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Special education made it possible for our daughter to become a happy, independent adult. We’re thankful for all the special education teachers she had from preschool up through her Case High School graduation. We’re thankful for the ARC program (Advocates for People with Intellectual and Developmental issues) and the people of Developmental Disabilities Information Service and Racine County Opportunity Center.

These people and programs gave us the framework for setting our daughter up for a well-adjusted life outside of the ‘nest.’ Within the framework however, was our commitment to our daughter which we showed through hands-on, eager-to-help, patience and persistence. We worked with the teachers because our goals were the same — our daughter’s development and personal wellbeing.

The teachers had training and experience helping them, we had only a desire to help. What made the difference in the end was, we prayed for wisdom to know what to do. Physical needs were addressed, behaviors were looked at and modified, encouragement became a reward, and courage to keep trying came just when we needed it most.

My heart aches for you who are doing all the right things and feeling like there’s little or no hope of really seeing something wonderful happen for your child. We were there, too. And, now we’re saying with thankfulness and certainty that ‘building’ under the guidance and input of The Designer made the process and the finished ‘work’ be a total blessing, which is continuing, yet, today.

Phylis Hessenthaler

Racine

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