We are the proud parents of beautiful identical twin girls, Kate and Charley. At two years old, our daughters were diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, a genetic disorder that leaves most diagnosed girls non-verbal and non-mobile. After the initial shock, we set out to find services and organizations that would enhance our daughter’s lives. Kate and Charley were happy and social, loved being with other children, and enjoyed singing and playing. They needed to be in preschool, but definitely required one on one support. Thankfully our Occupational Therapist suggested Centennial!
The thought of sending our little girls out into the world alone each day was scary to say the least, but the staff at Centennial made us feel at ease every step of the way. From our initial meeting with Kim Clarke we knew our girls would be in a loving, caring environment that would be safe and inclusive while providing activities and educational scenarios appropriate for Kate and Charley. Reading their communication books each day reminds us of how lucky we were to find Centennial. It is truly a place that continually impresses us as parents. Their team is regularly working towards Occupational and Physical therapy goals; and have been an integral part of developing a communication method the girls will use moving forward into JK.
Centennial’s support does not start and stop at the front door. If our girls were ill, we would receive phone calls to ask how they were doing. And when one girl became a little ill at school, a staff member drove home with her as an extra precaution. The care is genuine, and they’ve always made an effort to take into consideration our family’s overall situation.
The teachers, Kim, Lisa, Lorraine, Jacqui, and Krista have worked hard to make adaptations to the classroom and programs that allow Kate and Charley to be a part of all activities. For two years we have been in constant dialogue with them to discuss the girls’ changing needs and to enhance their experience at CICC. Through the arts and crafts we see, and the pictures emailed to us, we know that each day our girls smile, giggle, are hugged, and are loved.
In September, Kate and Charley will enter JK. Centennial has prepared us for the transition to elementary school and has supported our quest to find the right school. We knew that at a moment’s request we had a group of advocates ready to speak on the girls’ behalf.
I would like to thank all of the staff at Centennial including the volunteers, therapists, drivers, musicians, and teachers that have made the past two years an exceptionally enjoyable and enriching experience for the girls and our family.
-Jamie and Michelle O’Reilly-