National Teaching Award Nominee
Lake Marie Elementary, Whittier, California
Student Nomination Story
When I found out both of my twin boys were diagnosed with autism I was devastated. I had no words to describe my anguish and my worries about there future. Then we came across Mrs. Leonard. She asked me, “tell me something good about the boys”? I remember not having any words. The only thing I could think about was what am I going to do to help my boys. All I was thinking at that moment was how will they manage without me? What would their future be like if I’m gone? Mrs. Leonard said to me don’t worry I know they have many great qualities. She pointed out they are healthy boys they can see, hear, they can walk by themselves and are capable of learning. We will get through it as a team. I felt I wasn’t alone. It’s been a tough year especially with Covid-19. (So, many zoom meetings) Mrs. Leonard has been wonderful helping my boys find there strongest qualities so they can succeed in there education. She listens is patient and takes the time to know her students. One of the things I love about her, is her willingness to collaborate with all of the boys extended services. Which are a lot. From the boys Speech therapists, OT and ABA. I’m grateful to have such a loving, caring team. Mrs. Leonard took the time to make me feel that, as a mother of an autistic child, I was not alone. And to be honest, she has never been far away for me to call or email regarding any concerns I may have. Mrs. Leonard thank you for your guidance, patience, empathy and showing us parents every child can be successful in life with a little motivation.
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