My son Doug has attended this school for about 15 months [as of October, 2011]. In that time he has made great progress. His math skills have improved dramatically – far surpassing predictions by the staff at his old school!
He has many opportunities to go out into the community for work, play, sports, shopping, experiencing the arts, etc. Many of these things were not possible in the public school.
The wonderful staff is dedicated to helping the students maximize their potential. They truly believe in these kids and won’t give up on them.
Due to these and many other factors, we feel confident that Doug will continue to progress, so that he can become an independent, productive, and most importantly, happy adult.
I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you how I.N.S.P.i.R.E. has touched our family’s life. The biggest impact would be in our son’s improved self-confidence and happiness, which is due to the acceptance they have shown him and the friendships he has learned to build there. I.N.S.P.i.R.E. has given us a new vision for our son’s future. With I.N.S.P.i.R.E.’s ability to provide individual learning plans, and the early introduction to various vocational programs (build directly with area businesses) I.N.S.P.i.R.E. provides our son with many new opportunities for his future.
Noel Kesselheim, Occupational Therapist
As an Occupational Therapist (who uses meaningful activity therapeutically every day), I find the practical activities embedded throughout the day at I.N.S.P.i.R.E. to be one of the program’s great strengths. Woven into the daily routines in addition to academics, arts and other school activities, I see students making great gains in independence, self-esteem, and life skills, as they perform jobs in community businesses, cook and prepare their own lunches, shovel snow, or build a shed for use by their school. This combination of therapeutic activity, skill development, and hands-on learning, is a tremendously effective model for all teens, and especially for those on the autism spectrum.
Noel Kesselheim OTR/L
The Occupational Therapy Center
Collaborative for Educational Services
Frank Robbins (community member)
I continue to be so impressed with [student’s name withheld] growth, and his ability to handle all that is being thrown at him. As only he could conclude (and believe), “I have come to expect change!!” A long way from “subject to change” that we always had to have in writing on his daily schedule when he was younger.
He did a great job brainstorming questions to ask the instructor of his next Greenfield Community College course, and engaged in productive dialogue with Dawn and me for more than an hour!
As I told Carol yesterday, I was truly touched when he “invited” me to lunch. Both us “guys” chowed down on mac and cheese! I was initially taken aback, as I thought he had quite the appetite when he was preparing two containers!!
Finally, at lunch, he did two amazing things. He brought up his home school district and we had a very good discussion about “why it didn’t work there,” and I highlighted how much he has changed. He also did a great job not negatively commenting to another student who was interjecting points which were unrelated. He then initiated a polite, “Maybe we should talk somewhere else,” request to me!!