It all started when a skunk set up house under my step. He didn’t bother me but I was worried that he might not like one of my visitors. Japco, a local pest control company trapped him and released him into the woods.
In conversation with Tina from Japco, I learned that she had an autistic 14-year-old boy who was totally discouraged about his inability to make any progress at school. Tina scheduled a reading consultation with me and the rest is history. Nick responded quickly to The Making Sense Approach and was soon a joyful reader.
Nick was bullied at school and didn’t want to be with other kids. His mother decided it would be best if she home-schooled him for a while. I served as a coach, teaching Tina and giving Nick instructive feedback.
NICK, & GRANDMOTHER’S BAY
In September, Nick’s writing was at the first grade level and Tina was worried because she couldn’t get him to write very much. Students often don’t want to write because they don’t think they have anything to sayt. Ms. Kirzinger was part of my workshop on using the novel in novel ways. She used the approach to study the novel, Touching Spirit Bear, with her grade three and four students at Grandmother’s Bay, a small aboriginal community in northern Saskatchewan. The results were stunning.
These kids have limited access to people in the world beyond their community and Nick was not ready to reach out to others yet either. So I started Nick and his brother Matt on a study of the same novel. I put them in touch with Grandmother’s Bay students to share what they were learning from the story. It was such a win-win for all of them as they exchanged letters, art work and stories. Nick made each of the students a personalized book mark with a picture of a white bear on it. Nick’s writing blossomed and he began producing pieces of length and substance.
A MIND SET FREE
Nick is creating work of astounding quality. What a joy it is for me to visit him in his personalized classroom. His fertile mind is overcoming his disability. He has created a huge number and variety of projects such as paintings, sculptures, an Egyptian newspaper, and a detailed model of the rainforest. The masks were created by the boys as part of their study. Nick made the one on the left and Matt the one on the right.
What a gift Nick is! I predict that you will hear more of him as he brings his creative mind to his art work and to helping solve the problems of society.
READING MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
You can coach your child. student or another adult to become an effective reader today. Just order my new online reading course for parents and teachers at www.readingwings.com