By Geoff Tubbs, Education Specialist
Geoffrey T. has been a student at Sarah Dooley Center for Autism since July, 2006. He was first enrolled due to his serious behavioral challenges (including aggression and running away) and significant developmental deficits. These challenges made it extremely difficult for Geoffrey to participate in activities with his peers outside the school environment.
Since enrolling five years ago, Geoffrey has made significant improvements in areas related to communication, daily living skills, transition and academics that has allowed him to grow and participate more fully in activities he enjoys. Geoffrey has improved his communication with others by using a PECS book, which includes photographs of the things Geoffrey most often wants, including food, drink, and use of the bathroom. He also uses it to let staff know what he would like to do during his leisure time. Some of the things Geoffrey enjoys are spending time outside, playing on the swing, and listening to his favorite music group, the Black Eyed Peas.
Geoffrey has also improved his academic skills. He completes all of his work-related tasks independently and precisely, working up to 15 minutes at a time. He is also involved in the Career and Transition Program on campus and has been doing a wonderful job completing shredding, recycling, and environmental services tasks. Geoffrey has also been able to tolerate and complete tasks related to hygiene and daily living, such as fixing a meal or snack.
The final area in which Geoffrey has shown progress is community involvement. Geoffrey has made great progress by going regularly to the vending machine at the Administration Building. He has also gone to Three Lakes Park, Wal-mart and the movie theatre at Virginia Center Commons. These trips provide much-needed experience for Geoffrey in becoming fully integrated into his community. Geoffrey is a wonderful student and we are very lucky to have him at Sarah Dooley Center for Autism!