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Parent Perspective: Starting Early

Another family reflects upon their decision to join our Riverview Community

We hope you enjoyed learning about Andrew and Victoria’s journey over the last few weeks. We would like to share another family perspective.

Meet Adam, Martha and Juliet.

After years of trying to provide the appropriate support necessary to fill the academic and social gaps that grow more apparent as children reach middle school, families come to a breaking point. The road narrows, and options begin to feel more limited. They are exhausted and frustrated by the numerous appointments, therapies, and social groups attended, all the while continuing to struggle to catch up. Families become fearful of their child’s educational path and spend endless hours worrying about their future. 

The decision to pursue a Riverview education can feel overwhelming and come with mixed emotions, as the road to finding the appropriate placement can be difficult. The challenges families experience when searching for a new school also affects the siblings. Families are devoted to their other children, however, siblings give up time and attention from their families so their brother or sister gets the support they need. Does this sound familiar? You are not alone. There is a community of families at Riverview School who were on the same journey until they found the “right fit” for their child and family. 

The path to Riverview can look very different for each family. For this family, Juliet’s school was providing the academics she needed and she was happy.   However, it was located ninety minutes away from home which made it difficult for Juliet to have playdates with peers. It was impossible to cultivate friendships on the weekends so Juliet lacked the important experiences that are necessary to form solid social skills and lasting relationships.

Our families share many commonalities. One, in particular, is: The drive and determination to keep pushing for the education and community they know their child truly deserves and the dream for their child to reach their full potential.  Juliet’s family began to search for an inclusive boarding community that would help her develop her true potential academically and socially while gaining independent living skills. They persisted in their search and were fortunate to find Riverview, 3000 miles away on Cape Cod. 

Prior to making their decision, Adam and Martha consulted with many parents as they were deciding whether to enroll Juliet, and each of the families they spoke to indicated that their one and only regret was they wished they had started earlier.  Over time, they put aside their fears and enrolled Juliet in middle school as a sixth-grade boarding student.  Joining early allows students to gain confidence through competence as they increase academic, social-emotional, independent living, wellness, and vocational readiness skills. Looking back, they recognize that so much of what Juliet has learned is due to her complete immersion in Riverview’s boarding program and that the investment in those early years was invaluable.  

In Juliet’s case, she was not the only family member that benefitted from finding Riverview. The shift in family dynamics allowed everyone to thrive. Adam and Martha found that when Juliet joined Riverview, they became part of a wonderful community. For many of our families, becoming part of a larger group opens the door to sharing their feelings with other parents who “walk the walk”. They could finally speak with someone who understood how they felt as they went through their journey.  

Juliet is a rising senior and continues to stay the course and exceed their expectations.

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