"Jess truly has a passion for kids on the autism spectrum. She was my son’s sixth grade teacher and we were impressed on how fervently she wanted to make a positive impact on his learning. She was firm about her expectations of him because she knew that he had all the potential to perform. In the behavioral aspect, she clearly set up the rules of her classroom using visual reminders and then following up with consequences in a consistent manner. This type of no-nonsense approach was exactly what my son needed to learn self-control and boundaries. In the academic aspect, Jess would find ways to use technology creatively to motivate my son to create complete sentences, kept track of his tremendous progress, and later faded away most of the initial prompts to encourage independence. She would not let him get away with mediocre work when she know that he had mastered a skill. Jess was also very creative in taking advantage of opportunities to take her students out in the community for field trips with typical students, such as going to the theater for a concert, to the movies and to the zoo. She was open to our ideas and suggestions as parents, reached out for feedback and was always responsive to our inquiries. Jess was also open to meetings and visits with our home-based team of autism consultants and aides. They, too, were impressed with her dedication as a teacher and willingness to collaborate in generalizing my son’s skills from school to home. In summary, I could not have asked for a better teacher and advocate for my son and I only wish that she had taught him for more than just one year. Her current and future students are fortunate to have her. I am sure that she will continue to help other children strive to overcome difficulties, make tremendous progress and reach new milestones in their development."
-Ana M.