Courtney & Garrett Davis
Parents of Sam
Sam had less than 5 words when he started at age 3 and a half, and within the first couple of weeks of working with the ANGEL team, he was able to calmly communicate his needs to us. Sam has learned how to attend in a mainstream classroom and function as a typical child would. More than anything, we are now able to know our son in a way that we weren't sure we would ever experience. He can tell us what he his thinking and how he feels.
Betsy & Kenneth McLean
Parents of Jim
Our journey with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) began long before we found our way to The ANGEL Program at Holy Rosary. When you read about ASD, there is a perception that the signs and symptoms of the spectrum will be obvious. For some families, it may work out that way, but for us and our sweet boy, the journey to deciphering a diagnosis and finding the proper treatments was an agonizingly slow, confusing and frustrating time. Our son Jim hit nearly every milestone as an infant, and up until about 18 months, we had no sign that there was anything amiss. He made eye contact, he was verbal and picking up words, he walked on time, he smiled big smiles. We have so many pictures of him smiling into the camera with his big baby blue eyes. Somewhere between 18 months and 2 years of age, we began to notice a sharp drop off in new words and language development. We began speech therapy soon thereafter, and I credit that decision with at least starting our fight against ASD although we did not know it at the time. Over the next year, sensory processing symptoms (something we did not understand at the time) began to emerge. Something had definitely happened in his brain, and the changes were noticeable. The auditory sensitivities and overall processing of his environment now made it difficult for him in most any situation other than his familiar home. Where he had been able to function in a classroom, he could not. He would get very anxious in loud restaurants, and he feared simple things that children are supposed to enjoy like going to a movie or birthday parties. Social interactions became increasingly difficult for him. We began to call around for evaluations where wait lists of 9 months to 1 year were common for full evaluations. In the meantime, the situation degraded to the point where we had to pull him from school in the fall of his 4K year.
My happy, funny, sweet, smart child had been reduced to an anxious, agitated, sad, scared, and confused little boy. It felt like ASD was taking him one little bit at a time, and I was hanging on to him as tightly as I could. Around the time that his symptoms were reaching a low point, we were referred to The ANGEL Program at Holy Rosary. We were so grateful for the compassion shown to Jim and to us as we went through the thorough and comprehensive evaluation process. We knew almost immediately that this was a place that could help our son, and even more important, Jim realized it too. Kids on the spectrum can be extremely perceptive, and it was clear that he knew he was in a safe place with people who understood him. Within weeks of starting in the program, Jim went from spending much of the morning in The ANGEL Room to spending most of the day in the classroom with his typical peers. Over the last 21 months that he has been in the program, he has grown by leaps and bounds knocking out goals thanks to his hard work and that of his therapists and teachers. Everyone has encouraged him with love and understanding, and it has meant everything to him and to us. The inclusive nature of the program has been very important to Jim as he has gotten older and forms a sense of social belonging and community, and it has been crucial as he has worked on social goals. He continues to make progress, and there is no doubt that we would not be where we are today without the Angel Program. Parents of kids on the spectrum just want what any parent wants for their child – to have them reach the full potential that God gave them. ASD can cruelly limit that potential with its effects, but with the intervention of The ANGEL Program, that potential can be rediscovered and unlocked. It is no understatement to say that The ANGEL Program gave us our son back, but of much greater importance, it has given Jim his life back. On behalf of every ANGEL student and their family, I ask you to please support The ANGEL Program Fund and the life changing work ofThe ANGEL Program.
Erica & John Milford
Parents of Jackson
We joined The ANGEL Program in the summer of 2013 and since then, Jackson has thrived. He has learned to speak better and play with others and has also developed ways to respond in social settings without outbursts or shutting down. He has transformed as a student and as a kid and is now thriving in his environment. He has friends, plays sports, communicates and is never told that he cannot do something, because he can!
Allegra & Zach Tatum
Parents of Charlee
Since Charlee joined The ANGEL Program (in the summer of 2016) he has met more goals than I ever knew were possible. He went from playing alone, speaking mostly babble, little to no eye contact, to now having lots of new friends even "very best friends", speaking in clear sentences, and getting to look straight into those big brown eyes. I couldn't be more proud of our little boy and this program. My wish is for all children on the Autism Spectrum to have something as special as The ANGEL Program to grow and learn the way God made them.
Deanna & Landon Wallace
Parents of Jed
I remember vividly the first day I pulled in to pick up Jed from day one of The ANGEL Program. I remember Ms. Anna had a large smile on her face (as did Jed!) and I immediately felt a huge sense of PEACE. She was oooooing and ahhhing over our sweet, silly boy. Just months early, there was daily frustration, worry, stress, and tears in hopes of finding a place of play and learning and acceptance and in just ONE day, Anna and her team turned our world upside down and provided that. Little did I know what was in store for our family.
Fast forward over a year later, and WOW. The community of professionals in The ANGEL Program has been overwhelming. I trust their expertise in the field as evidenced by Jed’s tremendous growth. His emerging independence and confidence in interactions with his family and friends is heart-warming. The Angel staff’s commitment and love for Jed make him feel pretty much like a Holy Rosary rock star. We are so appreciative of Ms. Carolyn and now Ms. Mary for being with him everyday when we cannot, and providing him with the tools he needs to excel; it’s so genuine. Also, we are humbled with Holy Rosary. The teachers and administration willing to go the extra mile, give the extra hug or extra pep talk, and have extra patience and compassion are not lost on me and this is a true testimony to the Christian faith. And finally, the community of ANGEL families–just knowing you are there and along for the ride feels good!
God is great! Thank you Lord for The ANGEL Program and everyone willing to give their hearts & support to it.
Jana & Brett Weathersby
Parents of Will
Never did I think Will could achieve so much in a little over 4 years! He went from not being able to sit still, talk, follow directions, keep his hands off other kids or work independently, to a bright, funny, crazy sweet, TALKATIVE “typical” student! Holy Rosary and The ANGEL Program have become a family to us. We have seen Christ's work through this school, through this program and their work with Will. They have loved and guided him (and us!) through it all, the good and the really bad.