Every person on the planet has needs that are both unique and special. Many people, despite their uniqueness, are able to lead full, productive lives while accessing the existing resources and supports in their communities. Others need unique resources and supports in order to reach their full potential. Our 12 year old daughter falls into this category. Here is her story.
Why This Fundraiser?
Our daughter has a complicated medical and educational history. At 12 years old, she is just beginning to understand a little bit about herself and the reasons why she experiences difficulties in some areas of her life. For this reason, we've made the decision to respect her right to privacy and not include her photograph as a part of this fundraising effort. We all can remember being 12 or 13 years old, and how important it seemed to just "be like everyone else". For this reason, we feel its important to give our daughter the time and space that she needs to begin to understand herself, without compromising her right to do so out of the public eye. We sincerely hope that you understand our position and won't let it deter you from helping us! We really do need your help!
A Little History
As a toddler, our daughter was diagnosed with a significant speech delay, mild autism, sensory integration problems and a rare genetic disorder. Over the years, she has participated in and benefited from intensive speech therapy, occupational therapy and various other medical interventions. At age seven, our daughter was also diagnosed with significant ADHD and learning disabilities. Her geneticist believes that her difficulties with learning are a manifestation of her genetic disorder which is called Hypomelanosis of Ito.
Why We Need Your Help Now!
Today, our daughter is in the seventh grade at our local public middle school. She is struggling academically and socially in her current school placement. Over the past two years, we have come to realize that, in order for our daughter to learn and reach her full potential, she must attend school in a highly specialized learning environment. The current public school setting has caused her to regress behaviorally and socially. Sadly, she isn't making academic progress in this setting either.
We have spent months searching for scholarships or grants for children in our daughter's age group with unique educational needs, but our efforts have proven unsuccessful. There is a school in our area which can offer our daughter the specialized curriculum and environment that she needs, but we cannot afford the tuition. Our daughter was accepted to the school for the 2012-2013 school year. The admissions committee believed that their curriculum was appropriate for her and that she would thrive and make progress as a student there. Unfortunately, we weren't able to enroll her because the school ran out of financial aid funding. There was no money left to help our daughter.
What You Can Do To Help!
Please pray about helping to give our daughter the gift of an educational experience that is appropriate for her, both academically and socially. She used to tell us that she wanted to attend college one day, even though school is hard. It broke our hearts recently to hear her say that she no longer wants to go to college. She didn't offer any explanation for changing her mind about college, but I suspect that recent and repeated failures in school have caused her to begin doubting her own abilities.
Your monetary gifts will be applied directly to our daughter's yearly tuition costs. Each year's tuition cost is approximately $25,000 (you can verify this on the school's website www.tncs.org). We've gotten an early start on the school's financial aid application process for the 2013-2014 school year, but have already been advised that the school's funds are limited again this year.
We thank you in advance forr your help and support! May God bless each of you!
The Owens Family