Parents and Students
Asperger’s Syndrome was just beginning to be identified in young children when Brian came to Durand experiencing social difficulties with peers, and isolation. School personnel saw the potential in Brian and he exceeded all expectations. Brian went on to graduate from Norfolk University. Brian’s mother says, “We never lost hope.”
Robert began his 8-year tenure at Durand when he was 5-years-old. Upon arriving, he was still wearing diapers, and showed no interest in toileting. His verbal communication and social skills were limited. He benefited greatly from speech and social skills training and by graduation at age 13, had grown into a fine young man. His mom said, “Without the hope Durand gave us, we do not know what would have happened to Robert.”
Concerning my son’s progress at Durand; I am really happy with Caiden’s behavior and his improvements. I see he is really doing well in your class. I am so grateful to you and your staff for giving me my son back!! Thank-you so much for all you are doing.”
Caiden Holland’s mother
Durand is a very special place with caring and knowledgeable staff which have made a major difference in my son’s future. I am very fortunate to be associated with Durand.
A proud parent
Director at Dale Carnegie
I am the parent of a 12 year-old child with Autism from Lumberton, our sending district. His previous four special needs schools could not find the right “key” to unlock my child’s potential. He came to Durand when he was 8 years old and carrying his Dynovox. We had a child who could not speak, read or count. Working with a professional classroom staff, OTs, PTs and Speech Therapists, he can now count to 100, read 12 books, and speak so others can understand him! He has learned to tie his shoes, do chores, and take a bath. None of these things were even addressed at his other schools. He has become a loving, social little boy. Every single member of his learning team takes each child where he is and finds the “key” to enable that child to do his/her best. God Bless Durand! I am a raving fan!!! They are the best.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for presenting your engaging session on “Autism” to the parents of our students. This outstanding parenting session was greatly appreciated. Your information on Autism, as well as your anecdotal follow-ups, was well-received by the parents, as reflected in the evaluations submitted by the attendees.
Elementary Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction
Monroe Township Public School
Group Home Resident
My son was placed in a Durand group home during a difficult family crisis. What could have been a stressful transition became a blessing for Peter and the rest of our family. Durand’s residence offered him a safe, peaceful haven and enabled Peter to feel a sense of independence and pride in having a place of his “own”. Pete felt at home there from the start. This has been a major support for Pete and, by extension, our whole family.
The staff works in concert with the day program providing much needed continuity. This is a warm and caring staff with whom my son has developed positive relationships. In turn he has learned the interpersonal skills necessary to live in a group setting and is learning to take more specific responsibilities for himself. This has been a major step toward a more independent way of life for Peter. I just couldn’t be happier with the level of support and care he receives. Additionally, there is an excellent level of accountability and accessibility on the part of Durand which makes a huge difference to me as a parent.
No matter what the circumstances are, placing your child in a group home is not the easiest thing in the world. However, this has been a really positive experience for which I am profoundly grateful. The best part is that Peter feels really good about himself and looks forward to the next step down the road.
Parent of Group Home Resident, Peter
First Responder Training
“Thank you for providing the insightful information about autism. To be perfectly frank, prior to the class I was overhearing ‘locker room’ talk about how ‘this is going to be boring’ and ‘why is the Chief making us go to this?’ Well, after the class the response was more on the lines of ‘Wow!’ This was followed by, ‘I didn’t know that.’ Or, ‘that’s not what I thought.’ The class dispelled a lot of myths or just plain ignorance. Again, thank you very much for your help in this area. I feel that we are better prepared to handle an emergency situation concerning autism.”
Chief Kyle Wilson
Chesterfield Township Police
“Please allow me to thank you very much for the excellent instruction and training on Autism. Many of us knew very little about how to specifically deal with individuals diagnosed with Autism. Following your professional instruction, along with your added personal experience, I now feel that all of us would have a much better understanding and experience dealing with someone with Autism.
Patrolman Matt Brenner
East Greenwich Township Police Department
“Our first responders came away with the understanding and compassion needed to handle even the most complicated emergency situation with confidence and ease. Our employees were impressed with your knowledge and expertise.”
Robert A. Coulton
Chief of Police
Ewing Police Department
“Thank you for helping us to educate our members and train them to effectively and safely handle incidents involving non-communicative individuals. We are tremendously appreciative.”
Francis X. Segrest
Training & Safety Division
Cherry Hill Fire Department