Hey Everyone! Here I go with my very first ever Blog and website! Allow me to give you a quick glimpse at how I got here. I have seen many classrooms, worked with hundreds of students/teachers and have spoken with countless parents about their children with special needs. For years I’ve had the opportunity to share new and exciting teaching strategies with teachers and then actually help them put those practices into place. As a result I’ve witnessed both teacher and student transformations on numerous occasions. I knew I had the best job in the world!
Then a series of things happened. I got a call from my brother asking me to help with some issues with my nephew who has high functioning autism. I flew to Seattle, WA and much to my dismay, I discovered that the staff working with my nephew knew very little about autism and had limited ideas on how to educate him. As a result he was significantly behind in his academic skills and acting out. After consultations and much time and energy we made progress with the staff. I also educated both parents to the point where they now are taking an educated proactive role in his education, personal and social growth. At the end of a recent phone conversation with my sister-in-law she said to me, “What do people do when they don’t have a “Carla” working with them?” It was a huge compliment, but that comment also got me thinking. The next significant thing that happened when I was doing a final training for staff from a school district that was pulling out of the cooperative. A special education teacher said to me after the training, “What are we going to do without you? How are all these new teachers going to get trained with what they need to know? Where is that training going to come from?” The final straw came when I got a call from a friend whose son was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome. His son was in a resource classroom in another community and was being “punished” for forgetting his classroom supplies in his locker. As a result he was made to carry a crate around the school with every book and supply that he needed for classes! I became an advocate for the family at the case conference and discovered that the teacher “told him and told him” to bring his supplies yet had never put into place visual supports to help him with his forgetfulness. The positive result was that the student was no longer carrying the crate and that visual supports were put in place for him.
That did it for me. I realized that there must be a countless number of teachers/administrators/families out there who have special needs students in their lives who are struggling to make things better. They need answers and solutions. My website/blog is designed to give information, offer help and solutions to those who need someone to guide them through the maze. Behavior communicates and if we listen and put into place the right tools, we can make a difference in the classroom, in the home and in the community for our students.. I invite you to allow me to be that person and together we can transform your situation and help you to create a better, brighter future for your students/your children.