Linda first noticed her middle son’s development was delayed when he started to speak and she couldn’t understand him.
She would have him repeat himself multiple times and still have difficulty understanding him. He would often get frustrated and angry, and as a result, lash out instead of appropriately express his emotions.
While Linda was in residence at Third Street Alliance’s shelter program, she enrolled her three boys in The Learning Center. It was here that her son, James began receiving educational support.
But it wasn’t easy. Linda often received calls at work and was on the verge of losing her job because James was acting out in a way that wasn’t safe for others.
“I didn’t know what to expect and thought: what am I going to do?” she said.
Nancy Frederick, Director of The Learning Center, didn’t want to give up on Linda and her son. Once the family moved out of the shelter and into stable housing, Linda’s children remained enrolled in The Learning Center. This gave Learning Center staff additional time to seek solutions for James’ behavioral challenges.
“We let her know we were in it for the long haul, and her son could stay in the classrooms,” Nancy said.
Through a third-party behavioral program, support was provided to help address classroom behavior. Linda also received assistance on how to manage any challenges at home. With behavioral support training, Learning Center teachers can now better recognize cause and triggers for certain issues and can respond appropriately.
James has benefitted from yoga and mindfulness activities in the classroom, too. Offered by the Shanthi Project, these activities help equip students with breathing and stretching exercises to assist with physical awareness, stress reduction, self-regulation, and relaxation.
These steps have allowed James to communicate more effectively. His teachers saw James become more social in the classroom.
James has entered kindergarten and a transition plan was put in place through a collaborative effort between the Easton Area School District and his team of teachers at Third Street Alliance.
Linda has also learned how to advocate for her son and is grateful for all the support they are receiving in The Learning Center.
“I will always appreciate Nancy and the teachers. It has been a big burden off my shoulders.” She said. “I have help and I think we’re going to win.”