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A Tale of Two Sisters: Unlocking Potential for the Akana Twins

09.27.18

To Karen Akana and Rob Syrstaad, the summer of 2014 seems like a lifetime ago. They had just moved their family across the country to Little Rock, Arkansas, and life with their two-year-old twin girls, Makena and Aurora, was busy. Then one day, one of Karen’s best friends said something she...

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Early Childhood

Parent Testimonial – Hannah Fulks

08.02.16

At eighteen months of age, our son Max was only saying two words. Out and Dog. Knowing something wasn’t quite right, we had him assessed in Benton. He was diagnosed with a “mild speech delay”. Two months later, our therapist came to us and said, “I think it’s something more than a...

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Academy

Academy Spotlight – Caitlynn Simpson

04.11.16

“I am a survivor”, Caitlynn Simpson says proudly with a grin. Born at 24 weeks with a Grade IV Brain Bleed, she was not expected to live past birth. The doctors then changed their claims and said she would not live past 2 years of age.  Then, it was 8 years.  Now, she is about to graduate...

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Meet Carter Pitcock

09.01.14

An Interview with His Father, Jeff “Every day, we are just so happy, so pleased and so blessed that Carter has this school – this wonderful, safe, nurturing place where he has just flourished.” This is how Jeff Pitcock, father to ACCESS students Carter and Kapi Pitcock, begins telling...

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Meet Kennedy Rose

09.01.13

An Interview with her Mother, Alison Kennedy Rose floats in and out of the dining room during a recent interview with her mother. Snacking, playing with toys, running to greet family members at the door, Kennedy strikes a visitor as behaving very much like the 5-year-old she is. It’s hard to...

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Meet Derrick Parker, ACCESS Life Member

03.01.13

An Interview with his Mother, Cynthia Powell “Comfortable in his own skin. Not only believing in himself but also knowing his self-worth,” is how Cynthia Powell, mother to Derrick Parker, describes her son, one of the newest members of the ACCESS Life young adult program. Derrick, a North...

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Meet Elizabeth Hoag, Diagnosed at 8, With Dyslexia

12.01.12

An Interview with Elizabeth and her Mother, Alice A former student who attended ACCESS Academy for one and a half years, Elizabeth Hoag is now a freshman at the University of Arkansas with a 4.0 grade point average and the goal of becoming an Air Force nurse practitioner who travels the...

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Meet Mason O’Neal, Diagnosed at Birth with Mild Brain Injury

11.22.11

An Interview with his Parents, Christian and Julie O’Neal Mason O’Neal, a 7-year-old student in the ACCESS Lower School 1 classroom, joined ACCESS in March 2011. His parents, Christian and Julie, recently described their son’s dramatic learning progress over the last several...

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Meet Grayson McCarver, Diagnosed with Autism

08.01.10

An interview with his parents Karen and Heath McCarver Grayson was born a healthy nine pounds, one ounce baby in October 2000.  He met all his monthly baby milestones for his early months.  When he did not speak by 18 months of age, we suspected some type of disability.  His only form of...

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Meet Nelson Pierce, Diagnosed at age 7 with Dyslexia

05.04.10

An Interview With His Parents, Gretchen and Randy “At first we thought he just wasn’t paying attention and focusing when reading,” recalls Gretchen Pierce, mother of 9-year-old Nelson Pierce, diagnosed at 7 with dyslexia. Attempts to get him to read at home would result in “yelling,...

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Meet Grace Glasbrenner, Diagnosed at age 2 with Apraxia

11.24.09

An interview with Grace’s mother, Elizabeth No one would have guessed that 3-year-old Grace Glasbrenner would recently be described as “the loudmouth of the group” when she joined ACCESS Preschool in January. The term is used lovingly, and with excitement, because Grace began this year...

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