From Kentucky to Miriam
When he started kindergarten in Paducah, KY, Grant’s parents already knew that Sensory Processing Disorder would be a factor in his success at school. Unfortunately, Jeremy and Jennifer ran into one obstacle after another when teachers were not properly meeting Grant’s needs. First grade was a particular challenge, when Grant’s teacher called adaptations “crutches” and refused to allow them.
“When I would pick him up after school that year, he would look defeated and exhausted,” Jeremy said. “We knew we had to find a better fit for him. We didn’t want to have to argue with every teacher for the rest of his school years or waste valuable time trying to prove that some simple adjustments could help him.”
They had trouble finding the right fit in Paducah, so they went to the internet and expanded their search. They found Miriam, and saw a school where services like the ones Grant needed were integrated right into the program.
“Our Miriam experience from the first contact until this day has been nothing but amazing,” Jeremy said. “We took one look at the school and what it had to offer, and we knew that Grant had to go there.”
The family was soon St. Louis bound, so Grant could start second grade at Miriam School.
Individualized education makes a difference
“We are finally in an environment where the staff ‘gets it.’ They understand that every child is a unique learner, and they work hard to cater to the needs of each child with individualized learning plans.” ~ Jeremy and Jennifer, Grant’s parents
Grant, now in his second year at Miriam School, has benefited greatly from the small class sizes, occupational therapy and overall personalized program. Miriam’s inclusive culture ensures that teachers get to know every student and his or her unique story.
When his teacher sees that Grant would benefit from a break, he is certainly not penalized by losing recess as he was at his old school in Paducah – a punishment that is counterproductive when it comes to Grant’s needs. Instead, he takes a lap around the halls or goes to OT to swing for a few minutes. Then, he returns to class to learn alongside his friends.
“It is like I am picking up an entirely different child at the end of the day,” Jeremy said. “He is not defeated. He is happy and loves his school and all of the staff.”
Miriam is setting him up for success
A Miriam education is not simply about curriculum, but about learning how to learn. Students learn more about their individual needs and then learn how to advocate for themselves to ensure those needs are met. Miriam equips them with social skills, as well, and Grant has learned how to make good friends at school. In fact, those relationships – and his relationships with his teachers and therapists – are Grant’s favorite thing about Miriam.
Whether students are at Miriam for two years or 12, they leave knowing that they can achieve great things. They gain confidence and the tools to navigate other environments.
Jeremy said, “We anticipate Grant will be at Miriam for as much time as it takes for him to learn the skills to overcome some of his challenges. The staff are giving him a tool box of things to help him in any given situation.”