HOUSTON – Families with children who have special needs face many challenges.
One is finding the right place for their child’s education, while others also have the added challenge of finding the right place for therapy.
Some local families believe they have found the best of both worlds at one school in Spring.
The “Journey School for the Uniquely Gifted and Talented” has teachers on staff to handle traditional classroom education. It also has therapists on site who work in a contract capacity.
Melodie Chandler, the school’s founder, said having the teachers and therapists in one place allows them to work together to give each student the best result possible.
“These are the therapists that we have handpicked because they connect with every teacher. So, if you’re taking your child outside to a different therapy, they don’t have the ability to go and talk to the teacher and say, ‘hey, we’re working on this. If you can do this in the classroom, then we’re going to have this carry-over, right? We really want to have the carry-over,’” said Chandler.
The students have access to various forms of therapy, including speech therapy and physical therapy.
Another form available at the Journey School is sensory integration therapy (SIT).
Chandler says SIT can be vital to a child’s ability to communicate.
“We all have sensory needs as adults and as children. Sometimes we click a pen, sometimes we tap our knee, and sometimes we do different things to help to regulate our own body if we get nervous or if we’re anxious. And so, a lot of our students who have different abilities have sensory needs that they’re not able to tell someone. They don’t really understand why they feel certain ways,” Chandler said.
Families of students who attend Journey School have seen measurable success with SIT.
“Amazing things happen. Kiddos come in here really unregulated and they get in this swing, and all of a sudden, they ask for more or they say a word. The non-speaking child would begin to speak,” said Chandler.
On the academic side, there are similarities to public schools. Students have P.E., recess, and they learn in a classroom setting.
One parent we spoke with said Journey School has made a big difference for his son and their entire family.
“From his individual happiness, that spreads to at home, and so, it just kind of blossoms from there,” said Jeff Peters, who is the father of a student.
The Journey School is a private Christian school. It is tuition-based but scholarships are also available.
The school holds events throughout the year where money is raised for those scholarships.
One of those events will be held on Friday, March 10. It’s a sporting clays tournament at Blackwood Gun Club in Conroe, starting at 9 a.m. More information is available at https://journeyschooltx.org/