Lyn was enrolled in a private pre-school called Albuquerque Special Preschool when she was three years old. The students who attended ranged in age from two years to five. The school's mission was to prepare special needs children for kindergarten. At that time, there was no special education in the public schools. The curriculum focused on speech, physical therapy and socialization.
The school ultimately closed its doors because parents like Mom pushed the school system to provide the education the children needed. One of the parents was an attorney. He coordinated a class action lawsuit to get the school system to comply with federal regulations. The school system kept insisting there was no money for special education. One month after the lawsuit was filed, the school system came up with the money needed to meet the needs of the 25 children listed in the lawsuit.
Lyn responded to the program well and was allowed to stay until she was six. By that point, the public schools had programs in place. In addition to helping her learn to speak, the teachers really helped build Lyn's self-confidence.
When Lyn was four and still non-verbal, the teacher had made arrangements to take the six students in her class to the park a couple of blocks from the school. She was accompanied by the teacher's assistant. When they arrived at the park, Lyn decided she had to go potty but didn't tell anyone. She just turned around and walked back to the school, crossing a busy four lane street. She used the restroom and returned to her classroom to wait for the teachers.
Meanwhile, the teachers at the park were in a full panic. They searched the park and immediate surrounds, calling for Lyn. They called the police.
Back at the school, the school head was heading down the hall when she heard a sound in Lyn's classroom. She peeked in and spotted Lyn playing at a table and realized she was unattended. She asked Lyn where the teacher was and Lyn pointed out the door. The lady said "Show me." Lyn took her and and walked outside with her. Lyn lead her down the street back to the park.
The teacher's aid spotted them approaching and screamed "Here she is!" The teacher came running and scooped Lyn up into a massive hug. The police had already arrived. They confirmed that Lyn was the missing child and soon departed. The group returned to the school. Once again a "Show me" got Lyn to reveal the reason she went back to the school on her own.
The poor teacher was devastated about loosing one of the children even though it turned out OK in the end. She tendered her resignation that day (effective at the end of the year) and never took the children to the park again.