so behind.

So by the time we had his parent/teacher conference we were worried. We were told that although he still was not ready for kindergarten, the school could had to send him on. This is when we started our journey to find the perfect school where he could learn and grow.

Luckily for me, someone mentioned for me to check out The Piedmont School. I had actually never heard of the school, I was familiar with Noble Academy and that seemed like a good fit and what we were looking for. But, The Piedmont School was closer and was smaller so we decided to look into it.
It was by far, the best decision we made. I went and talked to the Dean of the school and the kindergarten teacher and was so impressed. Lucas even got to go and spend a day as a kindergartner, and he loved it. Which to me, really meant something.

Getting him to school over the past 2 years had become increasingly harder, he was very aware of his differences and that he didn't know as much as his classmates. He was frustrated, which only added to behavioral problems we were facing. And we were getting no where with his education. So we knew we had to make a change.

Once we made the decision to send him to The Piedmont School, we had his psycho-educational testing done. Through his testing, it became abundantly clear why he was struggling in school. And why, sending him to The Piedmont School was such a good idea.

His testing showed that he not only showed us why he was struggling but just how far behind he was compared to other children his age. It was an eye opening experience for us, we knew he was having trouble but we were not expecting the outcome we got. Lucas was 6 years old and performing at a 2 year old level, despite being in school since he was 2 1/2. To be honest, I was heartbroken.

Lucas had been diagnosed with Dyspraxia when he was 5, and little did we know then what a big impact it had on him or really anything about the disorder. He was also diagnosed though his testing as having dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder and anxiety issues.

We know that public school is just not an option for him right now, the strides he has made while in The Piedmont School are remarkable. His class is made up of only 4 other children so he gets all the one-on-one attention he needs, he learns based on a plan that is made just for him and he gets the accommodations he needs. His teacher is awesome and goes beyond what I ever expected, and he LOVES her. We still have struggles getting ready to school and some days he just doesn't want to go but once he gets there, he has fun and he learns without the constant fear of being different compared to everyone else.

Choosing The Piedmont School was definitely the right choice for us, Lucas still has a long journey ahead of him, and he has many obstacles to face and overcome in his life. But for now, I know that as long as he is going here, education is not one of them.

For information on The Piedmont School please visit their website. The Piedmont School
And for more information on Dyspraxia please visit Dypraxia USA
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