Our son Nicklas just started his fifth year at St. Vincent’s Special Needs School (he just turned 15).
Nicklas has CP and is wheelchair bound, non-verbal and fully dependent. Prior to St. Vincent’s he attended the public school system which was easier in the younger years. As he grew older, it became noticeable what he needed was very different and we felt that the public school could not meet his needs.
As we found out about and visited St. Vincent’s school, we felt right at home. Just watching how the staff interacted with the children was just amazing. The program is structured and implemented to the students ability not just the age and therefore easier to set up activities and teaching.
For our son, the daily therapy is so important since he can not move himself. We love the way the staff integrates therapy in many of there activities throughout the day not just while he is attending a PT, OT or Speech Session. They are also working on letting the children explore with all their senses; from touching, smelling, tasting and vision. Some examples: Biking, cooking, foot massage and many more.
I took Nicklas to a therapy center in his earlier years (while he attended public school) where they had a Snoezelen Room. He especially enjoyed when they dimmed the lights and he could just focus on the sensory lights. I felt that it stimulated many of his senses. You could see him getting excited and he would frequently vocalize. I remember one of the products they used that allowed Nicklas to operate only by looking with his eyes. This was an incredible moment since his limitation of movement. He looked so proud that he was able to do something on his own and that just melts your heart.
As parents, we could not be happier that Nicklas is receiving his education at St. Vincent’s Special Needs School and there is not enough praise for the entire staff who works endlessly with such positive attitude and have such respect and love for our children.
My son’s first day at St. Vincent’s Special Needs School was on his third birthday. He was just a baby and I struggled with the thought of having to let strangers care for my son. With Sean’s special needs I could not imagine how strangers would be able (willing) to truly care for him, plus take care of the other children in the classroom. I feared that my son would be left in a corner to sit and wait for the school day to end. But I could not have been more wrong!
St. Vincent’s Special Needs School is a very special place. I do not know that I have the words to reflect the overwhelming gratitude and respect I have for every member of the St. Vincent’s team. I am consistently amazed by their level of commitment to our children. They tirelessly strive to find ways to care for, teach and stimulate our children. While giving our children access to the type of equipment, therapy and community outings that the public school system cannot provide.
Sean has been fitted for orthotics, a custom wheelchair and a back brace. He has his own gait trainer and stander in the classroom along with several other devices, which allow for different positioning throughout the day/week. He rides a bike, has access to a kid walker and will now receive aquatic therapy as part of his therapy regimen. In addition, my son has ice-skated (in the arena) with the Sound Tigers hockey team, he has gone horseback riding, gone to local water and amusement parks, along with countless other field trip activities. The experiences St. Vincent’s provides for our children are invaluable and cannot be found anywhere else.
I highly recommend St. Vincent’s Special Needs School and I am overjoyed that Sean is able to attend this truly remarkable school. I am sincerely amazed by the opportunities the school provides and I’m continuously inspired by the staff and their genuine love for our children. Sean has excelled because of the school environment and the level of care he receives from the St. Vincent’s team.
Our son Francesco has been attending St. Vincent’s Special Needs School since 2010. He is a nine-year-old boy with multiple challenges and the heart of a lion. He was born with a very rare brain disorder called cerebellar vermis hypoplasia as well as epilepsy. The education, care, and therapy he receives at St. Vincent’s has helped him to make tremendous gains.
Francesco was mainstreamed in our local public school. Although they meant well, they were not equipped to address Francesco’s needs to the degree necessary for him to improve. St. Vincent’s understands children like Francesco. Francesco has achieved several milestones while at St. Vincent’s. One of the more amazing milestones was the thirty steps he took for the first time in the nine years he is with us. Francesco was always tube fed until he attended St. Vincent’s, now his lunch is fed orally due to the occupational and speech therapies he has received and the many well trained individuals that have helped him.
As Francesco’s parents we leave no stone unturned and pursue every avenue in accessing therapeutic support for our son. St. Vincent’s understands the road we travel with our son. We are so grateful to have found the care we needed at St. Vincent’s.
Iowa and Dominic Cipollone