November 20-22, 2013 · Columbus, OH · Greater Columbus Convention Center
HOST: Good morning again, everyone. When introducing Lee Stickle, um, this morning there was no way that I was coming to the stage by myself. Um, it wouldn't do her justice for everything that she's done and the-the philosophy that she shares. Um, Lee is all about collaboration, celebration of teaming, building relationships. And with her knowledge, skills, empathy, leadership and humor Lee has linked professionals, parents, individuals, in the field of autism. So I'm joined today by a small group of her vast network, her team from Kansas and her-and the autism team from OCALI. And we would just like to take one small minute to say how thrilled we are to welcome Lee Stickle to the OCALICON stage. We hope you enjoy her presentation.
LEE: Wow, um, if that isn't intimidating let me tell you what is. Um, I get to follow two tremendous speakers. Uh, in Connor yesterday. I-I looked at the people who came with me from Kansas, and I said, "You know I'm-I'm really in trouble here. I don't have a book. I don't have a medal. And I don't know Kathie Lee Gifford." [LAUGH] I got nothing. And then I thought, "Well, maybe people will sleep, and they'll forget just how wonderful and engaging Connor was." And then we get to meet Justin, right? And you go, okay, he's funny. He's articulate. He's a self-advocate. He's everything, that if I were a parent, which I'm not by the way. I only have dogs. I have found them to be much easier than children. But he's everything a parent would want a child to be, isn't he? I mean what a great guy. Thank you again.
LEE: When I was asked to present I asked Shawn, well, you know what will I present on. Let's review the list. I don't have a book. I don't have a medal. I don't know Kathie Lee Gifford, and I'm not a poet. So what am I going to do? And he said, "Oh, just-you-you'll think of something." Uh, that was quite a long time ago. I sent them a presentation in October. This is not it. Okay? So I've thought about it and thought about it. And I just-I hope this can be meaningful for you. Um, I'm-I'm going to share some of the experiences that I've had, um, learning from different people, and how that learning is the basis of our relationships. You know there's a very samo-famous psychologist whose name is Dr. James Comer. And he says that no significant learning occurs without a significant relationship. And there are no more truer words than that. If you'll just reflect in your own life about what you've learned and who you learned it from, and wh-how much meaning it had, it always ties back to the people that you've had respect for, that care for you, that have done something, uh, that has developed that relationship in your life.
LEE: You know as educators we really play a very unique role in the lives of children, in the lives of families, and in the lives of communities. If you think about the role that we play, we get kids longer than their own parents get them, their waking hours during the day. And we get to set the environment, the activities, and how we respond to kids. And as a result of those things we impact those kids. And if you don't believe that please resign if you're a teacher. And I mean that, please resign. You are impactful. You are powerful. And we have to use our super powers for good. We absolutely do. So when we think about how we work with kids, remember, we set the stage. We're the ones who determine what environment that they're going into and what activities that they'll do, and making sure that those activities are meaningful, no matter the functioning level of the child at all.
LEE: You know in my life I've had some really great role models and great teachers. And I'm going to share some information about three adults that I think have been just tremendous people in my life. The first one probably won't surprise you. It's this little lady over here, and that's my mom. And if you can't tell I'll stand next to her. She's a-now a mini-me, because she's shrunk so much. But she's just a little mini-me as far as looks. And what my mother taught me very early was that people matter. Foundationally in your teaching, in your interaction with other people, if you don't believe that people matter above all other things, you're going to have a life that is void of meaning. People matter. And if you take that as foundational in your approach to whatever you do, whether it's someone with a disability, someone who's fully able, someone who's differently able, someone who's pink, green doesn't matter, people matter. And if you start from that point every day, and if you need to write it down. I usually write it on the windshield of my car, because sometimes you need reminders, especially when you're driving. People matter, right? People matter. I know he just cut you off. People matter. I know we don't think he matters as much, but he still matters. He matters. Let him go. Right? So people matter. Always remember that. Always remember that people matter.
LEE: You know the-the second person that I have had such-who-who has had such an influence on me is Brenda Smith-Myles. And although she never said these words, have you ever had someone that you learned so much from by the way they lived their life and the things that they do for other people? Brenda lives her life, and as-as a result of that impacts others, because she lives her life because it's not about her. It's not about me. That's what she does. So when you're working, when you're engaging, when you're doing all of those things when you're working with other people, it's not about you, and it's not about me.
LEE: So if we remember, people matter, and it's not about me, all of a sudden our actions and our work get funneled in the right direction. By enriching the lives of others we enrich the lives of ourself. You know when, uh, when I think about the-the kids that I've worked with so many of them have had such a great impact because of their autism. But what I have really learned is-is something that I learned from Judy Endow. And I don't know if you know who Jenny-Judy Endow is or not. I imagine so. She's really famous. But Judy said something one night when we were talking on the phone that really had a huge impact on me. And she said, "You know you can only do the next right thing in front of you."
LEE: So let's look at the foundational pieces. People matter. It's not about me. And you can only do the next right thing in front of you. If you do those three things in your life, think of where we get to in our actions with other people, and how much better things would be. This gave me permission to say, you know I've made some mistakes. And I've made a lot of mistakes with kids, and you're going to hear about some of those in just a minute. It's okay to make a mistake. But you have to do the next right thing in front of you. You don't make mistakes because you're trying to do it wrong, they just sometimes things don't work out, right? So do the next right thing in front of you. Remember that people matter. And remember it's not about you. It's about the people with whom you work, and the people with whom you interact. If we take that foundationally, then we can do so much more wh-to build bridges between people, between people and services, be-between people and all of the silos that exist. So remember it's always not about us.
LEE: You know I've had a lot of students in the years that I've worked. Last year I cel-celebrated my thirtieth year in education. And I'll tell you what, if-if you want to have a great life, become an educator. Because it's-it's just a wonderful thing to-to get to do. You know some of the students that I've had in my life-in the upper corner over there is Clara, and Clara taught me something, um, very early on. And she taught me to presume competence. It was the summer of 1995. Have you ever had one of those moments when you learn something and you remember exactly when you learned it? Clara was a great teacher. Summer of 1995, it was June. The Beach Boys were coming to Kansas City to an outdoor amphitheater. Clara loved the Beach Boys. She loved the song "Barbara Ann." She loved it so fact-in-so much in fact her sister made a continuous loop for her. Thank heavens we had headphones in 1995. Okay? ‘Cause it played all the time. She loved it. So I thought, "Wouldn't it be fun to take Clara to the concert over the summer. And why not take Jeff, ‘cause Jeff has never gotten to go to a concert. We'll all have a great time." Off we went. I knew Jeff needed a lot of support in trying to inhibit his own behavior and knowing what was coming up. So we did a lot of pre-work with him. Here's where I didn't presume competence. I believed Clara would be just fine. Clara was considered low-functioning. Clara was happy just to be by you. Clara was not a problem.
LEE: You know you have kids in-in your class that are easy. And then you have other kids that you better be at the top of your game. Jeff you had to be at the top of your game. Clara, piece of cake. So off we went. I'm a teacher. I was cheap. I bought lawn seats. We didn't have seats. A lawn seat is where you put a blanket on the ground and sit down. Well there we were sitting there, and Jeff had his written strategy. And he knew when he was going to buy a Coke. He knew when he was going to get a glow necklace. He knew not to take the funny looking cigarettes from the people next to us and toke ‘em. I wanted him to have the full experience, but I didn't want to take him home stoned to the bone, you know I mean… How do you do that? How do you walk in and go, "Well, yeah, I'm not sure how it works with Elavil, you know but we're going to find out." So anyway, we're sitting there, and I'm working with Jeff. You know I'm talking to Jeff, and I know Clara's just sitting there. She's going to be fine. It's not going to be a problem. Well, I was talking with Jeff, and pretty soon Jeff gets very, very anxious. "Lee Stickle, Lee Stickle, Lee Stickle." I'm like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, what's-what's wrong?" He goes, "Clara!" And I look up, and it's like, "Clara!" Right? She is weaving through the-the lawn seats all going through the seated area where people pay good money. The little guy in the yellow jacket that says security on the back at concerts went around him like an NFL running back, man. I mean… And so I'm like, "Jeff, come on we need to go." And he-he pulls out his written strategy. "I cannot go. I'm not to leave the blanket."
LEE: Guys, I'm telling you. It was at that point that I thought, "I hate written strategies!" I'm like, "Give me the dang paper!" I scratched out one thing. I said, "Follow Lee wherever she goes!" And off we went, right? By this point Clara is-this is the stage-she's here. Right? Why is she there? They started singing "Barbara Ann." See I thought she thought that, "Well, Lee's kind of odd. She probably is just taking me to a park at night. Someone's got a big boom box. We're going to sit on a blanket. We don't know why. There's funny smells all around us, but whatever." They start playing "Barbara Ann," Clara is up and she's against the stage, man. I mean she is there, and she's loving it. And I don't-I don't-I'm-I'm sure that some of you who are parents have been embarrassed by your children. But I'm thinking, "Oh my gosh. I've got to get her." Right? So I go up to the little guy in the yellow jacket who manages to stop me, but not Clara. And I said, um, "I-I need to go get her." And he says, "You can get her?" And I said, "Well, I think I can." You know, um. And he goes, "Well, who's that guy?" I said, "Well, he's coming with me ‘cause it's on the list." You know. "He's following me wherever I go. Got it?" Okay. So off we go. And I knew all I had to do was just wait. If I just wait ‘til the song's over Clara's going to, you know, "Come on, Clara." "Oh, okay." Boom, and she'll come back with me. And sure enough we waited. The song was over. And I'm like, "Come on, Clara. Let's go back." And she turns around and that's when Brian Wilson bends down and goes, "She really likes that, doesn't she?" And I went, "Uh, yeah, thanks so much." You just want to get out. I don't know if you've ever had that experience. Get me out of here. He goes, "You can stay." And I'm thinking, "You know the people that spent 150 dollars on seats don't think so." You know because we're like in front of them. Right?
LEE: So Clara taught me that night to presume competence. She knew exactly what was going on. All of that IEP, uh-uh, sorry, this might offend some people, IEP mumbo-jumbo, no more captured Clara than the man on the moon. Right? It's not about the IEP. It's about the person. I didn't presume competence with Clara, and that was my mistake. And as a result she taught me something. Sometimes you learn some lessons that aren't real fun.
LEE: That was Wendy that up there, and she taught me it's not about the coffee. And here's another IEP story. We got this IEP and the reinforcement system, and all the things that came with Wendy. And they said she really likes coffee. And I thought, "Great, I really like coffee too. We've got something in common. So I bought her an insulated coffee mug, because I had one. I thought keep the coffee warm. It'll be better longer. [LAUGH] You know that kind of stuff. She never drank a sip of coffee, and she didn't want to go near the coffee cup. And so I was talking with her parents. That's a novel idea for some of us. You-if you talk with the parents they really know a lot. So I talked with her mom, and I said, "You know she's not drinking the coffee. I-you know I don't like flavored coffee. But if she needs hazelnut or something I'll get it." You know, "What's the deal?" And she goes, "Well, it's not about the coffee." I said, "It's not about the coffee." She goes, "No, it's about the cup. It's about the heat." She had a real sensory need to have that heat on her hands. I thought it was about the coffee, because we presume from our perspective what is this about. If someone says they like coffee I assume you like to drink it, because that's what I like to do with coffee. Never presume that your perspective is the same as the person with whom you're working. And that doesn't just go for people with autism. That goes with-for people in general, but especially when you're working with someone with autism whose perceptions are fre-frequently different than ours. So Wendy taught me, "It's not about the coffee."
Then we have Richard. And Richard taught me, "It's absolutely okay to find enjoyment in things that other people completely don't even know exist. Richard was a young man with pretty significant autism, nonverbal until they finally came out with some, uh, voice output devices, and then he just took off. Great guy. He liked to collect small, shiny things. In particular he really liked the tops off of pop cans. And he would pop those little things off, and then he would put them in an empty 2 liter bottle. And he would just roll it and watch those different colors. And if you took the time to look at the bottle it was incredible, absolutely incredible. He's a really very smart guy to be able to find that in just common everyday things, right? Well we had a school psych who said, "You know we need to not reinforce him with pop tabs." And I said, "Why not?" He said, "Well, I don't know if you know this, but that's kind of odd." [LAUGH] And I said, "Well, it might be kind of odd, but let's look at it this way. Richard wants a pop tab to be happy today. I want a Mercedes 350 SLK. Who's leaving here happy today?" He says, "Oh, well, but don't you think it's odd?" And I thought, "Well what I think is odd is you, but I shouldn't say that. You know?
LEE: By the way I-I have a tendency to kind of-I'm kind of a loose cannon. I'm sure Shawn is really panicked right now that I'm going to go somewhere I shouldn't-shouldn't go. But I-I promise I won't. This, my friends, is-was Jeffrey. And Jeff taught me that it is absolutely okay to ask for help. When we got Jeff, uh, he had been in virtually every program in one of the biggest districts in the state of Kansas. And had, uh, summarily been discharged from all of those programs. And he finally ended up in our classroom. And I really struggled working with Jeff. Everything I tried did not work. I didn't not have the magic bullet for this kiddo. And, um, as-as I was working with him I realized that our restraint data, and this isn't a proud moment in my teaching career, but I can tell you about it now. Our restraint data showed that it was ineffective, and it was off the charts. And we needed to do something differently. So I called my boss who was tremendous. And she said, "Well, I'll come over and I'll watch, and we'll see what's going on." And this woman, uh, w-very, very skilled educator, always dressed to the nines, had on real high heels. And she was there taking notes all day. And at the end of the day she came up and she said, "I think I know what's wrong." And I said, "Wh-what's that?" She says, "You're not reinforcing him enough." And I-I can honestly tell you I thought, "I'm not reinforcing him enough? Okay, he got off the bus and whacked me with his book bag. He you know on the way down the hall he ripped into another room and stole a doughnut." You know and I am thinking of all of these things. I'm thinking, "What am I supposed to reinforce? Are you kidding me, I'm not reinforcing him enough?" I said, "So, are you going to be able to develop something and kind of show me how it works?" And she said, "Oh, sure. I'll be back tomorrow." And I thought, "And-and you're going to do this?" And she goes, "Oh, absolutely." She came back another beautiful outfit and other heels. And I'm thinking, "These are not exactly the clothes that I would have chosen." Well actually I've got to be honest, I've never worn heels. But I mean, even if I had worn heels I wouldn't have worn them that day. And she got on that bus, which is where the problems start-started for Jeff back then. And he was sitting there, and he was not going to get up. He was not going to do it. And she said, "I like the way you stay seated on the bus. You're doing a good-oh, look at. You brought your book bag." And in the back of my mind I'm going, "Duck, it's coming your way!" But was it coming her way? No. She saw him. She was smart. She sees him pick it up, and she starts moving backwards down a bus aisle, which are kind of hard for me to navigate anyway, in heels, walking backwards, reinforcing Jeff for getting up and walking over and doing this and-and I mean she was virtually chasing-he was virtually chasing her down the hall by the time they got to the room. And when she-when he got there he s-she said, "Just put your bag anywhere. You've earned your reinforcer." And I'm like, "Wait. Really? That's what it takes?" And she said, "Yeah, that's what it takes. That's what it takes. He's been in an environment over and over and over again where there was no reinforcement. He couldn't ever get to what he was supposed to earn. And as a result of never getting it he quit trying. I mean wouldn't you? How many times do we fail? How many times do we fail?
LEE: So when we're working with kids, if something's not working, they deserve something else. They have to have something else. Because there comes a point, no matter how resilient kids are, and they are incredibly resilient people, that people give up. And when they give up it's so much harder to get ‘em started and get ‘em and moving. Don't ever let ‘em give up. Okay? Remember people matter. It's not about you. And do the next right thing in front of you. And we'll be much better off for it.
LEE: The last little guy, uh, that I'm going to talk about is Wayland. And Wayland was the first student I this program when it opened up. Uh, we got him when he was 13 years old. And he was, according to all the paperwork, classically autistic. Which means he had a lot of the characteristics that they had back in the-probably the DSM-III at that point. And as you looked at all of the information in the DSM-III, yeah he didn't look at people. Yeah, things were different with him. And I thought, "Okay, I've got kind of a good handle on him." Well when we went camping Wayland taught me, "I am not that label. And I am not that piece of paper. And I am not any of those things." You can't-you-you can't believe in paper. You believe in people. So we went camping, which is a whole ‘nother like seminar. We're not even going to talk about the camping experiences we've had except for this one. And Wayland when-when Wayland finally lay down that night to go to sleep, he looked at me and he said, "The sun…" Uh,-Wayland lived in a town called Olatha-named Olatha. He says, "The sun'll come up in Olatha tomorrow?" And I said, "Well, sure, yeah, the sun's going to come up in Olatha tomorrow. You're right. It-it'll come up in Olatha." He lived with his Grandma and Grandpa. He says, "Grandma and Grandpa will be in Olatha tomorrow when the sun comes up?" And I'm like, "Yeah, Wayland, it's-it's fine. They'll be there. The sun'll come up. Grandma and Grandpa will be there. It's fine, buddy. You're okay." And he started crying. And I thought, "Gosh, I wonder what's going on?" So the next morning I called his grandmother, and I said, "Everything is fine. I'm not asking you to come get him, but he asked these questions. Why would he do that?" And he-she-she said, "Did he really? And he cried?" She was-she was absolutely thrilled that someone else had seen emotion in him, because so many people found him devoid of it, right? He experienced emotions differently, and he showed ‘em differently. No big deal. But Wayland cried. And I said, "Well why was he crying?" He says, "Every night his grandpa puts him to bed and sings ‘You Are My Sunshine.' And every morning I wake him up with the same song. And I tell him, ‘Because you're here the sun's going to shine today.'" Right? So here's a person described in paper by an expert that says you know d-lacks emp-empathy. Doesn't connect with others. Socially inept. All of those things that were on a paper that did not translate to a person. Remember people aren't paper. They never will be. We will never capture people on paper.
LEE: The next person I want to talk about is, um, Jeff's mom, Phyllis. And I got to tell you something. I learned more from Phyllis than I've learned from so many people that I've worked with. I learned that there is absolutely no love like the love of a mother for their child, nothing. I also learned from her that strength and the conviction of your principles and your beliefs, when you put those things together, that is the definition of grace. And that is exactly what Phyllis Young has is grace. She has strength of conviction. She has passion. She has all of those things. I also learned from her that no matter how great the IEP was that we would create, and no matter how much information we tried to capture on paper, we would always miss the very best part of her son, and that was his humanity. You can't get humanity in a document. Don't ever try. You get humanity by looking for relationships and building relationships with other people.
LEE: You know there's an old African proverb that says, "If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far go together." And that's where teaming comes in. That's another thing that Phyllis taught me. You know we were really lucky to have people early in our program's origination that were so skilled at so many things. And the biggest group that had the kinds of skills that we needed were the parents. They were some of the best teachers that we have. So you know when we think about bridges and building bridges we have to remember that bridges are meant to provide access or to go around a barrier. Access is so important for all of us. We talk about access to the general curriculum. We talk about access to community e-events. We talk about all of those kinds of access. For so many people with autism the curb cuts aren't there. Autism is by and large invisible. And because of that people don't understand, and they don't presume that we might need to make some type of accommodation. Accommodations are kind of tricky, ‘cause a lot of people think accommodations are kind of giving in. Oh, oh, we have to make this accomoda-? Yeah we do need to make those accommodations. We need to make them, but we need to make them not based upon the list, or that's in your IEP bank, if you guys have online IEPs where you can choose a-things from the bank. If you don't need the person that bank of, uh-of-of accommodations or modifications will do you absolutely no good. They're not going to match the needs of that person. So remember if you're building a bridge into access, you have to know the person to know first off where do we need to start the bridge? And second where is it going to end? Understand that where that bridge ends there's going to be another path for that person to take. And they're going on to bigger and better things. So we've got to make sure that we make those kinds of accommodations.
LEE: You know when we talk about accommodations, um, Judy Endow put-uh, put it best I think in her book Painted Words. And I'm sure that some of you, uh, attended her session yesterday. And if you didn't I encourage you to buy the book. And one of the quotes that she's given me permission to use and to share this photo that of-of one of her paintings says that based upon years of observation of numerous autistics, myself included, I can see that autistics pay a much higher co-cost for the accommodations that they make as compared to the neurotypical person. Part of the reason is the sheer volume of accommodations, um, an autistic is required to make each day compared to the NT. I'm expected to make accommodations for you while you have the option to choose when, if and how often you will make accommodations for me. You know in all of the success stories that-that we've seen and, I-gosh, Justin's a success story. Connor's a success story. Uh, Jeff, Wayland, Wendy, all of these kids are success stories. In every one of those there's been a team behind them. But in no way has that team understood the heroic, enormous effort put in by the individual to make the gains and advances that they believe are important.
LEE: You know as we think about working with kids and developing accommodations, and knowing what they need it is high time we begin to ask those kids. They deserve that respect, that dignity to say, "What is it that you need?" And we need to be respectful, listen and accommodate them. S-thank you. [LAUGH]
LEE: So, what are our next steps? You know we have to engage everyone in-and it's not a battle, it's a journey. If you're battling autism you will lose. You will lose. You don't need to battle it. Stand next to it, and go on the journey with it. You will go places that you will never imagine, some of them good, some of them bad, some of them because of the autism, some of them because of our incompetence as neurotypical people to understand autism. But we're going to take this journey together. So we've to take the time to get everyone who's involved ready to work, and ready to work with all of us. We have to base our work upon the facts that people matter. It's not about me. And that you only can do the next right thing in front of you. So we've got to share information. And we've got to empower people with autism to be great self-advocates and share their own information.
LEE: So, in the end, what is it that we need? We need more people like you. Everyone in this audience i-is here trying to learn and going to conferen-going to different conferences, and reading books and doing all of those things. We need more people like you. We need people that have the passion and commitment to make sure that things are going the-in the right direction, and the willingness to say when they're not, we need to step back and change it. Remember going to a conference is great, but there's so many books out there. There's so much information. Use it, learn it, take some responsibility for your own profe-professional development.
LEE: You know, when we think about it bridges-we need to build a bridge to high self-esteem, self-advocacy, interdependence, autonomy. Not independence. None of us live independently. We don't want a life of-of-of someone to be the-served in isolation. We want them to be inter-inder-interdependent. And we want to make sure that there are no barriers to access.
LEE: So the key question that we have to keep asking is, "Are we spending your time on the right thing?" Because time is all we have. All of us have gone through really big budget cuts and you know there's probably more to come. Money doesn't always equate to quality. Quality equates to people doing the right thing and doing the-the best thing for the people around them. So remember, in closing, this is probably one of my favorite quotes. Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed it's the only thing that ever has. So get in your groups. Enjoy your world. Go out and change it. Thank you very much.
[PLAYS "BARBARA ANN"]
LEE: Oh, I didn't even know you had that song. That rocks! I'm waiting for security to approach though, so.
HOST: How do you like that?
LEE: That's-that rocks! Yeah. That's cool.
HOST: So, um, all right so, Lee and I have known each other, uh, for over a decade. Um, and-and from the moment we sat in the room together I-I-I was moved by-by you, by your presence and what you do. So, one of the comments I have is I know you listen to Brenda sometimes. Like, it's not about you. But for the next three minutes it's about you. Okay?
LEE: I'm going to get back here. [LAUGH]
HOST: Sometimes you can't listen to Brenda, Lee. [LAUGH] It's about you for a moment. Always listen to Judy.
LEE: Yes, always, yeah.
HOST: Sometimes excuse what Brenda says. You just have to figure-figure that out.
HOST: Um, because as-I would say as you said, right, people matter, right? But it's not about you. Um, and because of that-because of that's what you-you believe it is about you. Right? Leadership and-and folks know that-that these are the leaders we need. So we're in great hands when you have somebody like Lee know that sometimes I know like the bureaucrats, uh, uh, we get tired of people like me getting in the way and what-what-what are they doing? But-but, Lee, it matters. And-and she's serious. Um, when I need charged, I call Lee. And-and when I get off the phone I'm like, "All right, we can do this." Like whatever it is I'm fired up and going, "We can do this because Lee does it." It doesn't matter what it is, she's going to make it happen. And so the quote that I leave with is Lee, that's what she says, uh, make it happen. Like quit talking about it, just go do something, man. [LAUGH] Make it happen. And so, um, I'm going to present Lee with the "I Want to be Lee Stickle Award."
LEE: Yeah. [LAUGH] This goes no further.
LEE: Your wife would be upset.
HOST: [LAUGH] And I do. I want to be Lee Stickle. I've told my friends that. That's who I want to be. So when I grow up, maybe.
HOST: I want to be you. And-and you make, and such a serious impact. You-you-you just kill it. And we thank you for it. We thank you for everything, your time, your commitment, and making this real. Because you are so real. And so not only do we get one award for you…
LEE: Well good.
HOST: We just had to order two. I just didn't know what to do with it, so…
LEE: Auction it online? [LAUGH]
HOST: So we just figured we'd just give you two awards. So, Lee, thank you. We love you. And we just can't thank you enough.
LEE: Thank you. You [INAUDIBLE] people. You've just got to have good people.
HOST: I know.
LEE: Um, thank you, [INAUDIBLE]. I'm-I'm absolutely flattered. And as I just told Shawn, um, we have been able to get a lot done in Kansas, but it isn't because of one person. It's because I work with the very best team on earth. When you get the right people in the right spots things go well. In addition to that we have, I think, one of the best leaders in special education in Colleen Riley [PH] and our leadership team at KSDE. Um, we all know that we all work together, and that alone nothing, well nothing good happens. When I'm alone things go badly. So, um, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
HOST: You see again she-she always gives it away. [LAUGH] Which is what we need. And I have a final note. Oh, yes, I-I can't forget. Justin is going to be in the OCALI booth, um, after this. So, Justin, thanks again, man. You-you just killed it this morning and-and blew us-blew us away. So, another hand for Justin. Thank you all for being here. Make it happen. Believe what-what Lee said. And, uh, we just couldn't thank you enough. Enjoy the rest of the conference.
Bring Your Hard Hat: Building Bridges, Not Barriers
10:30 - 11:45 | Hall F
Service providers, parents, and caregivers have access to a burgeoning set of evidence-based strategies and interventions to use when working with persons with autism. While the focus has been on proving the effectiveness of these strategies, we have lost sight of the importance of building strong relationships. How we interface with one another sets the stage for growth and success. The good news is this: autism is not a mystery, nor is it a puzzle. We can positively impact the outcomes for persons with autism by providing meaningful opportunities that enhance their quality of life.
Lee Stickle, Ms.Ed., is the co-director of the Kansas Instructional Support Network, which provides technical assistance and training in the area of autism spectrum disorder. She received her undergraduate degrees in Special Education, Recreation, and Psychology from Southern Illinois University. Stickle taught for five years in a self-contained classroom for children with emotional disturbance before taking a position in a residential center. She has worked in the area of autism for 19 years, and has spoken at state, national, and international levels.
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