To the editor:
My daughter, Emily, has been attending Jefferson County Christian School for three years. Her first two years of life were a breeze. We started to get worried when we noticed she was not talking much around the age of 3. We took her to Duke hospital to be tested because she was not talking. They ended up telling us that Emily was retarded and they doubted she would every talk, read or write. We refused to believe this. School has always been a challenge. We finally got a diagnoses we believed in. She has auditory processing disorder. She doesn't learn like a "normal" child, but needs repetition. A lot of the time the information she learns doesn't stay with her.
My husband and I moved here to Wintersville six years ago from North Carolina. We enrolled Emily in a local elementary school. Midyear, the principal told us that their school could do nothing more for Emily because she wasn't able to learn. That summer I came to Jefferson County Christian School and talked to Dianne Hutchison, the school administrator, about Emily to see if it was possible to enroll her at JCCS. During the time Hutchison spent with Emily screening her she discovered more about how she was learning than the six years we had in the public school.
Emily is now in the seventh grade at JCCS. Jefferson Country Christian School has changed our lives. She is getting the care and attention she's needs. Since Emily has been here she has been on the honor roll every semester. The teachers and my husband and I work together on what makes Emily learn best.
I still try to figure out how to make Emily comprehend and learn. I struggle as a parent as to why she has learning disabilities. It breaks my heart to see her struggle. A few years ago I was reminded that I am not the paint to the masterpiece God made ... that masterpiece being Emily. She is not a blank book awaiting my pen, but she is already a written book awaiting for me to read. God is going to do amazing things in Emily's life. Our family and JCCS are the foundation for her.
We may never figure out why she has so many learning disabilities, but we do know she is going to be that actress ... that singer ... that she dreams to be if she stays focused on the itinerary God has already designed for her. We just have to help her along the way. Emily is a masterpiece given to us from God to do big things. She is going to change the world with her beauty and love that is being nurtured at Jefferson County Christian School, and for that I am forever grateful. Thank you, Dianne Hutchison and Jefferson County Christian School staff, for changing our lives with the way you teach students and most of all, for loving our Emily.