Patricia Moody’s PATH to Success
Patricia was starting high school out of our district at SrHS. The students did not know her. Would they accept her? We approached high school with trepidation. But, we had hopes and dreams for our daughter. Would the teachers share our hopes and dreams? We knew about the PatH from the Florida inclusion network and we requested it for Patricia in the spring before she entered SrHS. We invited her grandmothers, her teacher, therapists and the aide from middle school, and of course, Patricia. We prepared yummy eats (it takes 2 to 3 hours to complete the PatH). The day of the PatH we were met with the principal and four teachers – what support!
The atmosphere was happy. It was a time to be hopeful and freely express our dreams for Patricia. And yes, Patricia expressed herself all during the time we were working on her PatH. All of us were directed to focus on our dreams for Patricia, no holds barred, realistic or not. While we were all sharing during the PatH process, a team member was diligently illustrating our suggestions. The first thing she illustrated was a large yellow star and she wrote “north Star” – that got everything started. We let loose with a profusion of dreams: We want Patricia to graduate, know how to handle money, learn to cook, be healthy, be active, be happy, shop with friends, have a church life, get married, be independent. Patricia was in agreement and she contributed these things: she wanted to use sign language all her life, go to irSc, be in a church choir, live in a 3-story home of her own, have a family farm, take care of sick animals, go to football games, and go skating and horseback riding.
So, those were the dreams. The process of coming up with a plan to accomplish those dreams was the stuff of the rest of the PatH process. We were all enthusiastic, even the teachers who did not yet know Patricia. They were phenomenal; they knew their students and the steps it would take for them to accept and develop friendships with Patricia. Everyone was committed to working together to make her dreams a reality.
Today, long after the event of the PatH, Patricia not only uses sign language, she teaches it to seven classes each week! She still needs help with money but writes her own checks. She works out 3 times a week and takes vitamins to stay healthy. She took two, 4-credit hour courses at irSc in sign language and made “a’s” in both of them! She does not sing in a church choir, but she has sung and signed the national anthem for numerous events. She performed her own concert “Patricia live” twice. She is not married yet but she does go shopping with friends. And friends – wow! – high school was the best because of her friends! Patricia is certainly a happy person; in fact Patricia is known as the “Happy advocate”!
What are your hopes and dreams for your child? Click here to learn more.
Want to read more inspirational stories about Patricia? Click here to learn about Patricia exhibiting an “I CAN” attitude.
Video Courtesy of Verola Studio. www.booktheday.com
- How to Set Clear Goals and Plan Naturally
- Ethan’s Alternative Tomorrow: A PATH Toward Social Inclusion
- Whether it’s Your First IEP or You’re a Pro: 10 things to Cover at the Meeting
This post originally appeared on our January/February 2014 Magazine