The Arc of Bristol County Education Advocacy Success Story – Bravelets

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The Arc of Bristol County Education Advocacy Success Story

Posted on June 20 2014

The Arc of Bristol County Education Advocacy Success Story
Bethany is a 16 year old young lady diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder, ADHD, Learning Disabilities, and Language Disabilities. She has struggled greatly with academic and social skill issues throughout her education. At one point she was in an out of district specialized education program due to the difficulties she was having in her neighborhood school. Her perception of her peers and her self-image was interfering with her social development. She did not talk to her peers because she felt that they were different. She didn’t enjoy lunchtime or any other social times of the day with her peers. She did not join in activities or participate willingly. As well as, she was not making effective academic progress. She struggled with ELA and Math and all other academic areas.
Bethany continued in out of district placement all through middle school. With hard work, counseling, social skills groups, The Arc’s Education Advocate, specialized academic support, and the love of her family, she went to school every day with one goal… get back into her neighborhood school! She stayed focused and accepted help from the team. She worked very hard and made so much progress that she was re-integrated back into her neighborhood school at Fairhaven High School. She was originally placed in a small self-contained classroom all day. However, she made such progress that she is now in inclusion classrooms for Science, History, and all non-academic classes. She has strength in the Sciences! She has excelled academically and socially. She surprised us all by joining the chorus and even has had a singing solo! Singing has been a talent that has helped her grow. She has self-advocated and learned how to participate in her IEP meetings. She owns up to what she needs to work on more with a positive attitude. She has had to take the MCAS several times and has finally passed! She never gave up. It is hard growing up.....even more difficult when you have challenges.....yet Bethany is proving every day that people can reach their individual goals. She has had bumps along the way.
Making friends was very difficult for her. Bethany has made friends at school and fully participates in school activities. She has to work hard to achieve academically but is dedicated to reaching her full potential. Her mom stated to me that she can remember the day that we sat at her IEP meeting when she was in the out of district placement, and the team recommended to place her on an alternate assessment for MCAS. This meant that she would not be able to receive a high school diploma. Her Education Advocate recommended that she not accept that recommendation and that we would work hard on getting her what she needs so that she has to opportunity to pass MCAS. She did and now she is graduating.
The real success is Bethany……she accomplished her goal…..she never gave up!
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