Carl’s Story

Immediately after Carl was diagnosed with developmental delay in preschool, he started going to the Belle Center of Chicago (now part of Aspire) for speech and occupational therapy. Now Carl’s a high school freshman navigating a new world of classes with the support of his family and help from his Aspire therapist.

Of course, it hasn’t always been easy. Between preschool and high school, Carl was in both private and public schools in an attempt to find one that could meet his parents’ criteria: that special education resources were readily available and his Aspire therapist would be allowed into the school. Eventually they found what they were looking for and fortunately, throughout the process Aspire was a consistent and reliable support.

Now, Carl is a happy and well-adjusted freshman who continues to benefit from services that have been tailored to his needs and changed as his needs changed. His mother, Jane, has particularly appreciated the educational supports Aspire provides for the student, teachers and parents.

She explains it like this, “The support has really been instrumental. With Aspire, I have someone I can call who’s independent of the school system. They help me think things through and navigate the system. And when I’m stressed about an IEP meeting, they’ll be there with me.” Then she adds with a laugh, “I don’t know if the educational support is more for Carl or more for me, but it definitely has been very good!”

At home, Carl is very independent and taking steps to become more so. He’s getting used to coming home from school and getting settled inside by himself. The next step is to take the school bus and enter the house by himself. Then next year, the plan is that he’ll take public transportation. As his mom says, “He’ll be fine. We just have to navigate as we go and see where we end up. It will all come together one day.”

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