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You Are Not Alone

“My Child Has a Learning Disability. Now What?”

You may have just left a teacher conference or therapist’s office. Or perhaps another professional has suggested that your child has a learning disability.

What does this mean? Many questions come to mind. What’s going to happen to my child? Is school always going to be a struggle? Are the other kids going to pass them by? Will they have friends? How will this affect the whole family? Will they be able to go to college? Will they be successful in life?

Your children are more than test scores or educational evaluations. They are each an individual blend of strengths and weaknesses, just like we all are. They don’t need to be fixed, because they are not broken. But they may need a different kind of school—and Havern may be that school. We don’t make magic. But we do have answers.

Change will not happen overnight. It will take focused, hard work on the part of our team, your child and your entire family. But you will not be alone. Havern School has a remarkable team of teachers, therapists and a staff that believes your child can learn, realize their potential and be successful in life.

Havern School wants to be your resource and will work to meet the learning challenges with you, your child and your family.

One Parent’s Story

My son M. was obviously struggling in the first grade. M. was taking longer to grasp reading and math concepts than his peers, and he often “spaced out” in class. He did not make friends easily because he was unable to recognize social cues or “read” body language. I knew that M. was bright because his vocabulary and his sense of humor were well beyond his age, but he was beginning to show signs of frustration and sadness at school. I felt overwhelmed and bewildered as a parent, and wondered why my child did not behave as others did. When a good friend (also a learning specialist) suggested that we have M. tested for a learning disability, I almost felt relieved. I thought, “If we have a diagnosis, then we can begin to help M. learn and feel good about himself again.”

The testing confirmed that my son M. was, indeed, very bright – especially in verbal areas. The testing also showed that he had significant deficits in things like figuring out patterns and sequences, or decoding. It was no wonder that he struggled with social cues—reading another person’s body language is akin to decoding! While it was hopeful to have an explanation for our son’s difficulties with peers and with school, all of this was new to M.’s father and me. “What do we do now?” The same smart friend who referred us for testing suggested that Havern might be a good school for M. She was right. The school’s staff greeted us warmly on our first visit and became the support that M. needed during the seven years he was a student at Havern. Though there were (of course) bumps along the way, we watched M. transform from an angry and frustrated 7-year old into a mature 14-year-old with a deep love for knowledge.

The “magic” that happened for M. at Havern is no magic at all—it’s a very real mixture of untiring commitment, skilled professionalism and sincere caring for children with learning disabilities.

Our students’ stories. Meet some Havern School alumni.

Havern School is the reason why I am very successful today.  At Havern there were many programs in speech and occupational therapy which enabled me to gain enough real world skills to succeed.  To my former teachers and administrators, thank you for putting up with my raucous and uncivilized behavior as a little kid.  Due to your patience, I have developed character and became an Eagle Scout.  Without Havern School, success would not be my destiny.  Thank you, Havern School. – senior in high school, who is busy applying to colleges with strong biological science programs with hopes to become a physician someday.

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