There’s a 6 year old boy who enrolled at Reach for the Stars a year and a half ago, when he was 4. Gorgeous kid with curly black hair, big eyes, a skinny pipsqueak. If you would have walked into the room when he was 4 years old and taken a look at him, your first impression would be, "He's adorable! What a cute kid!" But if you tried to speak to him, he would completely ignore you, because all he did all day was walk around in circles, over and over. 10 times, 100 times, 1000 times, for hours and hours. He wouldn't pay any attention to you because to him, you don't exist. And anyway, he doesn't speak. Not a word. In fact his speech muscles don't work anymore because he has never spoken a word. You see, he was born with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Each child who suffers from autism is different in the specific pattern and relative severity of each symptom and therefore we tailored his program to his individual needs. Our multidisciplinary team including speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists and highly trained special education teachers structured therapeutic activities for him for 35 hours a week, 12 months a year.
And then, 8 months ago, this boy walked into the office at Reach for the Stars where the Head of School was sitting. He looked her in the eye and said "I can talk!" She said "What? What was that?" He said "I CAN TALK!" And he started speaking words, and then putting them into sentences, and talking and talking and talking. HE DID IT! HE BROKE THROUGH! Within months he was speaking hundreds of words.and this month he’s graduation. Reach for the Stars! Because he doesn’t need us anymore. Because he’s being enrolled in a regular mainstream school. Is this a miracle? Absolutely. And this is the kind of miracle that we at Reach for the Stars are able to accomplish with 60% of the students who enroll.