The Story of a 2e 7th Grader
See how Exceptional Educational Solutions used advocacy and a new school placement to help this 2e middle school student find a place to belong. We have changed the student’s name to protect her privacy, but her challenges, needs, and the steps EES took to support her all remain the same.
Exception Educational Solutions Action Plan
“Ellie” is a middle school student with autism, ADHD, anxiety, and sensory processing disorder, who was attending a religious day school. She was getting failing grades in school due to incomplete work. She also skipped several student assemblies, since noisy environments were challenging for her.
The school was requiring Ellie to improve her grades and start attending regular assemblies or not return the following year.
Ellie’s parents were very upset and concerned. They didn’t know what to do and were willing to explore many different educational options including staying at their current school or seeking an alternative placement.
We started by advocating for Ellie at her current school. They agreed to excuse her from school assemblies and some superfluous school assignments and allowed her to work with younger students during the day as a leadership opportunity that would help bring her grades up.
Meanwhile, we looked into many private schools for the student after taking the time to understand her needs by communicating with her and her family and reviewing reports and emails from the school.
The parents spoke with the schools, and we determined together which schools seems like a good fit. There was one school on the list that EES strongly recommended as a good fit. It offered a highly individualized approach to learning and much of the curriculum was based on student interests.
Ellie’s parents were initially hesitant to change schools mid-year and wanted to explore other options. EES counseled Ellie and her family to start at a new school immediately, however, since she was so unhappy.
At the same time, we considered a public school with a specialized program. We discussed which school their daughter would likely need to attend and how students were admitted into this program. They began to understand the long road to attending that type of program and that their daughter would likely need to experience even more failure in order to be considered.
Eventually, the family decided to proceed with EES’s top-choice school. We worked with the head of the school to ensure that her teachers and program would be a good fit.
Ellie’s parents say she is still succeeding in her new environment, and her self-esteem is beginning to be repaired.