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Ashton Haga – Canyon Rim Elementary

My son has always been shy and has never really liked performing in front of people. He has always been a good student, but when his anxiety escalated this year and getting him to school became a challenge Mrs. Haga stepped in to help. We found out that another student had bullied him in his class. After further investigation and without Mrs. Haga disclosing this information to us we realized that this other boy has Asperger’s syndrome and their confrontation was a misunderstanding. Mrs. Haga made it possible for these two to play together and work to find similar interests.

Despite this progress, the “bully” event caused school to become an anxiety trigger for our son. Getting him in the classroom became a real struggle for several months. Mrs. Haga was great about getting the school counselor, her teacher aid and others involved to try to help our son. Really all of them should be commended for their efforts and care regarding my son’s situation. After trying many trial and error strategies one that started to work was taking our son to school early. Mrs. Haga would meet him outside and kindly bring him into the school with her. She would let him choose various assignments that he could work on until class started. One of his favorite things to do is cataloging the books in the library. She managed to help our son without jeopardizing the rest of her class.

We retrained my son’s brain to see the transition of leaving mom or dad and going into school as a normal and good process. Without Mrs. Haga’s kindness, help and encouragement my sons face would still fill with anxiety every time he had to go to school and we would still be dragging/carrying our son to school and spending the first 1-2 hours trying to get him to go into the class. Thank you Mrs. Haga for caring for your class and especially for our son. We would not be making the progress we are today if it was not for your patience and caring on the front lines. Thank you!