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Rebecca Schaefer – Westland Elementary School

The 2010/2011 school year was difficult for our family as we were in the process of diagnosing my Kindergarten aged son. Mrs. Schaefer was a HUGE help with the process.

Once our son was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism and ADHD, she quickly took action. Not only did she help us get all of the help that the school had to offer (school psychologist, speech therapy, and occupational therapy) but she also adapted her classroom to meet his needs-and did so in a way that made it fun for all the children in her class. She made treats for each of the kids every day, so not only my son was being rewarded for his good behavior, but all the children were. When my son would get very particular about items being out of place, and needed to correct them, she allowed him and praised him for it. When my son needed to have his sensory needs met by being praised when he went to the restroom, she placed a blow up hand in the doorway so he could give it a “High Five” for doing so well. She would point out my son’s unique qualities to the other children and acknowledge his differences as being creative, so the children did not have negative impressions of my son. She was the greatest help to our family when we were lost, and unsure how to handle his diagnosis.

Mrs. Schaefer renewed our faith in the public school system, and made us comfortable that our son could thrive in public school. Without her, we would be lost, and my son would not have thrived and been as successful as he has. Please consider her as a candidate. She will always hold such a special place in our hearts.

–Whitney Moulton