Adapting, Understanding, and Growing at ACCESS Early Childhood
Milo started exhibiting some concerns at his daycare just prior to his 3rd birthday, and his teacher suggested that he be evaluated for autism and other developmental delays. When the testing was complete, I toured several preschools and knew immediately when I walked through the front door of ACCESS, this was the place I wanted Milo to be. I loved the focus on literacy, the hands-on multi-sensory approach to teaching, and the dedication to the creative learning process.
My “a-ha” moment came one night while watching Milo paint at home. Milo had only been at ACCESS for a couple of weeks, and the book of the week was Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes. At the end of the book, Pete steps in a bucket of water and it rinses all the color off his shoes – returning them to their original white. As Milo listened to the story being read, he painted the different colors. And I held my breath waiting for the meltdown that I knew was going to come when it was time to “paint” the water and rinse off the colors. Instead, Milo did the most amazing thing! He simply took his paint brush and painted a water line all the way over the top of his other colors, causing the paint to drip down the page. He turned to me and said, “And the water washed all the red and all the blue and all the brown away.” I was stunned to tears. Such a simple thing – but it made all the difference to me. For the first time in his life, he had adapted a situation to make sense for him – and transferred learning to a new environment using his own creative art.
I have a different kid than I had two or three years ago. He can read books to himself and comprehend them rather than just scripting them. He can adapt what he learns in books to real life situations. He has gained the ability to relate to the world through story which has greatly improved his social skills. His vocabulary is amazing! When I watched him perform as the Ringmaster in this year’s ACCESS Pre-K 3 Circus (virtually, of course), I could not believe this was the same kid that two years ago couldn’t even say three words in a row. And he loved every minute of it!
ACCESS knew exactly what Milo and I needed from the very first day. They understood his world and helped me learn and adapt my parenting to fit. The literacy-based focus on education has brought out his sweet and fun personality, fostered a love of painting and reading, boosted his confidence, made him more aware and compassionate towards others, and most importantly helped give him a voice.