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- | joshuaschool
TREVOR From the 2019 Impact Brochure Since he was four months old, Trevor has suffered from an optic nerve condition called hypoplasia and a rare chromosome deletion called 21q deletion. The impact of these two conditions contributed to his being a difficult baby and his seizure disorder, learning disabilities, and extensive crying. The beginning of Trevor’s journey to find TJS began in 4th grade. He had been on at least six neurological prescriptions--three for seizures; three for self-harming behaviors. “At this point, Trevor’s medications were not effective and his system began falling apart, which ultimately landed him in the psychiatric unit at Children’s Hospital,” says Peggy, TK’s mother. “Not only was his self-harming behavior resulting in concussions, but he also became a danger to others.” The school district simply did not have the ability to serve Trevor. “TJS was willing to take Trevor as soon as he was released from the hospital,” Peggy continues. “We were overwhelmed and relieved. They weaned him off a whole slew of meds, and though he remained on some, they were far fewer. Since then, TJS has helped Trevor to come so far.” Trevor attends the TJS Boulder Campus and today, he is self-aware of his behaviors. TJS is helping Trevor to find other ways to get what he needs. He attended summer camp for the first time There, he experimented with activities that he’d never wanted to try before. He canoed, swam, and dived off a diving board at the camp pool. “He’s always been afraid of water,” says Peggy. “Before, he’d only stay in the shallow end of the pool.” Trevor has also been on a bike, in a tag-along-seat. He’s been to the adaptive ski program at Winter Park. He’s now able to go shopping and he is much more social. “His limits have widened and his world has grown bigger,” says his mom. “He’s learning how to live a quality life at his own pace.” Peggy’s words of inspiration for other parents are this, “Keep advocating for your kids and keep learning yourself because you must do things differently for your child and cannot treat them like all the other kids.” The Joshua School has made a huge difference in Trevor’s life. “I’m not sure where we would be if that had not happened,” says Peggy. CONTINUE TO SITE
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SHAE From the 2020 Impact Brochure Shae is one of the most social students in TJS’s transition program!” says Kate Loving, Program Director of Transition. He enjoys getting to know his teachers and friends, meeting new people, having dance parties, and trying new foods. At age two, Shae was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder and soon after began an exhausting journey through his local public school system. Beginning in preschool, Shae changed schools virtually every year as teachers and administrators struggled to manage his behavior and meet his needs. The longer he was in the public school system, it seemed the more violent his behavior became,” says Shae’s mother, Marla. “He would come home from school angry and frustrated, and as a result he would be angry and frustrated with us. It was a cycle that we could not stop.” Shae’s parents spent two years meeting with school district officials, trying to convince them that Shae needed to be enrolled at The Joshua School. During the conversations, one administrator stated that he did not believe that Shae had the ability to learn. His family remained persistent and eventually the district moved Shae to TJS. “We were so excited,” his mother said. “We knew it would change Shae’s life and ours.” Since arriving at TJS, Shae’s behavior has improved dramatically. He is able to self-regulate to a greater degree and often chooses a better reaction than violence or destruction. He is able to reason more, think through options, and make different choices. “It has made a world of difference to our family,” his mother says. “We don’t know where we would be now if it weren’t for TJS staff and their expertise. But I think what has been most impactful for Shae is that TJS staff treat him with respect and dignity.” Shae has blossomed academically and socially, too. “I am always surprised when he throws in a big word that I haven’t heard him use before,” says his mother. “The growth in his vocabulary is definitely due to TJS.” Shae has loved interacting with students from Kent Denver School who visited TJS’ Englewood campus regularly throughout the school year. Shae also thrived in his vocational experience at Blue Star Recyclers. He has also become a bit of an activist. He protested in March for Our Lives, and sent a letter to Senator Michael Bennet about how to save birds (Bennet actually responded!) “I believe the confidence he has gained from voicing his opinions and meeting new people,” Shae’s mother adds, “is confidence that was built with the help of TJS and all that they have done to help him develop into an independent young man.” Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Shae was making remarkable progress at school with daily living skills, executive functioning, and cognitive abilities. He was, however, struggling to perform these tasks at home and expressed interest in only completing them at school. “While difficult, remote learning gave Shae the opportunity to generalize these skills at home,” says his teacher, and he has risen to the occasion. Shae is currently preparing his own lunch once a week at home, continuing to improve his tolerance and independence for his hygiene routine, and has grown in his ability to express his emotions and self-regulate. “During remote learning, Shae impressed us with his ability and desire to do it all himself,” says his mother, “ such as checking his emails from teachers, logging into his Zoom meetings, and participating in the live learning sessions and discussions.” TJS has grown with Shae over the years. Whether it is held in-person or remotely, Shae participated regularly in a “Boys Group,” at TJS, where he had the opportunity to discuss topics such as girls, having crushes, and dealing with emotions. “The staff have been great in meeting Shae where he is as a growing teenager,” his mother says. “He has benefited from talking to his male teachers about personal issues and feelings...and having discussions with them about issues common to a lot of young men.” CONTINUE TO SITE