Whittier teachers began the 2017-18 year today with an inspiring 90-minute talk from Pulitzer Prize winning author Ron Suskind. He and his wife Cornelia were told their son was uneducable and probably headed for an institution when at 2 1/2 the boy stopped speaking and was diagnosed as autistic.
About a year later, the parents realized that Owen was repeating lines from the Disney movies he loved. They soon began communicating with him by watching the movies over and over and using those lines. In four years, he had his speech back. Ron has written six best selling books and chronicled his family's life in the book and documentary Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks.
"Use what they love," he told teachers. "Passion is the pathway in education. We make sense of the world through what we love. All educators can work through all of these portals -- trust me."