Success Stories

Joshua's Story

Joshua is the youngest of four children and lives with his mom and dad in San Dimas, Ca. His parents reported that from the beginning, they knew that he was not like their other children. He looked like them, but that is where the similarities ended. Joshua seemed like a pretty bright young man, yet he had struggled academically all through elementary school and by 6th grade he was failing all his classes except physical education. He was acting out behaviorally to the point that he had multiple suspensions within the first 13 weeks of school. He was becoming a very angry and defiant young man and it seemed like he would do what he could to get out of school; even if it meant getting into severe trouble. He did not complete or hand in his assignments, and was at the point of giving up any hope for school success.

He was referred to Canyon View School after continuing to fail in a special education classroom in the district. When Joshua arrived, he was very adamant in telling us that he did not do work and that he would be missing a lot of school due to suspensions. Our staff worked very hard to engage with him and find out about his likes and dislikes. They put together an incentive program for him and began the difficult process of motivating him to try again after the many failures he had experienced. Joshua really tested the staff and pushed the limits as far as he could. His teacher, counselor and support staff remained patient, encouraging and slowly gained his trust and confidence. Eventually, Joshua was able to talk about some of his challenges with reading, attention, following through and his own disappointment in himself.

By the end of the 2nd term, he was making some progress and specific interventions were implemented to help him achieve a higher level of success academically. He started to make friends, participate in activities and reported to his parents that he wanted to come to school. They were pleasantly surprised and asked us to keep doing whatever it was we were doing, because it was working.

Joshua earned the responsibility of becoming a student mentor for a younger child and he showed tremendous understanding of the challenges this child was facing. His mentoree looked up to him and depended on him to show up daily for the 30 minutes of help that he could provide. The behavior improved dramatically and the academics were improving as well.

Joshua completed the school year at Canyon View School and will begin to mainstream into a district classroom in the fall. Canyon View staff will provide support in the time he is on campus and Joshua is looking forward to 1 or 2 periods a day at the public school. His parents are delighted and they are very active members of our parent program. They had just about given up on Joshua, when his school life began to turn around. He continues to need structure and support and is somewhat afraid of the transition back, however he is beginning to develop the self-confidence and study habits that he will need to maintain to continue to progress and succeed in the future.

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