“Be a Piece of the Puzzle” campaign to raise autism awareness by Fisher Titus Medical Center has given me the perfect opportunity to inform you of a crucial piece in my puzzle. LeighAnn Leimeister has been the treating Occupational Therapist in my classroom for students with multiple disabilities since 2003. I have learned many things from her throughout the years. She is someone that I know I can count on for help, whether it is a student on her caseload or not. She goes above and beyond with her job, planning activities, providing/finding supports for students or helping teachers.
She does individual activities with my students, but also takes part in whole group activities. This gives paraprofessionals and myself the chance to see her in action and learn from her. In the month of February we have participated in our own winter Olympics and decorated puzzle pieces for FTMC.
Not only are Maplehurst students lucky to have such a wonderful therapist, but Maplehurst teachers are lucky to have LeighAnn as a piece in our puzzle. I know my puzzle would not be complete without her.
Accorning to the Fisher-Titus website, autism now affects 1 in 68 children in the US. The puzzle piece has been the universal symbol for autism or autism spectrum disorder, which refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences.