Please share something about yourself, your work, and what draws you to the Inclusion Network online community.
I have a background in healthcare. I am an RN with a background in manufacturing, love good music and dogs, and I enjoy thinking outside the box.
Our youngest son has autism and fortunately for us his IEP included a one-on-one aide in grade school where he was included with other kids in the classroom. His caring aid was a great observer and discovered his hidden strengths she was able to create and adapt and evolve tools assisted by the school Speech Language Pathologist. These two women actively included the parents, teachers, school counselor and principal. Together we worked creatively in concert to benefit both our son and the school. The biggest focus was on his strengths and what he could contribute. He also developed some coping skills and some social skills along the way. He was accepted and loved for who he was and what he had to offer. In Kindergarten he spoke to no one at school and refused to use the school restrooms. His mother taught him basic sign language keyboarding. He in turn began communicating more at school. He whispered in 1st grade and decided school restrooms were OK if the door was propped open. In second grade he used his “Darth-Vader” voice to speak at school and began teaching classmates one-on-one keyboarding skills when assigned by the teacher. By third grade he found his normal voice at school and lost his fear of public bathrooms and enclosed hallways. His aid discovered in 5th grade he had perfect pitch and a gift for music. He learned to play several instruments. He was given opportunities to develop these talents and to share his music with classes and at school music assemblies. He stayed in 6th grade for 2 years but by the time he left for Jr. High he was speaking to everyone in the school. Everyone seemed to love him, he treated everyone with kindness and knew their names and everyone knew him. Most everyone treated him well at the Jr. High and he participated in the school orchestra. He continued to participate in special education programs, and received a graduation certificate from high school. He continues in community partnership programs, Special Olympics, etc. At 21 he continues to develop at his own pace and so far he has not needed medication and he continues to share his smile, remember and share little details with people he is called upon to serve; birthdays, their favorite color, or the year he first met them, etc. that most of us forget. He mows the lawn 2x each week during the summer, keeps a very neat room, does his own laundry, cooks basic meals, keeps a regular schedule, and he continues to practice music. Sometimes he performs his music for small community events and retirement communities.
What part of the world do you live in? Would you share a bit about your neighbourhood?
Boise, Idaho. We moved here from Alabama the year our youngest son started kindergarten. Moving to Boise was an inspired decision...An oasis in the desert and not too far from the mountains.
What would you like to contribute to this community? What would you like to receive?
I'd like to learn more and see how I might contribute.
How did you hear about this community?
I received a phone call from Judy at 888-1758.
What are some of the questions you'd like to explore, or conversations you'd like to have with others in this community?
I'd like to see more of the same type of creative energy invested in our son come to light and help to pass it along.
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