Part four of a series focusing on how the Cherry Creek School District is meeting the needs of all children.
Dominic King was born with cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that affects body movement and muscle coordination. When he was almost three years old, his family moved to Colorado and chose to live in the Cherry Creek School District.
"We had heard so many wonderful things about Cherry Creek,” said Christina King, Dominic’s mother. “As a parent of a child with special needs, you buy a home where your child is going to be supported, it’s not like you find a home and then hope for the best.”
Christina King says that from the very beginning, Cherry Creek Schools, through Student Achievement Services and Special Education, helped provide Dominic with the services he needed. First he was evaluated by Child Find, which helps identify developmental delays or special needs in children five years old or younger. He attended preschool at Heritage Elementary, then went on to Cottonwood Creek Elementary, Campus Middle School and Cherry Creek High School, where he is now a senior.
Over the years, he’s worked with a team of professionals, including case managers, physical and occupational therapists, para-educators and both general education and special education teachers. Christina King also got involved with the district’s Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC).
While there are always challenges, the Kings say working as partners with the district has paid off.
“From the get-go we’ve always felt really supported,” Christina King said. “We’ve always found that people have Dominic’s best interests in mind.”
Now, with graduation on the horizon, the Kings are beginning a new journey. While Dominic can attend the district’s Transitions Program, which serves students with special needs until they are 21, he may choose to go on to a community college. He would like to take courses in writing and photography, and then use his own experiences to start a travel blog for people who use wheelchairs or have other special needs.