In 2007 during second grade, Lily was diagnosed with high functioning Autism, also known as Asperger's Syndrome.
She's incredibly bright, with a passion for music, reading, dancing, super hero movies, Supernatural (the TV series); The Hobbit. She cares deeply about our environment, loves the beach and snow. She is an amazing writer! We can go on and on but taking all this into account, getting her the right education has been a tremendous challenge for all of us.
For years we've worked with the public school system, doing everything we can from attending regular classes to home schooling to online schools all within the structure of the public school curriculum to get the best out of her education. We've had her evaluated, received her IEP, (Individualized Education Plan), and worked with the schools before we accepted the fact that we weren’t really getting anywhere. She was falling through the cracks. No one was happy. Not Lily, not the schools, not us.
One of the biggest challenges of having a child who's high on the spectrum is being able to see and know her tremendous potential and not being able to get her into a school that could work with her to help realize that potential. She has so much to offer. While we have worked with her from home as much as we can, one of the things she is lacking is social interaction with other kids. It is an area that can be a special challenge for her and other kids with Asperger’s. She is a bit of an introvert and it can be hard for her to initiate a conversation with someone new but when she makes new friends, she is as loyal and caring a friend as any friend can hope for.
Clear water has been an incredible experience for our family. Lily has made many new friends at school. In the past her answer to the question, how was school today?, was always "very schooly". She actually talks about school now. She talks about who she interacted with and what she did. We hit a mile stone last weekend. She went on an over night camping trip with Clearwater School to Whidbey Island by herself. She got on the ferry by herself and slept in a tent by herself! WOW!!!! My eyes start leaking thinkning about it.
Our challenge once again is that we are a family of six and even in the best of times it can be an interesting financial juggling act. Clearwater School is a private school. The school has granted us a reduction in tuition, but it is still out of reach for us at this time. We are so so grateful for your generosity last year. We are asking for your help once again in supporting Lily's education and raise the funds to get her back to Clearwater.
Your help is appreciated. Thanks!
David and Rose
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