Mom credits Children's Learning Center's caring staff for improving her son's social skills

Children’s Learning Center Lead Teacher Carolyn Moody (left) with Monica.

Children’s Learning Center Lead Teacher Carolyn Moody (left) with Monica.

When Joshua arrived at the Children’s Learning Center to begin preschool, the 4-year-old boy was afraid of people he didn’t know and would scream when he heard loud noises. He didn’t like socializing much with other children and kept to himself.

Joshua has sensory processing disorder, which was impacting his ability to socialize. Certain sounds would create a feeling of “sensory overload,” often resulting in him screaming and wanting to be left alone. But with the help of the Children’s Learning Center’s caring staff, Joshua was thriving by the end of the school year.

“He was placed with Miss Allison, who was the best thing for him,” said Monica, Joshua’s mother. “She would comfort him or tell the other children to let Joshua have his space and eventually he would join in the class again. She really, really, helped him with his social skills.

“When my son was clingy, she taught him that if he wanted to be ready for kindergarten, he needed to be more independent. If there was a problem, she would tell kids to try to solve it – tell the other child, ‘I don’t like it when you do that’  and, if that didn’t work, then come back to me. When he got to kindergarten, he was prepared.”

Monica was so impressed by Joshua’s preschool experience during the 2017-2018 school year that she enrolled his sister, Brianna, at the Children’s Learning Center in Pontiac for the 2018-2019 school year. Both were in the Great Start for Readiness Program, which provides free preschool for qualifying children at risk of not being ready for kindergarten.

“I truly appreciate the professionalism, loving and caring nature of the entire staff at the Children’s Learning Center. I would highly recommend the school to any parent.”

Although Brianna was outgoing at home, she was shy when she began preschool. Her teacher noticed how she loved to write and make crafts, which helped Brianna open up and feel more at ease at school.

“She has overcome her shyness,” Monica said. “Preschool has provided her an opportunity to meet new people and become more independent.”

Monica adopted Joshua and Brianna after having been a foster parent to the siblings since they were babies. Joshua was 3 years old and Brianna 2 years old when the adoption was finalized.

Monica was first introduced to Oakland Family Services when Joshua began receiving services through the agency’s Early On program. He was 2 years old and needed help developing his fine and gross motor skills.

A couple years later, she was back at the agency picking up her grandson regularly from the Children’s Learning Center and decided she wanted to give the school a try for Joshua. She has been very pleased with the outcome for both of her children.

“The children are learning, but in a relaxed environment,” she explained. “The teachers are not just helping them with reading and writing but also making sure they are well rounded. They get to go outside every day and have outdoor activity. It’s good for them to exert some of that energy. They also have a lending library. My children haven’t needed it but for those who do, they can check out educational toys and books, bring them home and then return them.

Monica’s children also attended summer camp this year in Lead Teacher Carolyn Moody’s class and really enjoyed water days — when children would play in kiddie pools and with other water toys — and going on field trips.

“I truly appreciate the professionalism, loving and caring nature of the entire staff at the Children’s Learning Center. I would highly recommend the school to any parent.”

Oakland Family Services is enrolling children for the 2019-2020 school year at the Children’s Learning Centers in Walled Lake and Pontiac. For more information, call (248) 239-2074.