This I Believe

Deborah - Margate, Florida
Entered on September 27, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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This I believe

I believe that every child no matter what can learn with the right tools. I am an educational shadow for a young man with autism. When I started he was failing the sixth grade. His parents didn’t know where to turn. A Graduate Student interning at the school, suggested they find him a shadow. It wasn’t easy for them to get the administration to agree but eventually they won, or really he did. This child, who was self-talking and had other autistic ticks when I arrived, began to behave like everyone else. Simple flash cards created by a behaviorist, became the Rosetta stone for this child. Things like be silent, keep still, pay attention became his mantra. Slowly over the course of the two and half years we have been going to middle school together, he has become an honor student, a member of the student counsel and won two different writing contests competing with nero typical children. But understand I take no credit for these great strides. This child did it himself. I was just the tool he needed to succeed. He was the one to spend four to six hours on home work a night. He was the one who gave up social events to do projects that would have taken a typical child half if not a quarter of the time. He was already smart and could already write above grade level, but he had no way to translate his language, the language of autism to the world around him. Once he had the tools he needed, he soared beyond all expectations and the dreams his parents had for him. Imagine if we could give each child the tools they truly needed to learn. They would soar beyond all our expectations too. This I believe.