The Unexpected Journey: A Daughter and Father Perspective

This presentation describes the journey of a young woman and her parents and their struggles with Autism and Epilepsy as they worked through the challenges of special education, college, employment and independent living. We will describe the strategies used to remove obstacles and unleash her potential by collaborating with educators, therapists, and employers in the pursuit of her dream of teaching children with special needs.

Through this session, the participants will be able to:

1. Apply some practical real-life strategies through a simple model for success in early intervention, classroom and daily living, as well as career/life planning.

2. Utilize an effective and collaborative communication process in working with health professionals, educators, professors, and employers.

3. Apply strategies to identify and meet the individual’s emotional, tutoring, and mentoring needs.

4. Identify strategies to overcome the biases of supervisors and coworkers and protect civil rights in the workplace.

5. Gain encouragement and hope from this true story of an individual with multiple disabilities who fulfilled her dream of earning a bachelor’s degree and teaching children with special needs.