Josh and I have been supporters of the Frankie Lemmon School for many years. Now that our son Thomas has turned 3, he is a student at Frankie Lemmon. We never thought we would be on the other side of things, but here we are.
For those of you that don’t know much about Thomas, he was born with Apert Syndrome. Apert is a craniofacial condition where sutures in the skull fuse together in the womb. The other signature characteristics of Apert are fused hands and feet. Thomas has endured three surgeries in his short life – two of which gave him his ten fingers and ten toes, and one where his skull was reshaped to make room for his brain to grow.
Thomas is nonverbal at almost 3 ½ which is probably our biggest challenge with him right now. He has had regular, consistent speech therapy since he was a year old. Thomas was attending a traditional preschool prior to being at Frankie Lemmon. When it was time to start the IEP process with Wake County, Frankie Lemmon came up as an option. We knew how wonderful of a place it was, so we decided that we were 100% on board with Thomas being a student there. It all worked out, and the county agreed that Thomas would benefit most from the small class size, therapists on staff, and amazing teachers at Frankie Lemmon.
The day I brought Thomas to Frankie Lemmon for orientation, I started crying in the parking lot. I saw parents getting wheelchairs out of their cars, I saw children with Down Syndrome, and I immediately felt at peace. This was where Thomas was supposed to be. He was finally not the different kid. I had struggled with that a lot in the past. It was very hard having the one child who looked so different from everyone else in his school.
A few months into school, I have noticed so many positive changes in Thomas. He is using sign language more to express his wants and needs, his transitions that were VERY hard before have seemed to almost go away, he does simple things like help clean up that he didn’t do before. I cannot say enough amazing things about his two sweet teachers. Thomas has five children in his class. The 2:5 teacher student ratio is exactly what Thomas needs.
As we enter the holiday season with Giving Tuesday, I encourage you to look into the amazing things being done at the Frankie Lemmon School for kids just like Thomas who just need a little more extra attention. I was told that Wake County provides $1000 for each student at Frankie Lemmon. That astounded me, as so much more is needed to pay the staff, pay for the technology, the meals, and just the day to day things required to run a school (especially today when extra cleaning precautions have to be taken).
Here is what your donation can provide:
$25 – Virtual Learning Kit
$50 – Therapeutic Pressure Vest
$100 – Adaptive Chair
$250 – GoTalk Communication Aid
$500 – Additional Cleaning and PPE Supplies for a Classroom
$1,000 – Stock a Classroom with Educational Supplies
$2,500 – Sponsor a Child’s Feeding Therapy for an Entire Month
$5,000 – SMART Board for Adaptive Learning
$10,000 – Playground Equipment and Maintenance
On behalf of myself and my family, I just want to thank you in advance for your donation to this amazing school. It will help Thomas and so many children like him who have special needs.