I am the mother of 9-year old wonderful girl whom has experienced behavioral challenges that enabled her to continue learning in a normal school setting and despite the unique accommodations her home school attempted to provide her it was just not enough. My daughter has struggled with her behavior since Kindergarten. She was very oppositional and defied any type of authority including that of her parents. The idea of anyone telling her “no” or redirecting was a trigger for her which would send her into a defiant and aggressive fit which included throwing tables, chairs, papers, pencils, and basically anything and everything she could grab her hands on. Although, eventually she was moved into a self-contained classroom there were many times where her inability to control her anger was the cause of having to remove the other students from the classroom for their own safety. At home, I attempted to maintain structure and consistency although at times, it was not easy when you require the help and consistency of those that also care for your child. Providing consequences at home would often lead to my daughter destroying her room, which included throwing her TV, pulling down all her clothes from her hangers in her closet, ripping and breaking anything just to express her anger. I knew that we needed help and it would take more people to help make the changes that my daughter needed, but I did not know how or what was going to help. Towards the end of her second grade year, we, her IEP team, gathered for a meeting to discuss what was working and what was not working. By this time, due to the severity of her aggressive and defiant behaviors she had already came into contact twice with local law enforcement at her school. I remember the officer stating that at the age of 8 years old a parent could press charges against another child who has assaulted their child. I drove home that day inconsolable and thinking that there was no way that I would be able to send my daughter back to school again because it was not “If” it was “When” she would again come into contact with law enforcement. Going back to the IEP meeting, I sat there with her team and a new member had been invited to this meeting. This new member was Mr. Gilbert Perez of Desert Choice Schools. Mr. Perez presented his school and their program. He described their methods for conditioning behavior and I have to admit at first I was resistant and hesitant, perhaps because I was a scared parent imagining what my daughter’s behavior and self-inflicted consequences would be brought on by this new way of helping her improve her behavior. He explained that she would have the ability to level up with good behavior and could drop down with bad behavior. I expressed aloud that it was much like a prison system, just to give you an idea of my level of thinking about this newly presented program. As I internally worked through my own resistance, I realized that what the program offered was in similar ways to the structure I implemented at home. It was no easy choice and with a knot in my throat, I made the decision to begin the transfer process for my daughter to begin attending Desert Choice. I was emotional that day because I knew my daughter would NOT be happy, but I knew it was what she needed. Desert Choice teachers specifically Mrs. Garcia and Ms. Moreno have played an outstanding role in the rehabilitation of my daughter’s negative behaviors. The consistency in their daily rules and expectations have helped my daughter learn positive communication and choices. My daughter has grown in so many positive ways that I have nothing, but complete satisfaction with the results of her attending the program at Desert Choice. She has learned self-control and the ability to think about her actions and consequences. She has learned patience. She has learned to focus on her own behavior and has greatly decreased any influenced behavior from others. She is no longer defiant and aggressive to the severity that she was initially and is within age appropriate behaviors. She has become a positive role model to her peers. She is a happy, funny, and amazing little lady. I am so proud of her growth. Her behaviors no longer get in the way of her academic progress, which was an issue the first few years of her learning experience. Desert Choice, their teachers, the program, and my daughter’s stupendous change have superseded my own expectations. If I were to give any advice to a parent or caregiver who is struggling with their child’s behavior as I was, I would say that the key is the consistency of the structure, expectations, and consequences both in the school and in the home. We cannot expect to see changes in the home if we are not willing to change our own home structure to ensure that the our child(ren) are being presented with a consistent environment that aids their growth, whether it be their physical, emotional, mental, and/or academic growth. It is important that you know where we started so, that the ending can serve a purpose. I have no doubt that my daughter will succeed as she moves on to her home school where it all began, but should she need some continued assistance I know that the staff at Desert Choice is committed to ensuring she continues on the path of success and for that I am forever grateful.