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Djouvanny's Story: How Special Education Helped Him Thrive

Updated: Mar 25, 2022

Djouvanny is 8-years-old and has been a student at LIFE Academy for 3 years. He comes from a single-parent family but one that is full of love and warmth.

Djouvanny’s mom noticed that Djouvanny might have a disability when he was around 1.5 years old and wasn't walking, pulling up on anything, or standing up like other children his age. Djouvanny finally started walking around the age of three but he hadn’t started talking at all. He made little sounds to communicate and would smile but there were reasons to believe that he had mental and physical delays.

His mother said that she enrolled him in the local preschool (not life academy) and they kicked him out after a year because he would not talk. Djouvanny then became a child that the LIFE Academy directors and staff had on their radar so we could get him enrolled in LIFE Academy.

We knew that we had the ability to specifically meet his needs as a nonverbal child.

We continued to walk beside his mom and teach her about the possible delays in her son and some of the strategies we use at LIFE Academy to help students who are nonverbal.

She eventually admitted to us that she was scared because she believed it was a VooDoo curse put on him by his father. We told her, “There is a strategy for that too - His name is Jesus Christ.” At LIFE Academy we truly believe that Psalm 139:14, “I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well,” is true and that it is our duty to help our students and parents understand this truth as well.

Since Djouvanny has attended school at LIFE Academy, he has rapidly excelled socially, spiritually, and academically. He has made major progress in his speech and his speech delay is now a thing of the past. This year, Djouvanny was able to start in our preschool class after getting his foundations built in our special education class. He is such a sweet-spirited child and a very kind classmate to everyone on campus.

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