The story of Autumn’s early childhood preschool education, submitted by Autumn’s mother. 

Our Journey With Early Learning Essentials

Autumn “Brynn” Collyer is our youngest child.  She was born in September 2003.  

In 2007 Brynn was screened for speech concerns and it was determined that she had a “communication disorder”, specifically her speech articulation.  

An IEP was created and Brynn was placed in a special education class at our local Elementary School to receive speech services. But they only offered limited services.  

A Parent’s Point of View

As young parents we had no idea how to get Brynn the help she needed. We didn’t know what resources were available.  

Because of the community partnerships Early Learning Essentials has developed—one of which is with the school districts–the school helped us transition Brynn to an Early Learning Essentials classroom in Payson.  

A New School

In 2008 Brynn began attending  Early Learning Essentials, then called Mountainland Head Start, where she continued to receive speech therapy. 

I was nervous about how Brynn would do in the classroom.  How would others treat her? Would her speech inhibit her learning?

Being a parent is hard enough, but having a child with disabilities can be overwhelming.

The Teacher

I will never forget Brynn’s teacher Miss Lisa and the lasting impact she had on Brynn.  

We volunteered in the classroom often.  Allowing us to see first hand the amazing things the teacher did for our daughter.   How she taught Brynn in a way that was individualized for her needs & learning style.  Miss Lisa also individualized planned activities (small groups) to help Brynn reach her IEP goals. 

Miss Lisa was loving and nurturing, helping Brynn develop not only her cognitive learning skills but also her social development.  

Miss Lisa helped my daughter gain self confidence that she would carry with her for the rest of her life. 

Comprehensive Services

My experience with Early Learning Essentials left me impressed at what a high quality program they provide and the comprehensive services they offer to families.  

The teachers, health & nutrition specialist and family advocates worked with not only my child, but also with our family.

We were updated regularly on Brynn’s progress and development.  We met with the team that worked with Brynn regularly, discussing  her IEP goals and any concerns we had.  

We were given resources not only to help Brynn have the best outcome possible, but also to ensure our families success.   

Brynn’s growth and what she accomplished in that 1 short year was beyond what I ever could have imagined. 

Life After Early Learning Essentials

Brynn left Early Learning Essentials ready to enter Kindergarten. 

Through the hard work of the Early Learning Essentials staff & their partnership with the school district her IEP followed her through Elementary school where she continued to get the services she needed. 

Today she is a articulate 17 year old who has had several opportunities to speak in front of large groups and has done so confidently. 

What Early Learning Essentials Has Done For Brynn


Brynn is currently in High School and is dual enrolled taking College Classes for credit.  Brynn will graduate High School with a College Degree (an Associates Degree).  She has always held a high GPA.   


Brynn is our most outgoing child.  She ran for Class President.  I would never have imagined this for her.  I credit Early Learning Essentials for her confidence & social skills that she has today. 

Early Learning Essentials Makes a Difference

I can not say it enough how thankful I am for Early Learning Essentials and all the advantages this program gave my daughter.  

She has excelled academically, and has the confidence to “do hard things” even if they don’t always work out.  

Brynn tried out for the High School cheerleading team and didn’t make it, but it was OK.  Because when things don’t work out she approaches the situation as a learning opportunity.  

She reflects and thinks, “OK what was the lesson here”? “What did this experience teach me”?

Early Learning Essentials gave my daughter so much more than just speech therapy.    

THANK YOU Early Learning Essentials!

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