Billy LeFevre started at Pressley Ridge School for Autism in the fall of the 2023-2024 school year. The staff quickly learned that while Billy struggled with communicating verbally, he had well-defined interests and preferences – including checking out each and every available light switch and door. It was clear as the days passed that Billy had an infectious personality and a smile that you can’t help but return each time.

Billy’s classroom team consists of a special education teacher, behavior support specialist, special education aide, and speech therapist. They worked diligently to create and execute a consistent schedule of activities and expectations, and their hard work started to pay off. Billy began using his iPad augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device more to communicate, something his family told the team he struggled with using consistently. His silly and caring personality started to show as he became more trusting and responsive to staff interventions. Soon enough, Billy was approaching his classroom team with requests and comments on his iPad.

Around the winter holidays, the classroom received a wonderful letter and treat filled care package from Billy’s family, thanking them for providing Billy with the care and support needed for him to be successful. The letter was so uplifting, it was posted in the administration area for all staff to see and serves as a reminder of why we do whatever it takes to create success for our students.

Billy, now 12 years old, has continued to flourish at home and in school. He is speaking more frequently and is saying several more words than where he started. He looks to others for interaction and truly enjoys coming to school. Billy has learned his classmates’ names and has even formed a bond with a classmate that he engages with every day. His mother Joyce, says, “His enthusiasm for school is unending. Getting into Pressley Ridge has been the BEST thing that has happened for Billy. He’s happier, more talkative/communicative and has overall much fewer poor behaviors at home. He’s never liked school more than he does now!”

It's hard as a mom to see your kiddo have to struggle and not get the help he needs… We had great hope that an out-of-district placement would make a huge difference, but you never know until you try it out. We've just been over-joyed with what a difference it's made for Billy! Not only has there been significant progress academically, but he's sooooo much happier and less behavioral at home too…

Truly we cannot thank each and everyone of you enough. It's been one of the BIGGEST blessings ever when it comes to Billy's education to have finally gotten him into an environment that we feel he is well taken care of, he’s appreciated, he’s challenged, his humorous side is enjoyed, etc. The experience at Pressley Ridge is everything that we hoped for and more!

The LeFevre Family