I spend a lot of my time working through and within programs that don’t work. I am sure many of you do as well. So I think it is important to praise those who do well. I think a good system is one which is effective, efficient, and kind. In that spirit, I picked out one today (probably more later):
Linda Herreshoff‘s program in the Palo Alto Unified School District’s Junior High School, Jordan Middle School. She works with students on the Autism Spectrum including students with Aspergers and other high functioning kids. Linda is a lifesaver for students with disabilities–her work has improved so many lives in this area it’s difficult to give her enough credit. From classes on how to tell jokes to working with parents to forming solid relationships with students (who, like all 11-13 years olds can be prickly critters). She is a wonderful teacher and person.
“You see, Asperger’s is unlike other ‘visual’ conditions. You can tell if a child is physically handicapped, you can tell if a child has Downs Syndrome – simply by looking at them. But an Asperger’s child looks COMPLETELY NORMAL! It’s what’s happening on the inside that is their detriment. If they tantrum, act out inappropriately, or do things that other children typically don’t do – it just looks like their parents are to blame for failure to ‘bring them up right’ or ‘discipline them correctly’. So again, my goal is not only to help Evan and others like him, but it’s also to help the general public know more about these types of pervasive development disorders.” Liller Family Blog