When the Cochran Family moved from North Carolina to Tucson, two years ago, they weren’t sure how they would replace the team that they had built for their son, Sam. He had been diagnosed with autism six years prior, and in that time, the family had quickly learned how much it meant to have the right support for him in school.
Sam needed strong support to make a successful transition, including teachers and staff who understood the difference between sensory overload and “acting out,” who knew the importance and safety of structure, and who knew how to gently disrupt some of Sam’s routines to encourage flexible thinking. He needed patience and support for his academic and social development.
After the move to Tucson and touring several schools, Sam chose Intermountain Academy. He told his parents that he felt comfortable there; he knew that having a smaller class size would help him succeed. And he was right. Sam is exceling in all of his academics. He is becoming more confident in his social interactions, and he has made lasting friendships with other children at the school.
When his parents went to “Meet the Teacher” night just before Sam started his third year at Intermountain, he walked into the school building with confidence. He willingly spoke with his new teacher, and when Sam was introduced to a new student who was nervous about coming to an unfamiliar school, Sam said to him, “Don’t worry. You’re going to LOVE it here.” He was so certain because his experience has been so affirming and positive. The Cochran Family is filled with gratitude for Intermountain Academy and to the Arizona Leadership Foundation for their scholarship support that allows them to send Sam to a school he loves.