Editor’s note: In the final segment of our SIP series, we’re publishing a letter from Julie Vu, a Rocketship parent, written to Ms. Gray, the moderate-to-severe special education teacher at Mosaic Elementary. Bond is a Rocketeer in our Specialized Inclusion Program (SIP), which supports students with more severe learning disabilities. The letter has been slightly modified for clarity and length. Special thanks to Julie for allowing us to share her letter for Beyond’s readers.
Today, Ms. Ardanuy (a Rocketship para educator) showed me a video of Bond dancing on her iPhone. I was surprised because his little sister dances all the time, but Bond never joins in at school or at home. I love to see Bond dancing.
The first time I saw Rocketship, I knew it was the one – the best fit for my Bond. The school felt open, warm and friendly. After filling out the enrollment paperwork, I could not stop crying in my car because I was so happy. Everyday, I cry just because I feel so happy. Bond likes his school; he wants to go to school everyday. This was not his experience last year. He didn’t want to go to school and he even tried to run away when we took him to school. I was so desperate and depressed until my Bond became a Rocketeer. I wished I had known about Rocketship earlier so I could have enrolled Bond sooner. I am trying to get Bond’s brother into a similar kind of middle school.
Bond is my third child. He has two older brothers, ten and eleven years old, and a five-year-old sister. One of his brothers also has autism. Bond’s dad and eldest brother named him about the James Bond 007 because they noticed right away that he was smart, curious and active, just like the action star from the movies. Bond is super smart, so I couldn’t believe the school put him into an autistic class right away (Bond was identified as “non-category delay” by the school; he was not diagnosed by doctors).
With my limited knowledge, I listened to them and put Bond onto the wrong path. In my life, I did many mistakes. I feel regret and guilt for this mistake more than any other. In this intensive program, Bond had not improved. I mean, he was worse. His school didn’t provide the services he needed. Bond didn’t listen to the teachers and staff. He was screaming or running away…and they didn’t have any solutions. Frankly, I was thinking about homeschooling him. Finally God listened to me, and give me a new hope. Bond got into Rocketship.
Bond, my boy, is sweet and sensitive. As a mother, I feel helpless if Bond is unhappy. I am glad that he has been happy in school so far. His classmates are very nice to him. The other day, I saw Bond smiling, hand in hand with a girl. I also heard couple boys teaching my Bond the school rules. It was really amazing when I heard one of the boys tell him he was Bond’s helper; he told Bond could asked him any questions. My son now is very proud to tell his siblings and relatives, “I am Rocketeer in the Rocketship.” It brings my tears whenever I hear it.
Ms. Gray, please send my thanks all the staff who work with Bond.
From the bottom of my heart,
Read more about our Specialized Inclusion Program ➟ rsed.org/SIP