I am delighted to write that my son Paul is finishing up his last year at Foothill College and applying to transfer to San Jose State University (SJSU) in 2014. In addition to studying Studio Art, Paul is interested in becoming a credentialed art teacher for children with disabilities. Samples of his art are below – with more in his online portfolio: Paul’s Element.
Raising a kid with disabilities is a challenge and I am proud of Paul and of our whole family for his successful progress. Paul has been blessed with some remarkable and excellent teachers – to whom I am forever grateful:
- Carol Zepecki, Linda Herreshoff and her remarkable and dedicated C-9 (Social Cognitive Class) team at Jordan Middle School
- Justin Cronin and the patient support team at Palo Alto High School
- The outstanding Foothill College professors and Disability Resource Center staff, especially: Andy Ruble (Ceramics), Joe Ragey (Painting), Simon Pennington (Art History), and Dr. Andrew Fraknoi (Astronomy)
Paul also had more than his share of poor teachers but we survived them. I only ask that they and…
- …the teachers who did not want disabled kids like Paul in their class:
- …the administrators who told us that Paul would be lucky to get to college:
- …the head of school who kicked Paul out because his disabilities were bringing down her scores:
- …the career counsellors who took Paul and the other disabled kids on a tour of the sewer plant:
Please consider this…
Jane Goodall went in the back door to become an ethologist. That’s something I’ve thought about a lot, because people with autism usually have to go in the back door. We have a lot of trouble following the normal paths. We don’t do very well in interviews, which are a big problem for us, and a lot of autistic people also have extremely “uneven” academic skills. An autistic person can test at the bottom of the IQ range on one subscale and at the very top on another. For example, I had great difficulty with algebra because there’s no way to visualize it. I couldn’t be doing what I’m doing if there weren’t any back doors.
Wish Paul luck in being accepted! We will hear back from SJSU by March 2014.
Images Copyright Katy Dickinson and Paul D. Goodman 2011-2013