Success Story

Nadia Shanab | Uncategorized
30 Nov 2013

Yesterday I ran into a former student accompanied by his family, mother, father, and sister in a shopping mall. His mom was the one who gave me a pat on the shoulder coming from behind me. She looked at me with a big smile and sparkling eyes, full of joy and excitement, wondering if I still remember her. We hugged and greeted, then her son showed up with a big smile on his face, and the same question: “I remember you, do you remember me?” Then the dad and sister followed.

How could I forget a student that I’ve worked with in his kindergarten year, with all the challenges and great moments we’ve both lived and grew with it?

The student became a seventh grade handsome and composed boy. But the most shocking news was that he became a mainstream student, fully included. He has graduated the special day class since he moved to middle school. His autism has disappeared. He was looking at me right in the eyes. His sideway gaze with his face looking away from the speaker was gone. He was answering my questions with long detailed sentences in a beautiful language and calm voice. He was focused on everybody’s talk and commenting and adding more details. He even invited me to an event he’s participating in. I was overjoyed I couldn’t believe my eyes. I told the parents that they have done an outstanding job. I asked the mom: “What did you do?” To my biggest surprise the answer was what I always recommend the parents to do. Somebody listened! She said: “He has a very busy schedule. He is singing, taking music lessons, and playing an instrument. He is with the boy Scout group. Besides, he is on a sport team.”  Most importantly, the family is highly encouraging gatherings with friends and family members. They believe in being part of the community on regular basis.


Mom told me that she has always kept him busy and engaged in doing different kinds of activities.


  • Regardless of the way the brain is wired, it functions in a manner that allows the person to get by with her/his everyday life tasks. Being different doesn’t mean being inferior or weaker.
  • Train your child’s brain to process and tackle new experiences and activities as much as you can.
  • Expose your child to a variety of activities starting with her/his favorite things to do.
  • Expand the range of interests until your child finds her/his preferred ones.
  • Stay connected! Be part of the community and arrange for playdates, group activities, students exchange, and social gatherings.
  • Again and again: communication between home and school is a key to success.
  • Consistency in providing support to our children accelerates the process of helping them reach their full potential.
  • Build on strengths not on deficits.


What an amazing feeling to see one of your students succeeding and reaching her/his goal. When you reap the fruits of your dedication, you’ll become even more motivated to keep helping the children. What a rewarding job!

nadia shanab

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