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Teacher Appreciation: Getting Through to my Brother

Joined: 5/10/2015
Posts: 1
My brother, John, was about three years old when he was diagnosed with autism. At first, it was a bit of a shock, but everything seemed to make sense after viewing all of the details. I was only five when my parents told me and I had no idea what the term “autism” even meant because it wasn’t a common thing back then. However, as I gradually got older, I noticed how John was different from everyone else. I remember people staring at him all of the time because of his unusual acts of behavior. Such as flapping his arms, jumping up and down, and making strange noises. However, all of this changed when John began kindergarten with Mrs. Jensen.
Mrs. Jensen was John’s kindergarten and first grade teacher at Rolling Hills Elementary School. When John first went to Mrs. Jensen he barely spoke and couldn’t function in a regular classroom. However, something about Mrs. Jensen really got to him. Over the course of the two years, John’s speech improved and his behavior enhanced immensely. He no longer threw fits (most of the time), he was able to communicate much better, and he was able to form relationships with his teachers and classmates. By the time John entered second grade, he was in a regular class for most of the day. Putting John in a normal classroom was a huge jump from a class of eight, but he bettered from it in the end. He became more sociable, his people skills improved, and it gave him the opportunity to meet new people. I remember my dad crying at graduation and thanking Mrs. Jensen for all she had done for John. She never gave up on him and we are all truly grateful for that.
Mrs. Jensen not only impacted John’s life, but also mine and my family’s. She wasn’t my teacher, but she was definitely my favorite teacher because of what she did for my brother. She got through to John when no one else could, and that really affected my own life. I was able to talk to John and have an actual conversation with him because of her. John and I now have a very strong relationship and I don’t know if that could have been possible without Mrs. Jensen. Mrs. Jensen had every quality of a good teacher. She was kind, patient, understanding, and most of all, determined and dedicated. She was dedicated to John and was determined to improve his and our lives.
My brother is now thirteen, almost fourteen, and is doing great. He is in all regular classes in school now and has no problem getting along with all of the other kids. He is able to function in a normal classroom setting and fits in just fine. It is amazing to see how far he came and I honestly could not be more proud of him, and it is all because of Mrs. Jensen.
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