Our daughter, Mika, entered the GCPA Infant Toddler program housed at Gateway Education Center when she was 18 months old. Her needs were overwhelming at the time and we were cautious about sending her to a full day of school at such a young age. As parents, we struggled to understand her current conditions and worried about any ways they would affect her future. Our family was in need of support just as much as our daughter was in need of therapeutic educational services. On her first day of school, we dropped Mika off and I tried to hide my emotions until I was out the door. Her teacher quickly saw that I was holding back tears and gave me a hug and reassured me that everything would be fine. About an hour, after we had dropped our daughter at school my phone rang. It was her teacher. “I just wanted to tell you that Mika is doing just fine. She is playing and soon we will have a snack.” I cannot tell you how much that phone call reassured my heart. See, GCPA has been so much more to us than just a school. Not only do they provide excellent therapeutic educational programs, they become family. The teachers and staff become experts in your child and strive to provide support to the whole family. When we came to GCPA we were full of limitations for our daughter, “she probably cannot do this, and we know she won’t do this.” The teachers and staff at GCPA taught us that within the parameters of our daughters’ abilities, it was okay to provide high expectations and challenge her to rise to meet them! They were so right! Mika graduated from GCPA before the age of 3 with abilities that she may not have had the opportunity to gain without them. Mika went from non-verbal then to chatterbox now and we are so grateful for every word! Mika went from not being able to walk on or touch most textures and environments to walking and touching without fears. Mika learned to trust safe adults. The most important thing that GCPA provided us with is the new family members we gained from getting to know the staff and teachers. We are forever grateful for our experience at GCPA.