Thursday, December 5, 2013

What Gives Me Hope

I talk to a diverse range of audiences; one day it could be med students and the next police officers and the after that could be 4th graders. In every presentation, when I see someone "get it" that moment creates a big stir of hope within me. There's one group, however, that gives me more pride than any when I reach and that is teachers. 

This morning I had the honor of presenting to the staff of an elementary school here in the Saint Louis area. With the weather being poor the room was only half full when I began but as each person came in the other teachers were so focused on what I had to say that no hint of realizing this occurred. 

As I presented on I could see that, as I made each point, there was almost synchronized nodding as each teacher thought of a student past or present. 

There was a lot of laughter, some tears, and it was obvious that this faculty truly cared about learning more about the autism spectrum. The reason I feel this is so important is that, when a teacher is reached and has a better understanding of the autism spectrum, there is no telling how many students will be better served over the course of that teacher's career because of just one presentation. 

To see the obvious caring from these teachers today is what drives me; I've done just under 150 presentations this year and it's just as enjoyable and meaningful as the first. 

1 comment:

  1. I still think reaching a child is one of the most important things you do but I have to say that, after that, connecting with teachers has to be next. It's been a long, long time since I've been in a classroom but I remember even 30 - 35 years ago that teachers must have been hard pressed to know how to deal with what many would simply classify as a "difficult" student. As I look back on my own school days I can now recognize several students who must have been on the spectrum but had nothing to call it at the time. How awesome would it have been for those kids to have had a teacher who might have recognized Autism for what it was and offer hope and help rather than punishment and detention. It's almost akin to "doctors" of the distant past thinking that bleeding someone would cure whatever ailed them. Thank God we have had the advances in recognition and diagnosis that we now have and thank God that people like you are able to go around and spread the word about Autism. Here's looking toward another year of presentations and enlightenment.