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We've had 3 great years with Big Minds! We feel very blessed to have found Melanie and this school.
We are so grateful that another family with 2e kids introduced us to Big Minds. Our son was already struggling in his second week of kindergarten - when I would go pick him up I would hear the other kids shouting at each other not to play with him because he was "mean", as he was bossy, language delayed, and prone to outbursts because he was bored and unhappy. It is his third year at Big Minds, and our daughter's first. There has never been a day they were late getting out the door because they are so eager to get to school and, frankly, they find the weekend a bit of a drudgery because we can't provide them with the quality of stimulation they get at school. Their natural curiosity is stoked and nourished, and they are developing increased confidence and competence across academic domains. My husband and I are both 2e as well, and we are also grateful, personally, for a school whose culture and structure is so supportive of folks who build their lives a bit unconventionally. The thing I treasure most about Big Minds is the scope of emotional and social support the kids receive. I work hard at home to teach them truly pro-social skills and it is such a relief to see these roots watered so deeply every single day at school. The teaching staff is compassionate, creative, positive, and beloved by all the families, and it is obvious they have all received all the support and guidance they need from Melanie and Judy's combined wealth of expertise. Not a day goes by that we don't have warm hearts and profound gratitude that our kids get to learn in such a wonderful environment.
After years of struggling to help my very gifted/LD daughter, finding Big Minds (Dr. Melanie Hayes) was truly a life saver. After countless IEP meetings, multiple doctor visits, therapist, psychiatrist, naturopathic, acupuncture, occupational therapy, multiple assessments, educational therapist, home/hospital teachers, Prozac and Zoloft. I looked at a dozen schools throughout the Bay Area, all of which focused on ''treating'' my child's disabilities/emotional issues, but had nothing to support her giftedness. At Big Minds, the approach was the complete opposite. They focused on teaching my daughter through her interests and passions, emotionally connected with her, made her feel safe to express her anxiety and fears. School has inspired her and continues to help her set goals for the future. Her last assessment revealed huge gains in reading and spelling (her main areas of struggle). She also has a lovely group of friends (she had no friends for years!) and I have amazing support from Melanie, as well as the community of parents at Big Minds. This loving, understanding care has completely turned our lives around, giving the whole family back our sanity. No need for Zoloft around here. Big Minds!