Blossoming Toward a Brighter FutureDecember 07, 2023
Chloe’s family has always known she was unique; however, it took several years of advocating for her to discover a deeper understanding of her diagnosis, learn what works for her, and identify how to best support her. Chloe was diagnosed with a rare genetic syndrome caused by a micro-duplication of a chromosome, Dup7. This was a newly discovered condition with very little research and even less understanding, which created many challenges over the years to find assistance both medically and educationally. In the meantime, Chloe began moving deeper inside herself, communicating less and less with those around her.
When she transitioned to middle school, Chloe stopped progressing in school altogether and experienced intense anxiety which led to over 100 absences. Her mom knew education was critical for Chloe’s future and sought additional medical evaluations for answers. One evaluation identified significant educational gaps – related to the alphabet, colors, and other fundamental concepts – that were causing Chloe’s anxiety about school! With this new understanding that Chloe was mentally six years behind children her own age, the family received approval to pursue an educational solution outside of her district and were referred to Spaulding Academy & Family Services.
Since enrolling at Spaulding Academy less than one year ago, Chloe has made tremendous progress, and all parties unanimously agree: she is flourishing! With a history of barely attending school, Chloe now looks forward to classes – and is sometimes even up and ready in the morning before her mother! In the evenings, she excitedly shares details about her school days with her family, which is another welcome change.
With her severe anxiety lower than ever, Chloe has gained independence and earned new responsibilities in the classroom. She takes attendance, delivers notes and packages to the office, volunteers for tasks, and even takes initiative when something needs to be done. For the first time in her educational journey, Chloe also met all milestones after just three months attending Spaulding Academy.
A large piece of her success is due to emerging communication skills which are simultaneously building her self-confidence. The trained classroom team, smaller staff-to-student ratio, and a structured classroom environment create the sturdy support foundation that Chloe needs to share more of her emotions and continue developing effective communication skills. For the first time, she is communicating with people outside her direct family and building friendships. When traveling through the Academy hallways, Chloe now fist bumps and high fives students, teachers and other staff. Outside of school, the once quiet wallflower now responds in full sentences and carries complete conversations in social situations.