Saturday, November 5, 2011

Temple Grandin...A day I'll never forget!

Temple Grandin came to our school to visit the students and to help us (as Spectrum team members) to know how to better improve the lives of our students.  I captured the conversation on tape and wow...she blows my mind.  It was an honor to meet her and to gain the insight that she has.

We sat at the luncheon and just let her talk about ways to improve teaching children who have ASD.  She talked about 5 key points: 1) the students need to learn how to work, 2) get hands on projects--it you have an old engine, bring it in and have the kids take it apart and rebuild it.  3) Video games are today's heroin or eye is not meant to be's hard work!  4) teach manners, and 5) let the students work sell the student.

She talked about how the HBO movie really did a great job of how she thinks in pictures, and all the drawings, sketches, and projects in the movie are all hers.  Yep she is eating meatballs, salad, soup, and fruit and chocolate for dessert.  I'm a witness.

Temple is telling us about her "1950's" up bringing and how she is "disgusted" how society can't even talk or communicate with each other, much less those on the Spectrum.  She said that if she struggled in a subject she would seek out a tutor for help.  If she needed to learn how to get around in a city, then she would get a map and learn how.  She is "disgusted" at "how many ASD adults are on welfare playing video games..." Interesting stuff!

Temple is showing up how the "Spectrum" works and where she is on it.

As a founding parent of Spectrum Academy, this picture means a lot.  I never thought that I would meet someone who is so inspiring for so many and that I would get to have a picture of she and I together?  This is just cool stuff!

Marcie and Audra...They helped make the contacts to have her come to the school.  Nice work!

Both of our Administrators: Annette Davis on the left and Rebecca Peterson on the right. 

Temple visiting Kindergarten:  Miss Liz's classroom.  She was really smiling when she walked in this room.

Greetings and meetings.  One thing that Temple talked about was always making improvements:  she still has a social coach that helps her to improve her social skills. For example, when she is asked questions at an assembly, she now visualizes a stop watch that is set for 60 seconds and has only that about of time to answer the question.  And when the time is up, she'll stop.

More classrooms...

Reading a story....

Meeting our amazing teacher, Miss Jandy!

This is Temple meeting my son Isaac.  I love the eye to eye contact in this picture.  She is really sizing him up and he felt it.  I love how she is checking him out!

Temple, Me, and Isaac.  Isaac was nervous for this picture and as you can see, he is just about as far away, but still close enough to make an impact.  I'm just so proud of him for taking the picture...

These next few pictures give you an idea of how packed our gym was.  We were at wall to wall and floor to floor.  So many people were empowered by this moment that we had many tearful moms and dads in the included.

More and more people...

As Temple was talking it suddenly hit me...8 parents with one idea...look at it!  We build one school, then another, and now we able to help 300+ students and soon another 200...I just became so overwhelmed that I was sobbing.  It is an amazing thing to take an idea, put it on paper, set goals, and pour in hard work...look what it can accomplish!

She answered many questions, but the one that I liked the best was this: Student:  "Do you still use your "squeeze" machine?"  Temple:  "Well it broke a few years back and so I just get hugs from people."  See, improvements all the time.

This is Garrett enjoying the show.  Temple:  "work on your strengths as well as your deficits.  Remember, Different...Not Less!"

My heart is full...just like this gym.  My heart is inspired...just like the people in this gym.  And my enthusiasm and drive to improve the lives of my family and my students is full...just like this gym.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  Thanks to many hour of work and preperation Halloween of 2011 went off with a bang!  We had homemade costumes (thanks grandma and Jessica), two birthday parties, and one very successful Trick or Treat! 

I hate my costume!  I hate my Costume!!

Here we all are...well, except for Marianne.  She was NOT going to have her picture taken.  Oh well.  I'm Gizelle, Rhetten is an owl, Isaac is a Hobo, Kellis is a Hippy, Garett is a "Ware-Rabbit", Ginny-bear is a Witch, and Margaret is the Pirate Gypsie!

Now that is one good looking crew!

This is Lord Demo-vat.  Garrett has been working on this project for a month.  He constructed it our of poster-board.  It has working leg joints, knees, ankles, hips, elbows...all pieces colored--even the parts that are covered up by the fabic that he disigned...Let's just say that the creative team from Lord of the Rings would have been proud.

I was the tour guide and I helped the trick-or-treaters enter the "crypt" and they looked at the "fake" wall that Scott had constructed and heard and saw a projected image of terror flash on to the screen!  Complete with full sound track, flashing lights, and a graveyard.  IT was over the top!

The dancing Gypsie...she danced from 7-9pm...Pretty spookey!

The family of Pumpkins: Dad and mom on the porch, then all 7 + grandma and grandpa on the sidewalk. 

Just the everyday...

Sometimes, you just have to capture everyday life.  It's the small stuff that helps to keep you going: family dinners, car rides, and well, Sunday evenings at the park.  Just the keeps it real.

Garrett concored the jungle gym.  Love the caption on his shirt: I do my own stunts.

Kellis pushing Marianne on the swing.  She is holding on...I hope she is enjoying it.

I did it April!

Me and my monkey

Just one more push...please!

Look at me!  Look at me!  If I could have captured it better I would have Isaac in the picture with his pouty face and angry expression.  He could never climb up and do what Kellis did...and he was mad!

Mom hands!  WOW!  What a strong little gal!

IS she loving this or what?

Look at my glasses...Aren't I a pretty girl?  Just having fun and playing around.

October Fun

Happy Birthday to the Giauque's!  Uncle Marc has three children all born in October and then we have two in October, so every year Ann goes all out.  And this year was AWESOME!  We went to Black Island Farms and saw the animals, went through a cron maze, did slides, train rides, magic show, and picked pumpkins.  It was awesome!

Little Marianne checking out the slides...

Smile!  She loved the horsey and cattle swings.  She just kept running over there all the time and was giving her dad a run for his money. 

Ummmm,'s a goat.

Ummmmm, yah, it's a llama....

 Up at the top....will she go down?  Will she???  Nope!  Just want to tease dad.
Holy Cow!!  I'm a big girl now!

Way-to-go Ean!  You finally got her off the slides. picture of the day.  Love, friendship, energy...the picture captures it all.

Ean and Grandpa.  Just priceless. 

Ride like the Wind Bulls-Eye!

Marianne and Garrett.  Garret went on the train ride 8 straight times.  It was a good thing that there wasn't a long line.  He just camped in the back of that little cart and had the time of his life.

Mama's arms...that is where Rhetten sleeps the best.  It is wonderful to hold him.  I know I'm gonna miss these days.


This is the best expression of the night.  Garrett's shear joy and Marianne's sweet spirit...then there is Kellis: protective and loving of his brother's and heart is full.

I got a pumpkin and really FAT pumpkin!!

Happy Margaret.  Truely happy!

Is this big enough??  I love Ean's enthusiasm for life.  He is filled with passion.  Nice work sir!