When asked about their experiences with the school that their son attended, the parents had an overall positive vibe/reaction. Stating that the elementary and middle school grades were very strong in their communication efforts within the family. The schools would send home daily communication sheets, that would allow for an open wave of communication for the parents and the team. The high school years weren’t as strong within the lines of communication (daily sheets weren’t sent home). However, the school and the parents would meet every two months to discuss Charlie’s needs. Charlie’s time in high school focused on a more community based learning style/training methods. Charlie was taught a variety of ways in how to: stock the school vending machine, stack books in the library and was given the opportunity to go to the local grocery store and stock the shelves. The parents thought this was a great experience in preparation for life after school. This community based learning style was really prominent in the last 2 years of his high school career- noting that Charlie did go to high school until he was 20.
The parents also mentioned that Charlie is currently part of the Howard Program and they raved about the program. Stating it was “exceptional” and they are very pleased in their communication with the case managers, team and Charlie.
As the conversation continued, it was clear that the services that the school and Howard provided for Charlie has really hel...
... middle of paper ...
...and it’s up the parents to set the standard for communication. Respectfully listening to their ideas but again advocating for his rights. Having the mindset of a team player and always thinking “what’s best for the team?”
As we wrapped up our discussion, the parents left some lasting comments: Charlie is considered to a pretty healthy individual with Down Syndrome. He doesn’t have any associated medical concerns and he has taken his own health into consideration. Charlie is responsible for staying fit and making healthy diet choices (he went from 180 pounds to 115 pounds), proving that with determination he was able to achieve this healthy lifestyle. The father wanted to point out that having a child with a disability is a challenge but it also very rewarding. Mentioning that when he looks back, it’s amazing to see how far Charlie has come within the past 10 years.
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