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Stone Mill's PEP Program a Blessing for Lakelands Park Family

The school's preschool education program provides help for special needs children, according to a report by The Town Courier.

With one son already enrolled at Rachel Carson Elementary School, a Lakelands Park family will send his brother a little further down the road to Stone Mill.

Three-year-old Bryce Goldblatt is expected to begin the Preschool Education Program at SMES Feb. 28, according to a report by The Town Courier.

Bryce suffers from Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects only 600 people in the world, his mother, Jenna Goldblatt, told The Town Courier. The disorder "affects every aspect of [Bryce's] life — cognitive, gross and fine motor, and speech.”

Phelan-McDermid Syndrome is caused by the absence or loss of genes at the tip of the 22nd chromosome.

"This gene," according to the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation, "plays a pivotal role in development of the human nervous system, including the brain, and loss of this genetic component prevents proper nervous system construction during fetal development."

Bryce, who uses a walker and is nonverbal, had been receiving in-home treatment including physical therapy, occupational therapy, special education, and speech therapy at home, The Town Courier reports. All of those services are provided by Montgomery County Public Schools at Stone Mill's PEP where Bryce will attend Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

According to MCPS, the PEP is "based on the premise that early intervention is effective in remediating learning deficits and/or identifying strategies to offset the impact of educational disabilities on young children."

It features child-specific learning goals and objectives based on needs identified through formal testing.

To read Bryce Goldblatt's and his family's story, read the full report on The Town Courier.

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