From frustration and anxiety to a positive growth mindset and happiness


A View from Above

Our story probably isn’t much different than most families who are chosen and favored to have a child with neurodiverse needs. I vividly remember the day our daughter, Annie, was born. I was overcome with love and gratitude for this tiny human being who was perfect in every way. I remember thanking God for this incredible, beautiful miracle of life and our promise to love, cherish, shape, and mold Annie into the person that God has created her to be. Annie was our beautiful, smiley, energetic, determined, persistent, passionate, articulate, smart, creative little girl. 

Blurred Vision

In preschool and Kindergarten, Annie’s zest for life was on fire — and so was her intensity related to frustration and emotional regulation. Annie spent two years in Occupational Therapy (OT) working on these areas. She was a hard worker, whose determination, persistence, and energetic spirit served her well: she was able to end OT. 

Then came COVID and distance learning, which was a nightmare for us and for Annie. She was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety in second grade. I read every book that I could get my hands on. Annie started medication and therapy. Things were going well until they weren’t.  

Fast forward to the spring conference of Annie’s fourth grade year where her teacher shared that “Annie wasn’t connecting with her peers.” This statement sent a dagger right through my heart and grief began to set in; however, I needed to be strong for Annie and be her fierce advocate.  During all of these years, Annie was good at masking the struggle that comes with being neurodivergent. We decided Annie deserved more and changes in education were needed in order for Annie to grow into the person God has called her to be.

New Prescription 

We came to Franklin Academy in the fall of 2023 and life changed for the better. From our first invitation to lunch to learn more about Franklin and share our story, to Annie’s shadow day, we knew this was the right fit for Annie.  Franklin just feels like home; a place where people know your name, an inclusive community where everyone knows the struggle and is rooting for you and your child. Aside from the beautiful campus, the staff are always welcoming, friendly, hardworking, and willing to work with you each step of the way. 

Annie has grown in so many positive ways. Her confidence has soared along with her self-esteem.  She is a leader in the classroom and teachers can depend on her.  Annie loves to help others, especially those younger than her. She has always had a heart of gold and to see the level of empathy and inclusiveness that Annie has developed makes my heart so happy and proud of her. 

Annie consistently comes home from school more regulated and is a happy child.  She used to have a lot of anxiety related to math, but the smaller class size, individualized attention, and working on a positive growth mindset have really helped her improve her skills. Annie has also greatly benefited from having integrated services for speech and social skills built into her day.  She has learned to persevere through challenging tasks with the support of caring, nurturing, and patient adults. The after-school programs, such as baking (offered through Franklin Enrichment), have been a great experience for Annie, too. She’s even shared some new recipes with me to add to our collection!

Annual Exam

As a parent, Franklin Center has been a beautiful blessing and we are grateful. It has broadened our sense of community and support for the better. We finally have a community that gets it. I have met some of the most amazing people who are there to support, encourage, laugh, and even cry with you. They understand the struggle and can easily relate to your situation. 

Please know that you are not alone. Our children are amazing and will do great things. God chose us for a reason and if you are reading this, know you are exactly who your child needs. Be a fierce advocate, educate yourself, surround yourself with supportive people, and always have HOPE.

If you’d like to know more about Franklin Academy, please reach out. We’d love to talk.

[CTA Schedule a conversation]