What do you do when your child doesn't fit in his current learning environment? Do you pressure the child to conform or find a better fit environment? Listen as teacher Maria Kennedy, MEd of Bridges Academy, shares her personal experience of her son not fitting in the mainstream academic system and the value of finding the right environment where he could blossom. Like flowers, kids thrive when the 'soil' is right.


Have you grappled with similar decisions? Let us know in the comments section below!



  1. Claire Pennline on July 22, 2020 at 8:35 am

    This is just what I needed to hear today. I am so worried about how my son will meet the requirements that his school district has come up with for full distance learning. I anticipate all the fights coming up where I ask him to just try to fit in and do what he’s asked. And this video will help me to meet him where he’s at and encourage him to be the best that he can be. Thank you.

  2. Adekunbi Champion on July 22, 2020 at 11:45 am

    I pray and hope more parents will be more understanding of their children with autism. Thank you Maria for sharing your story, very encouraging.

  3. Maria Isabel de Rubiera on July 22, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    Maria knows perfectly how to transmit her own feelings and experience. I am really agree with what she said. Children are no broken. There are different ways to make them bright. I am talking about 40 years ago but the environment is the key. My own experience was when my oldest son was unable to talk and had to receive Speech Therapy in Mexico, City. It worked but also I looked for an active preschool that could offer a different program that the standard one. I found one that used the Celestin Freinet Model.. I was really active. They respect the child own development stage and support him to reach his expectations. They have live classes to learn academics but with a different method that make them enjoy and learn. I remember they have a little farm,. Also a printer room where they start working with letters, words and phrases. They edit and printed they own newspaper. When he started on a regular elementary it was not problem for him to adapt easily to the new one. Here at El Paso there is a Bridges Academy. I had the opportunity to visit and all is from nature and thinking. I appreciate the way you communicate this amazing School. I am grandmother and I would like for sure that my daughter and her husband could realize the difference that your system makes on a child’s success.
    Thank you!

  4. Gill on July 22, 2020 at 11:16 pm

    The hard part is finding an educational setting that will work for your child. Sometimes you can’t afford a private education and you have to work with the school that you have. Finding professionals that understand and can work with your child is the key, but definitely let your child know that they are not broken. If the system worked in a way that worked for quirky kids, it would be a happier, more successful setting for all who work and learn there.

  5. Aussie_Bec on July 23, 2020 at 1:57 am

    Thanks Maria. This is lovely. I’ve just moved my child to a school where he is blossoming also. It frustrates me that he wasn’t properly accommodated in his previous setting — it really wouldn’t have been difficult and just needed some kindness and flexibility! i’m so glad we made that leap, though. There’s a time for fighting and a time to just run.

  6. Martha Dunn on July 26, 2020 at 5:26 am

    Thank you for your insightful and encouraging words. I work in the school system with a couple of children on the spectrum. One being a 2E child. They are not broken, they do not respond the way they do because they are being “bad”, they are where they are until we can help them learn to get to t he next level in understanding how to communicate, in the learning process of academics…. whatever the area is. They are wonderful children tiring to navigate in this world and need us to patiently guide them along. Thank you for your words.

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