Stories from the Annual Fund: Megan Parker ’11

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Judy Pryce remembers vividly the phone call that changed everything for her daughter Megan Parker. As a new SMUS student in Grade 6, it was obvious to everyone that Megan didn’t behave or learn like other Middle School students.

Soon after Megan started, Judy remembers, she got a phone call from Middle School Assistant Director Dariol Haydock and she braced herself for bad news. Instead, Dariol told Judy “we’re very interested in Megan; we’d like to know more about her.”

After connecting the family with an excellent educational psychologist, Middle School staff learned what they needed to know: Megan had Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The diagnosis opened up a whole new world. “Everyone suddenly understood why Megan did what she did,” says Judy, “school staff made space for her and taught the kids how to do the same.” The family also started to receive funding the BC government provides for intervention programs for children with ASD. This support inspired Judy and Megan’s stepfather, Greg Siren, to start donating to the SMUS annual fund.

They wanted other children to be able to benefit from the same passionate interest and support Megan received from the school – particularly kids from families without the means to afford a private school education. After seven years at SMUS, Megan has thrived.

Her talent in art has led Megan to the four-year program at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, which she started this fall. Judy and Greg, along with Megan’s father, Robert Parker, couldn’t be happier. “What a wonderful job the school has done,” Robert says, his eyes betraying the depth of feeling behind his words. “I wanted to recognize and acknowledge that by supporting the annual fund.”

How are we doing on this year’s Annual Fund? See our current total.

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