“My son’s second grade teacher, Mrs. Scordino, is our hero. What she has accomplished in one school year for my son is nothing short of a miracle. To start with, my son received a PDD-NOS diagnosis just before his fourth birthday and was at great risk of never becoming successful academically or behaviorally in life. It was recommended that he be placed in a highly restricted special education class when he was in Kindergarten. Most people at school have been fairly lost about how to “handle” him. Because of his behaviors, he was considered uneducable. With all of these challenges, my son hated school and, of course, he had never made any friends until this year. Last summer, after having reviewed his files, Mrs. Scordino made a point of getting to know my son.
I was impressed that a teacher would take the time to learn more about a student outside of school. She came to our house and spent a long time with us. She made a few suggestions about how to help him in mathematics, a subject that he particularly hated and would throw him into the wildest tantrums. She was very open-minded and compassionate. From the lack of success in his previous school years, we did not have high expectations. We thought “sure, it all sounds good but wait until you have had him for a week and you’ll wish you never had him as a student…”. Little by little, with an incredible patience, gentleness and sense of humor, Mrs. Scordino worked her miracles on our son. On the very first day of school, she talked about our son’s difficulties to all of his classmates so that they would accept, help and eventually become his friends. She made sure that nothing in her classroom would set him off. She created a very comforting classroom environment. For the first time ever, we started seeing kids approaching our son and showing the very best in them to accept him. Mrs. Scordino had managed to create a “pint-sized” army of therapists for our son. Soon, they all became best friends. She had succeeded in including him in a regular, highly demanding second grade class. This was no small feat considering he was recommended to be in a highly restricted special education setting. In such a positive environment, our son blossomed. His self-esteem soared and he had a smile on his face for the first time when he went to school.
Thanks to his teacher, he felt valued and the bad behaviors started disappearing slowly, but surely. With a lot of patience, creativity and flexibility, Mrs. Scordino managed to teach our son his abhorred subject, mathematics. He ended up becoming very good at it. He even received an “outstanding” grade. She also developed the love of reading and writing in him. Again, not too long ago, he used to break his pencils in two when asked to write and he would scream from the top of his lungs or tear the pages of a book when asked to read. I was so shocked when Mrs. Scordino announced to me a month ago that our son had written a book independently and that it was indeed very good. I was even more shocked when his book was selected among his classmates’ books to enter the Young Author Competition. I will never, ever forget the huge smile our son had when he was given his Young Author Class Award last week. He had competed against all of the other mainstreamed, “normal” (whatever it means), children. From a doomed future, our son is now looking at a bright one thanks to Mrs. Scordino’s miracles. Her motto was: baby steps, baby steps, let’s take baby steps with your son. Well, from baby steps he has taken giant strides because this year he had a teacher who believed in him!
You are our hero and we love you!”
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