In first grade, we noticed our daughter, Kaiden, was struggling in all areas of school. Her teacher shared with us that it was her opinion it was because of her maturity and that it would improve with time. After struggling through 2nd grade, we knew something else was wrong and maturity was not the only contributing factor. We enlisted Kaiden’s pediatrician and asked that they set up testing. In the spring of 2015, Kaiden was diagnosed with Dyslexia. Very concerned and worried, we tried to find help for her. Kaiden received private therapy sessions and attended school, but they were very expensive, and we had to limit them to once per week, and she still struggled. She also struggled with frequent anxiety because she knew she was different and felt lost in class. We still found ourselves spending hours on homework and sometimes just giving Kaiden the answers just so that it could be completed in a timely manner.
In the fall of 2015, which was Kaiden’s 3rd grade year, we were introduced to the Discovery Program at TKA and the program’s director at the time, Mrs. Elizabeth Hicks. Kaiden was enrolled and assigned to therapist Kate Helms, and this is where a very tough journey began. Not only was Kaiden beginning sessions, but we as parents had several sessions as well. We were really shown what these kids go through and how to help. The work was tough, and you could always tell which days Kaiden had Discovery because she would be exhausted that afternoon, but we always knew Mrs. Helms was there for Kaiden and for us. If we ever had any problems or if Kaiden was having a particularly hard time with her anxiety, Mrs. Helms was there for all of us.
When Kaiden started TKA and Discovery in 3rd grade, she was academically on a 5k level. It took several years and a lot of hard work from Kaiden, Discovery, and our family, but it is now 2021 and finishing up 9th grade Kaiden no longer has any sessions. She is an A-B Honor Roll Student and working to her full potential independently. We are very firm believers in this program. We honestly do not know where Kaiden would be today if God had not heard our prayers and led us to the Discovery Program. We feel very blessed.
Brad and Kellie Doriety
The Lord works in mysterious ways. This has never been more apparent to me than when I reflect on the journey that my wife and son have endured to seek help for a child with a learning disorder. Our story is familiar to many parents. It starts with a concerned note or comment from a Pre-K or first-grade teacher. Then you get some evaluations done or seek services from your local school district by getting another evaluation and an Individualized Education Plan, then a vision specialist, then vision therapy, occupational therapy. . . maybe you have tried it all as we did. And if you still find yourself hitting a brick wall, and your child languishing, you start to get desperate. You might even turn to prayer. That is where we were after three years of effort by some talented and well-meaning experts; we were still hitting the wall and our son was getting further behind his peers. Then an occupational therapist told us we needed to look into the Discovery Program at The King’s Academy. One visit and we were sold. The education therapy team in the Discovery program uses a truly individualized approach in crafting the most effective approach to each child’s need. They have a big toolbox. They know which tool to use, and when to use it. They also build relationships with parents to expand therapeutic activities into the home environment where reinforcement plays a critical role in progress. They have taken the best practices from multiple disciplines and therapeutic models, all supported by empirical research, and brought it all under one roof – The Discovery Program. I’m going to go ahead and say it – it’s a Miracle. And because we are a Christian School, the therapists of the Discovery Program bring a spiritual commitment to the task at hand. They understand that when a child feels loved, supported and understood, they are prepared to move beyond that first barrier to growth and learning – they are willing to trust and try, and fail, and try again because they feel safe and supported. After a year or three or four, you will see a child that has been transformed, prepared to achieve their potential and thrive. The Discovery teachers never give up. They are ready to have that bad day with your child and keep going, the next day, and the next day. These people are on a mission, and it shows in the results. It is not an overnight kind of miracle – it takes a lot of commitment, it is expensive – but we were fortunate to receive some scholarship funding through the Exceptional Education program which has been a blessing for us, and is in the process of being expanded to bring this opportunity to more families in South Carolina.
We traveled far and wide looking for help when it was literally in our backyard the whole time.
We thank the Lord for the Discovery Program and the talented therapists whose sacrificial commitment to helping our sweet boy is so evident. They not only helped him, but they helped us to better understand him and his needs. Although this program is challenging, it has given our son the confidence and skills he needs to persevere through the obstacles that life has in store for him. We are very grateful for the continued support of these special people and blessed to have been part of such a wonderful group.
The Creel Family
Discovery is not my favorite class at TKA, but I have already seen an improvement in my classes because I go there. In a Discovery session sometimes, I get frustrated about the work I’m doing, but if I focus and take a deep breath, I can conquer the work. The biggest change I have seen has been in my mental math thinking. I have also greatly improved in comprehension. Discovery has and still continues to benefit me.
Class of 2020
Discovery is hard, painful, powerful, enlightening, and most of all worth it. Although it may take time, energy, and tears you will succeed. The results are worth it. There were many things that I did not understand at first but as time went by my understanding grew. Starting as a trickle, then I grew into a current of accomplishments, and knowledge propelling me into a world that I am better prepared for. A word to those who are reading this, those who ask if Discovery is really worth it, I would tell you with all my heart, YES!
I was told by many people that Discovery would help me in many ways. For some reason, I knew I would hate it. I wanted nothing to do with it at first, but after I met with my therapist for the first time, my mindset completely changed. I mean, I wasn’t a big fan of the homework at first, or even now, but I did know it provided a place of help and a place to talk to someone at any time. I’ve been in Discovery since 7th grade and I feel completely at ease around my therapist and all the Discovery teachers. They’re very sweet and loving women, and I know I can always go to them for help. After all, if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have been able to overcome my reading disability. Although I wasn’t exactly thrilled about Discovery at first, it paid off in the long run and I definitely made special relationships that I hope will last a lifetime.
A book can take you anywhere. Just like a book can carry you to many new places Discovery has also taken me to a new plane in my reading. A year ago, I dreaded reading and avoided it as much as possible, but now I enjoy reading! In my free time reading is one of the things I choose to do. A few years ago, I would have never thought I would say that. What I most appreciate about Discovery is that it has allowed me to go to many “new places.”