Tulsa Child Helped By Carnegie Teacher

Friday, September 18th 2009, 10:09 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A Tulsa mother says she struggled for years to find out what was causing her son's behavior.  But, she says it wasn't just the doctors helped her rediscover her little boy.  Someone special made all of the difference to her son with special needs.

Carla Saldivar says her son, Seth, grew and developed just like her first two kids until he was a year and a half.

"It was like somebody flipped a switch," said Carla Saldivar.

He withdrew so much they thought he might be deaf.  He stopped talking and started screaming.  When he was two, he scared his mother half to death.

"I don't think I was ever the same after that. My child crawled out on the window sill and jumped out," said Carla Saldivar.

Her sweet little boy so gentle with his puppies turned on his family.

"He would scratch, bite, and kick. Pretty much everybody in the family sported bruises for a long time," said Carla Saldivar.

It took almost four years for a doctor to diagnose him as autistic.  In the mean time, he was kicked out of day care after day care.  And, school seemed practically out of the question.

"They're born and you have these dreams. Ya know, grow up and go to college and have their own family. And, I just saw it all go away," said Carla Saldivar.

Then, she met Katie Bercher and her staff at Carnegie Elementary.

"Mom would carry Seth into school and Mom would carry Seth out," said Carnegie Elementary's Katie Bercher.

Now Seth is nine.  The boy who couldn't make connections with people outside of his family now calls Miss Katie great.

"Now we're talking about him being transitioned into normal classrooms.  This is what happens," said Carla Saldivar.

Miss Katie says she knew Seth had it in him.

"I expected great things from Seth. He's a smart, smart boy. Super sweet. Great supportive home. He's a great, great kiddo," said Carnegie Elementary's Katie Bercher.

Carla says Miss Katie is more than just a teacher; she loves Seth like he was her own.

"How do you adequately thank someone for that?  How do you do that?  They gave my child a chance at life," said Carnegie Elementary's Katie Bercher.