I knew my daughter was different since the age of 2. I really didn’t know what the “different” was and was told by the pediatrician to wait until she started school.

When she began VPK, other than crying every morning for 3 months, she was learning and developing as any other child her age.

I placed her in a K-8 Charter School to begin Kindergarten. There is where I learned how different my daughter really was. She was academically competent; her behavior was another thing, and she was being triggered to promote the bad behavior. I was at the school every day for something or another.

At the age of 5, I had her seen by a neurologist and she was diagnosed with ADHD. The results were taken to the school to start a 504 plan. However, the school had other plans. The school wanted to Baker Act my 5-year-old, at which time, I removed her from the school and transferred her to a Public School. After a quarter of what I consider torture, my daughter was good again and her 504 Plan was on its way.

The pandemic came along and delayed the 504 process with the District. Once first grade began, the phone calls were daily. I was about to lose my mind and felt I was failing my daughter. Luckily, my sister was an elementary teacher and had previously witnessed Krista Barth on an IEP meeting she was overseeing. The contact information was passed on to me and I scheduled my initial telephonic consultation with Krista and signed up right away.

It was a hard process to get the 504 Plan implemented. When we finally did, it ran smoothly for a little bit but not by much. We discussed in second grade about changing the 504 Plan to an IEP and the possibility of same since her diagnosis was ADHD. Since the behavioral issue started overpowering her academics, an IEP was what my daughter needed. We turned stones and sailed through high waters. There were many meetings with teachers, administration, District personnel and school psychologists. There was also behavioral therapy happening behind the scenes.

The IEP was finalized in the third grade. Once the IEP was in full force, my daughter started to change. The behavior improved, the calls were not as often, and she was well on her way. However, the behavior issue was still there.

Today, my daughter is in the fourth grade. She has a new principal, new teachers and has even made new friends. This school year so far, I have not had any behavioral issues brought to my attention by the teachers or administration. She is an A/B student academically and straight A in conduct for the first time ever. She has even earned student of the month. My daughter is now known as the person she really is and not the child that is always in trouble. Our family is so proud of her hard work.

If it were not for Krista and the wonderful people that work alongside her, this would not be possible. They gave me the strength and held my hand the whole way through, and I will continue using them. I am forever grateful to every person that has spoken with me, attended meetings with me, has chatted with me and has reassured me that we would get through this as a team. Krista and her team love what they do and love who they are doing it for, our children.

Written By and Graciously Shared By, Milanis Mother, Milagro Arena