Being a Teacher and a Therapist for special needs children is a true calling. These individuals are key to the success of the children that they work with and often make more of an impact than they realize. Our AIM2Acknowledge program strives to give acknowledgement where acknowledgement is due.
Each month AIM will accept nominations, from parents of children with
autism, for a teacher or therapist who has made an impact on their child's life. Once a winner has been chosen they will be contacted by AIM and AIM will make arrangements to present the winner with a certificate and a gift card.
AIM will acknowledge our winners not only by presenting them with their certificate and gift card, but also through our social media outlets, website and monthly newsletter. The story that is shared by parents through their nomination will, also, be shared through the above-mentioned outlets. It is our hope to also include a picture of the winner as well as their bio.
Nominations will be open M-F, the 2nd week of each month.
Nominations will be reviewed the following week.
Winner will be announced the following Monday.
Mrs. Farnan is an Occupational Therapist at Sunshine School and Development Center where she works with numerous children with autism and many other special needs.
If I could nominate the entire Sunshine School to receive an award, I would. However, Kathy Farnan has gone above and beyond since the 1st day we met her during our initial evaluations. When I took my daughter to Sunshine School for her evaluations, I was scared. Not only was I scared about all the information I had recently received about Eden, I was scared of what the day would be like trying to get my daughter to sit still and be evaluated. Our evaluation with Kathy was a breeze! Eden responded to her surprisingly well and at the end of it Kathy told me she was going to request that Eden be on her caseload. Let me tell ya, we hit the jackpot! Kathy has helped with everything for Eden from aggressive behaviors to sensory outlets, to visual schedules to encouragement for me. She has talked to me more times than I can count and everytime she gives me multiple ideas on how to help my child and improve her behaviors at home. She has made time to talk with me while not at work, she has sent home lists of sensory ideas for Eden. Everytime I have reached out to her, she has responded with not only help for Eden, but also encouragement for me. We are so lucky to have Kathy as our daughter's occupational therapist. I joke with my husband that I would gladly move her in with us and I'm positive that my daughter would love that. Eden loves Kathy and while she can't exactly tell me about her day at school. I do hear "my friend, Kathy" a lot and that's a pretty great feeling.
Mrs. Farnan, AIM would like to say a big thank you for being such an important part of the autism community in NW Arkansas!
Mrs. Lasiter, a native of NW Arkansas, and a Kindergarten Teacher at Centerton Gamble Elementary is our 1st ever AIM2Acknowledge winner. Mrs. Lasiter attended the University of Arkansas where she earned her degree in Elementary Education. The 2019-2020 school year is her 6th year of teaching at Centerton Gamble.
“Growing up, I learned to feel compassion, empathy and the true meaning of inclusion all because I have a brother who has special needs. Teaching is my true calling, and to be able to make an impact on the lives of those that have autism is an honor. We all strive to live, we strive to learn, and we strive to be loved. Students with autism need an individualized learning approach and it is important to me to be able to intertwine what they need individually with how I teach the whole group. Nothing is more near and dear to my heart than to teach a student with autism to shine in their own unique way while at the same time being shown love, kindness, acceptance and compassion from their peers.”
As a child enters kindergarten, it's normal for a parent to experience anxiety. When it's special needs child, that anxiety can be debilitating. Savannah Lasiter is the picture of what we need in American schools. She took the time to get to know Dawson inside and out. She met every accommodation with an open heart and an open mind. She sought out resources and guidance from other professions to ensure that every need was met. When he hit hard walls in his education, she would completely change her teaching style to meet his needs. She never gave up, never slowed down and always worked to find the best way to serve Dawson in her classroom. Because of her diligence and hard work, Dawson ended Kindergarten on track with his peers and ready for first grade. For the first time, I was able to leave my son with an adult with full confidence that he would be protected, cared for and loved as if I was with him. I am so thankful for Mrs. Lasiter.
Congratulations Mrs. Lasiter!!! And thank you for making such a huge impact on Dawson Skordal while he was in your Kindergarten class!
Mrs. Lasiter will be presented with an AIM2Acknowledge certificate and gift card on September 13th, at the Centerton Gamble