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Five years ago copy pdf

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Five years ago copy pdf

  1. 1. Kevin Lausier April 6, 2016 My decision my five years ago. Five years ago I left my job as a provisional special education teacher to become the primary care provider for my daughter with special needs. A decision that has been extremely challenging at times but also incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. My wife and I have two children, a 10 year old girl and 6 year old boy. We knew that our daughter was developmentally delayed but we felt that she would grow and eventually begin reaching her developmental benchmarks. As time passed our concerns grew deeper, we began looking for answers from our 1 What is Central Auditory Processing Disorder? Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is a neurological defect that affects how the brain processes auditory information. It is exceptionally challenging for the child to process verbal instructions or even to filter out background noise in the classroom. Becoming a parent advocate. Parenting a child with a disability is a journey of acceptance of the things you can’t change and then changing yourself to accept the things you can change. Becoming an instructional designer. Earning a MS in instructional design and technology in 2015 helped me to plan the next steps in my life and reinvent myself on a new career path. The Last Five Years Leaving my job, becoming a parent advocate, and an earning a master’s degree in instructional design. Instructional Designer | Parent Advocate
  2. 2. Kevin Lausier April 6, 2016 pediatrician who referred us to an audiologist. My wife, who is an occupational therapist, was the first to suggest that our daughter may have Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). We reached out to Dr. Jay Lucker, Ed.D., CCC-A/SLP, FAAA, at Howard University who specializes in auditory processing disorders. We scheduled an appointment with him and he agreed to do an assessment. The findings of his analysis were conclusive, Patricia was diagnosed with Central Auditory Processing Disorder in February 2011 at the age of 5 years old. Our experience with Dr. Lucker was so positive and just what we needed it to be, educational and empowering. It was positive because Dr. Lucker reassured us that there were interventions for Patricia that could help. It was 2 In 2013 I began working on my master’s degree in instructional design and technology at Old Dominion University. I transferred to Walden University because it fit with my responsibilities at home more conveniently.Although it is an online program, I found it to be rigorous and rewarding. The foundations of learning theory and instructional theory were imbued into my knowledge base while enrolled in the teacher endorsement program at ODU’ s Darden School of Education and then greatly expanded upon while enrolled at Walden. I really enjoyed Walden’s project based focus. My student design portfolio found at http:// www.kevinlausier-e portfolio. com/my-resume.html showcase some of the learning projects I worked on. After graduation I took on some volunteer projects in order to gain experience. I reached out to adjunct faculty members at Old Dominion University and offered to develop learning objects for their online courses. I conducted an analysis for Human Growth and Development, (SPED 313), then developed and designed collaborative learning objects and recored a video lecture series. “The findings of his analysis were conclusive, Patricia was diagnosed with Central Auditory Processing Disorder in February 2011 at the age of 5 years old.”
  3. 3. Kevin Lausier April 6, 2016 educational because he helped us to understand the nature of Patricia’s disability and it was empowering because we were armed with an official diagnosis that we could take to the school system and demand specific interventions and services. When you first discover that your child has a disability like CAPD you experience a range of emotions. For me, it was denial and anxiety. My denial was not about her diagnosis but rather the extent to which she would need help. The reality is that CAPD is a developmental disorder pervasive across all other developmental areas. It affects the the way Patricia hears and processes auditory information. It affects the development of her expressive language, literacy, and social emotional development. Many times, children with CAPD have co-morbidities and are also challenged with other disabilities such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), and or specific learning disability (SLD). In Patricia’s case she presents characteristics of all three with CAPD being the most dominant. My denial faded and the only thing that was left was the acceptance that our daughter needed full-time support from one of us. My education and experience as a special education teacher told me that this was going to be a long and difficult journey. The anxiety I experienced came in the realization that she would be faced with overcoming a myriad of obstacles and challenges throughout her entire life. In the months that followed Patricia’s initial diagnosis my wife and I planned and discussed what we needed to do in order to provide our daughter with the support and resources she needed. We knew that sacrifices would have to made and whatever our future plans might have been that everything had to change. After about three months of coordinating speech therapy appointments, researching academic interventions and 3
  4. 4. Kevin Lausier April 6, 2016 negotiating the development of her individual education program (IEP) with the school, we decided that one of us need to be available as a full-time support to help facilitate and coordinate all that Patricia needs. Leaving my job should not have been difficult of a decision, but it was. With my background as a special education teacher we felt that I was best suited to communicate with the school system and build the network of support services that Patricia needed. The decision was difficult for two reasons, first was the burden it placed on my wife for all of our financial needs. Secondly, I was concerned about how it would reflect on me professionally. I worried about the repercussions of breaking my teaching contract and giving up my provisional teaching license, teachers who break contract are barred from teaching for three years, not to mention the position it placed my administrators in. I also worried that it left us without a means for me to provide for my family. In the end the needs of our daughter outweighed any other concerns, so I tendered my resignation in April of 2011 and committed myself to providing my daughter with as much help and as many resources as possible. In the last five years Patrica has grown tremendously. Now that she is almost 11 and we have developed a very strong network of resources and advocates it is time for me to get back into the workforce. My wife and I realize that our journey is not over yet, but we are much more informed and much more prepared to facilitate our daughter’s continued growth and development. I am eager to apply what I have learned and share all that I have become. I know that the gap in my work history might cause some to overlook my resume. Hopefully the narrative I have shared here may help to explain some of that. 4

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