LASARD came into our lives during Kerry’s 3rd grade year by helping his teachers, paraeducators, and me understand the importance of proactive strategies. Visual schedules and peer supports helped to keep him motivated and on track. Having trained peer supports work with Kerry also strengthened his social skills. Kerry is now in high school and continues to use visual aids, peer supports, and inclusion time. He is a cadet in the ROTC program, where he receives constant support and encouragement from his peers. Our son has taught us far more than we can ever teach him and working with LASARD helped us realize that. Perseverance, patience, and understanding were the keys to Kerry’s success. Thank you, incredible people of LASARD!
Misty Schaubhut, Kerry’s mother – St. Charles Parish
Before our ReNEW team decided to join LASARD, our SPED teachers, as well as general education teachers, struggled to effectively meet the needs of our students with Autism. Since joining LASARD, we have learned so many evidence-based strategies that support not only students with Autism but all students in the classroom. We have been able to create a website that provides teachers across our network with resources that can be used in their classrooms. We have also collaborated with LASARD to provide network-wide professional development sessions to increase knowledge around students with disabilities. In addition, LASARD was also able to provide professional development to some of our parents and to one of our community sites where we provide special education services to our youngest students.
Most importantly, LASARD has helped provide our non-verbal students with a voice! While we have many success stories we can share, a specific story that involves a PK student at Schaumburg Elementary stands out to me. This student struggled to maintain focus and attention as well as communicate with his peers and teachers in the classroom. We worked with our amazing LASARD coach to develop an individualized schedule and communication system so that he could be successful and have independence in class. Through LASARD’s coaching and support, this student began to independently use his communication system and was able to focus for longer periods of time. LASARD has made a huge impact on SPED teachers, general education teachers, and leadership teams across our network. I am so happy to have been part of the LASARD team and I am looking forward to continuing our success during the new school year by using the many resources and strategies that have been provided to us. Thank you for all of the support that you have provided our ReNEW family!
PK Special Education Coordinator – Schaumburg Elementary
ReNEW Early Childhood Center Director of Gilda’s Academy
LASARD has been invaluable to our district this year! Their experience and guidance has provided us with an organized process to make positive, evidence based practices a part of all of our classrooms. [Our facilitator] has helped keep us accountable, on track, and with realistic, achievable goals to improve the education of our students with disabilities.
Karen M. Nelson, MA, L-SLP
District Team Member
East Baton Rouge Parish Schools
Partnering with LASARD has brought a new level of information and coaching into our classrooms serving children with ASD. Teachers implementing visual schedules and supports are reporting amazing gains both behaviorally and academically with students who are non-verbal and with those previously displaying the most challenging behaviors. Our LASARD Facilitator has been invaluable in supporting the successful transition of students into less restrictive environments on their home-based campuses. We look forward to growing in professional knowledge and practice in our next years of partnership with LASARD.
Laureen Mayfield, Ed.D.
Special Education Supervisor
Bienville Parish School Board