May 10, 2023

Keenan’s Story

“Keenan was diagnosed with autism at around 18 months after my husband and I noticed some repetitive type behaviors, some delayed speech, and difficulty with eye contact. As parents of a black boy, we were cautious about the potential of a disability diagnosis and how that might impact his life experiences and well-being.

He was evaluated and diagnosed with Level 1 autism and provided some support in the home to aid in his development.

When we toured Summit Academy, as parents we were blown away by how engaging, warm, and kind the staff were to all the kids. Keenan was enrolled in Summit Academy at age 3 and attended through age 5. Much of this time was during the pandemic, so Keenan experienced some time in the classroom, some time out, and hybrid learning. He thrived while in class and, like many kids, struggled with not being in the classroom regularly with his teachers and staff.

Keenan loved being at Summit with his peers, and despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, we noticed an improvement in his emotional regulation skills, expanded interests, and social skills.

Keenan transitioned to Ledgeview Elementary in Clarence where he is now finishing the first grade. He has been in an integrated classroom setting since kindergarten. Keenan is thriving and doing well in school.

He loves his sister Kenzie, younger brother Kahree, and younger sister Kamryn. Keenan enjoys plays and theater, especially ‘The Wiz’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’

We are forever grateful for Summit, the environment, coordination with the school district and service providers that they provided, and the support they offered for us as a family.”

-Rahsaan DeLain, Summit Operating Board Member and former Summit parent