David Heads Back to the Classroom

By Laycee Weier, Treehouse Senior Educational Advocate

Tenth-grader David lives with his grandmother who has taken care of him for the past few years. He has autism and often experiences acute anxiety with social situations. As a result, school has been very difficult for David not only socially but academically as well. Last fall, David refused to attend school and as the months passed by he got farther and farther behind.  It was apparent that his mental health was interfering with his ability to learn so he was referred to the Treehouse Educational Advocacy program.

Educational Adovcates Help Remove Barriers to School Success for Youth in Foster Care

As David’s assigned advocate I helped him, his grandmother, and his school come up with a plan to enable him to be more successful in attending school. I called a meeting with David’s high school to discuss alternative educational options for David. Over the past year, David became more and more anti-social only leaving his bedroom on occasion and rarely leaving his house, if ever. Attending school was proving to be impossible for David. As his Educational Advocate I was able to negotiate with the school to provide David with one-on-one tutoring at his home until he became more stable. I met with David’s school team again to discuss increasing tutoring and a possible change to his tutoring location. As a team we agreed that David needed to participate in his tutoring outside of his home to promote a healthy social life. David worked really hard with his mental health therapist and by February of 2016 David was attending his tutoring program at the local library. Within a few weeks David was thriving in his tutoring program learning more than he had all year. David continued to participate and learn until the school year ended.

This fall, David feels confident enough to go to school and learn in a classroom! I’m so proud of David’s accomplishments. He provides an amazing example of how to overcome obstacles in life.

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About the Author

As a Treehouse Senior Educational Advocate, Laycee Weier, MSW, collaborates with schools, social workers, foster families and foster youth to resolve difficult issues and remove barriers to foster kids’ school success.

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