You don’t know me, but nonetheless, you have provided a great service to our family, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you.
Later in life, as a matter of fact, at the age of 48, we decided to adopt two little boys who had been abandoned by their birth parents and were about to be separated because no one was willing to take both of them.
The oldest boy was nearly 4, and known to be bright and capable, but suffered from severe emotional trauma. The little guy was only 20 months old. We were warned that he could have some severe mental deficiencies because he had been exposed to some pretty harsh drugs before he was born. We felt led by God to do this, in spite of the possibility of problems we could be facing.
Things were difficult from the start, but not more than we could handle. Both of our boys went to (another program), and our little one went to (an additional program) there as well. We were amazed and relieved to discover that both boys were above average academically. That would make things much easier when they got into the public school.
Both boys eventually ended up in the public school, and in spite of the occasional stumbling blocks, were doing ok. Our older son became an avid reader, and in kindergarten our younger son wanted to read like his brother. By the beginning of first grade he was also reading well above the norm.
About the third month of kindergarten we, (and his teacher) started noticing that things weren’t quite right with our youngest son. He could do all of the work, but had a very difficult time with the day to day routine, and the social aspect of school. It only got worse as he advanced to the next grade. In spite of some excellent teachers, his school experience was beginning to take its toll on all of us. Phone calls every day became the norm. The school, the family, and the many specialists we had seen, had no answers as to how to help this bright little boy get an education.
He was eventually diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and by the middle of third grade school was a complete disaster. I knew something had to be done when a well-meaning substitute causally commented that she didn’t have any trouble with our son; He just sat at his desk and read all day. Reading is wonderful, but it is only part of a well-rounded education.
I had heard of Nicholas School, but didn’t really understand what it was all about. I called the school between Thanksgiving and Christmas of our son’s third grade year. I talked to the principal, Amy Simindinger. I was very impressed with Amy because of her complete honesty from the start. She made no promises. She said our son would have to be evaluated to determine if their facility would be a good match for him. They would not take him as a student if they did not believe, based on the evaluation, that they could help him.
I left the meeting knowing that they weren’t just there ‘for the money’. I prayed that they would evaluate him and determine that he could come to their school. I felt in my heart that it was the right choice for our son, but also feared that it would be, and we wouldn’t be able to afford it.
To make a long story ‘not so long’, he was accepted into Nicholas School. He would begin right after Christmas Break. That was the middle of third grade. He is now approaching the end of his stay there, the end of 8th grade.
Is he all better now? Of course not. He will always be on the Autism Spectrum. But did he get a good, well rounded education? Yes, Yes, Yes, and so much more. They worked on every aspect of his life. I was probably one of the most difficult mothers they have had. I’m sure Amy got tired of me, but she never showed it, and she, along with all of her staff, never gave up on Troy. They continued to treat him with respect in spite of the difficulties he presented daily. They were never willing to accept anything less than his best.
Now we are ready to move on to the next stage of our ‘experience’. It will not be easy. Our son still has many issues that will make public school, and particularly high school extremely difficult. But along with the education he received at Nicholas School, we are continuing to receive guidance to help him/us master this next phase of our life.
I don’t know where we would be today without Nicholas School. I am thankful for everything they have done. I know that without donors like you, Nicholas School would not be possible. Even though we paid tuition throughout our time there, it was just a ‘drop in the bucket’ of what it takes to provide the services we have received for the last 5 ½ years. Thank you from the bottom of our heart for your continued support. We are just one family whose life has been changed because of your help over the years. Please know that it is more than ‘just money’ you have provided; it is change; it is the future of one child, and the future of many. Just two little words, but they come from our hearts. THANK YOU!!!
Ron and Ocie
Parents of Troy