Tim's Travels: Common Threads

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

A local school is doing wonders for children with autism. The school has a welcoming and relaxing enviorment where students can feel comfortable learning. It's called Common Threads and one parent says thanks to the school, she now has her son back.

“He's an entirely different kid,”

At Common Threads school in McFarland, 10-year-old Collin is thriving.

“Yesterday when I asked him how his day was, he said excellent,” said his mom Tammy Dain. “Never heard excellent before,”

Collin has autism and for him, being in a traditional school setting was terrifying.

“He begged me not to go and I had to live with the fact that I made him go. Everyday. And he described it as torture,” said said.

“The happy times for most kids is recess, lunch and playtime. These were the most difficult for Collin. It was too much, it was too noisy, it was uncomfortable,”

Scared and unsure what to do, Tammy pulled Collin out of school and came to Common Threads.

“This is an aleternative to that so they come in and we can kind of start fresh with a different approach,”

Jackie Moen opened the facility back in 2006. As a mother of two children with autism, she knows what Tammy was going through.

“I think it's unlike anything else, we have some very intelligent kids trapped in an autistic body,”

Since coming to the school, Collin has even become a published artist.

“The pride...his art was on a t-shirt,”

He designed this t-shirt to help raise funds for the school that he loves.

“We did raise $1,500 which was great. We hoped to raise $5,000 so the school can get a smartboard,” said Tammy.

“And collin's excitement about this has been fun to watch,” added Jackie. “They're unstoppable, they will meet this goal, I will tell you that,”

Today, Collin is constantly making progess.

“Every week, we witness that and it's never taken lightly. Each milestone, each goal that's met or each smile is a victory,” said Moen.

“You're watching a child come into themselves and it's beautiful,”

It's been a long road for Collin.

“He was unhappy, now he's happy, he didn't have friends, now he has friends,”

And she credits Common Threads with saving her son.

“Thank goodness for Common Threads, they gave Collin his life back,” she said smiling.

Common Threads is still accepting donations for their smartboard! To find out how to donate, visit http://www.commonthreadsmadison.org/

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