Jim Dischler says his twin daughters, Molly and Isabelle, are always happy. They started at Hawkswood School at the age of three and have been at the school for the last two years. “We toured a lot of schools, but the one we always compared them to was Hawkswood. For Molly and Isabelle, it is the perfect environment. They love school,” he said.
Mr. Dischler says the staffs’ passion for their work is what set Hawkswood School apart. “No matter when we go, every person we see has a smile on their face, and it looks like they love being at work. Our girls need special care – they treat our kids like their own kids.”
“We toured a lot of schools, but the one we always compared them to was Hawkswood.” – Jim Dischler
Mr. Dischler and his wife have seen the most significant changes in their daughters’ social and cognitive abilities. “Their vocabulary and their speech have improved so much – they always have a story to tell about school. They are feeding themselves now too,” he said.
Communication is vital, and Mr. Dischler says Yalitza, his daughters’ teacher, goes above and beyond. “Anytime we have a question, she gets right back to us. And when the girls do something new, they send us a note or even send home a video for us. They even give us input when we meet with the girls’ doctors, so there is a lot of coordination. We have a team now.”
One of the things that makes the biggest difference to the Dischlers is that Hawkswood always takes things to “the next level,” whether it is a school play, the Halloween parade, gym class or classroom instruction.
While both girls have complex physical disabilities, they can communicate and often talk about school when they come home. And while they are twins, Molly and Isabelle have distinct personalities. He describes Isabelle as “the boss,” and Molly as “easygoing.” She goes with the flow. “Molly likes to help with laundry or go shopping with me. Isabelle prefers to hang out on the computer,” he said.
“When we first found out about all their disabilities – we did not know what to expect,” said Mr. Dischler. Now, they are thriving and surprising their parents every day.
Caption: The Dischler twins, Molly and Isabelle, with their teacher Yalitza.