COPPERAS COVE – Copperas Cove High School junior Tyler Rudd did not walk or talk until age 5. His parents were told he would have to use sign language for communication. Due to his lack of speech di lui, Tyler used a language only his little sister di lui, Kayla, understood.
“We had lots of struggles with him not being able to communicate due to his not speaking until he was five and his garbled high tones when overwhelmed,” said Elysha Rudd, Tyler’s mother. “Mrs. (Kimberly) French for first grade was a miracle worker. She helped him to be able to write clearly enough for another student to be able to translate it into an illustration. We had a very tearful, happy moment because we could actually read his writing of her because of her assistance of her in addition to occupational and physical therapy. “
Copperas Cove ISD created an Early Childhood Intervention Program for Tyler due to his need for speech services because of autism and severe developmental delays.
“We have had the gift of some exceptional educators through his journey to becoming who he is today. Mrs. (Sharon) Cecil was his exceptionally patient kindergarten teacher of him. Mrs. Beth (Schimschock) was his speech therapist of him. Mrs. (Ella) Doubleday, the school nurse, and several others have assisted Tyler in resource and inclusion through his years at Martin Walker Elementary, Clements / Parsons Elementary, then Copperas Cove Junior High, and on to high school. “
Rudd said Tyler passed his first STAAR test his last year of junior high with the help of Math Special Education teacher Richard Love, adding that Love also ensured the success of her younger daughter, Kayla.
“Kayla and Tyler Rudd have different personalities but share a common attribute that contributes to their own success. That attribute is work ethic. Neither student gives up when the work gets challenging, ”Love said. “Both strive for greater independence in achieving academic tasks and are persistent in resolving errors. They, themselves, are the greatest impact on their success and it was highly rewarding to teach them both. “
Kayla started school at Martin Walker Elementary at age 3 through an Early Childhood Intervention program. She attended speech therapy classes twice a week.
“After first grade, teachers determined that Kayla not only struggled with speech but was dyslexic and had a memory retention problem,” Rudd said. “We discussed her growth and progress di lei thus far and decided to hold her back di lei to help her future di lei learning and confidence di lei. Mrs. (Ella) Doubleday and Mrs. Beth (Schimschock) along with all her teachers di lei at Martin Walker helped her grow her love of reading and assisted in her struggles with reading. “
Rudd says Kayla has continued to “excel and grow” at Copperas Cove Junior High citing the support of Love and Special Education Reading Instructor Veronica Sheon.
“When I first met Kayla, she was cautious and reserved. Mistakes sometimes discouraged her, but she persisted, “Sheon said.” We’d discuss her struggles di lei, locate misconceptions, and find other ways to grasp the concepts. She was always highly motivated. Now she has blossomed into a confident and fearless learner. She welcomes challenges and she looks for ways to solve problems independently. “
Kayla participated in UIL sports including volleyball, basketball, and track and is a member of the Pride of Cove Band playing the trombone.
“Kayla has already gained acceptance into marching band for next year as a freshman,” Rudd said. “Her grades stay in the ‘B’ average range and she is a well-rounded student who continues to strive for improvement. Though she may struggle occasionally, she has the support of her teachers as well as her family di lei to excel in what she wishes to do for her future di lei. “
Entering high school, Tyler remained on a modified learning plan, doing exceptional work but still behind his peers, said Rudd.
“He has gradually moved into all general education classes, passing both his math STAAR and English STAAR before COVID forced learning to be virtual,” Rudd said. “He struggled but got everything done and passed. He makes ‘A’s’ and ‘B’s’ and is on track to graduate next year with his class of lui. “
Tyler participated in Copperas Cove High School wrestling and is currently a platoon sergeant in JROTC.