|Sharon talking about her son|
My son needed to bring an item to school that starts with the letter "A". He brought out a frog asked if it started with A. I sounded out the F and A to try to teach the differences. He said a frog is amphibian. I said amphibian starts with A. He took the frog in and told the teacher all about amphibians ... and yet he still didn't understand the letter A.
We had early testing in Gr. 2 (covered by my husband's benefits) - this was the best thing we ever did - even though my son had difficulties with reading, writing and math (pretty much all of school) - he also knew he was smart because the testing showed it - and his teachers had a better understanding of him.
|Joe Bolton, former GOLD student. Written when he was in Grade 9|
I remember before I entered school, when everyone thought I was extremely intelligent. How pleasant it was to be appreciated for my gifts, rather than have them overshadowed by my disabilities, as it was from the very start of school. In this institution called 'school', you are judged on what is put on paper, not what is in your head.
|A parent who is a professional in the mental health field|
As the age of onset for mental illness is often the teenage years, it is so important to emphasize wellness, balance, positive self regard and the importance of self-care in secondary school.
|A parent of another GOLD program child|
My son was a challenging baby. Constant motion and not a good sleeper. He had a significant speech delay which was assessed privately at 3 and 1/2 years old. After just a short time period his vocabulary was advanced for his age.
I have to give the staff at his school a lot of credit for being proactive. He is our first-born and I hadn't spent any time around other children for years so I had no idea what was "normal". I realized in Kindergarten and Grade 1 that he was not doing as well as most other children, even the boys. However, I was fixated on the differences in brain development between girls and boys. I figured he was just a boy and he would catch up. It was his Grade 2 teacher who put him on the list for testing in Grade 3.
In Grade 5 we took him a couple of times to Dr. Worling because he and I were having terrific homework battles and he had used the "suicide" word. He was very unhappy. I think Sarina Kier has been one of the most helpful people. She pointed out that we were focused on remediating the weaknesses instead of the strengths. So, we shifted our focus and that has made a big difference.