Born early, Stephanie's first child, Michelle, has ADD and Sensory Integration Disorder (which is on the autism spectrum but is not autism.) Stephanie is a mother and a nurse – so she knew there were issues with her child's ability to process stimuli from an early age. Throughout preschool and kindergarten, she would ask the teachers how her daughter was doing during the day in class. She wanted the information for herself and to pass it on the Occupational Therapists seeing Michelle, too.
When Michelle began first grade, Stephanie brought in a letter from a therapist informing the teacher about Sensory Integration Disorder and ways to work with her so she'd get the most out of the class and be the least distraction for the teacher. It seemed like the teacher ignored all of the information in the letter and ran into problem after problem with Michelle as a result. Some things the teacher did directly contradicted the directions from the therapist – like punishing her bad behavior by taking away her chance to burn off energy at recess. Stephanie went through multiple times asking for the school to perform tests, being assured everything was in place, and then finding out nothing had been done. She found out the teacher who had gotten the letter from Michelle's therapist threw the letter away. The school had to do things a certain way: they had to try and fail and put Michelle though the works because that is "the way it is done" – they would not listen to the knowlege Stephanie gave them.
As soon as she was able, Stephanie transferred Michelle to Cherokee Charter Academy. Stephanie couldn't be happier and Michelle is thriving. "Her current teacher understands her quirks and communicates with me so we can adjust with the various therapies she does. She has the tools she needs for her issues at school and no one takes them." At CCA, they integrate the input from Michelle's team of therapists into their plans for her and she is happy and learning. Stephanie says, "Now everything is great and she is learning!" She is a happy mother who credits the charter school with saving her daughter from path she was on.