“To measure the success of our societies, we should examine how well those with different abilities, including persons with autism, are integrated as full and valued members” –Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon
Lisa Jimenez, an SCSOS Para educator for 15 years, says she has seen a lot of changes within special education during her tenure, particularly in the area of autism. When her son, Alex, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, there was very little known about it. Back then, some in the field believed that autistic children didn’t like to go outside, so recess was not an option for them during the school day. Alex, who is now 24, began his education with SCSOS in our preschool program. He continued his education through elementary, middle and high school; earning his high school diploma from Yuba City High School. Alex reported that he had two favorite teachers: LaVonne Jensen and Ernie Wilder. Currently, he works five days a week at Pride Industries and still receives respite support through Alta Regional once or twice per week.
Alex describes himself as hugely funny, shy and creative. He enjoys drawing, putting legos together and playing video games with his family. He was proud to say that he recently beat his dad at Pac Man.
Lisa is proud of the progress her son Alex has made. She is a mother of five boys and describes herself as dependable and hard working. She enjoys her work in the ASD Classroom #8 at Riverbend School. She especially enjoys watching the students grow and develop; she works diligently with each individual child to ensure that he or she receives what they need. Lisa reports that her colleagues are a great group of people. “Everyone is looking out for what is in the best interest of the student. If something isn’t working, then we look for other ways to help the student.”
Alex has grown into an independent, successful adult. Lisa credits early intervention and a strong educational system as key. “Alex’s success is what we strive to achieve with all of our ASD students,” Lisa said.