When we found out Tres had Cerebral Palsy we were so determined to raise him up just like a normal child. We did not want to treat him like he had a disability. Through elementary school Tres was always the only one in a wheelchair. We felt by surrounding him with non disabled children he would be able to learn without boundaries. I seen the hand of God in each of the schools he went to. The children were always so good with Tres and never once was there issues with other children being hurtful or mean to him. I always start the school year out by going into Tres class and explaining to the kids about his condition. I show them his dynavox and then allow them to ask questions. I know this has helped a great deal in the way he is immediately received and accepted by his peers. Like adults, children tend to lash out when they don’t understand or are scared of the differences in people. Up to this year I felt Tres education was going in a positive direction. My son honestly does not look at himself as a kid with a disability. He sees himself as a normal kid who happens to have a physical disability. He urges his teachers to allow him to do all the things the other kids are doing. If he can’t do it he figures out a way the activity can be modified. I love how he advocates for himself. Once Tres started middle school it became more apparent that instead of being included in the community of the school, Tres was slowly slipping into the background. The classroom sizes of 30+ kids were too over stimulating. Often I found myself going over lessons that had already been taught and using hands on experiments to help Tres understand the concepts. The teachers, though they tried, could not keep up with modifications or teaching approaches that would benefit Tres non verbal learning needs. So for the first time we began to wonder if the public school was the right choice. In August we found out about a scholarship offered to kids with disabilities to go to private schools. We researched the schools and found the one Tres is in now. What a blessing it has been! There are less than 10 kids per class. The teachers are very hands on. I see Tres thriving in this new environment. They have a flag football team that Tres plays on. There is never a question of his being included. This is yet another step in Tres journey of learning that yes, with the right modifications, he can do anything! I thank God for preparing my heart to be open when it was time to make the decision for switching schools. I strongly believe that the time he spent in public schools helped him become a determined, smart, creative young man. I am so grateful for the teachers who refused to accept less than his best and advocated to ensure he never slipped through the cracks. I am now grateful for the school that fully accepts him for who he is and allows him to learn based on his abilities and strengths.

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