“…a great emphasis on developing a child’s strengths and not becoming locked into labels.”
Author of The Autistic Brain and Thinking in Pictures
As the number of students on the autism spectrum, and those with other developmental differences has continued to increase, so have the challenges facing well-meaning teachers and professionals who find themselves struggling to meet the needs of students they try hard to understand. Many still seem unable to shift from a mindset that focuses on deficits and behaviours instead of embracing the well-established strength-based approach to teaching that recognizes that we all have different and preferred styles of learning. Students on the spectrum also learn differently… so why are we still struggling?
Exceptional Minds Across the Autism Spectrum demonstrates how our attitudes toward “exceptional” students can often affect our ability to help students reach their potential. More than money, resources, or even teaching methods, it is our attitude toward those who seem different that influences our expectations and limits learning opportunities for growth and development. It is our attitude and understanding that shape our vision. But attitudes and mindsets can change, and when that happens, we can move closer to understanding the struggles and learning challenges of individuals with exceptionalities.
All net proceeds from the book will be donated to various autism charities and initiatives.
Corinne Levitt challenges the reader to re-examine what lies behind our current understanding of the autism spectrum and learning differences in order to create a school culture based on dignity, respect, social inclusion and the right to a meaningful education. Levitt introduces you to her students and their stories, as they help us gain a deeper appreciation for their passion to learn, their desire to communicate, and their wish to be accepted as vital and valued members of our schools and communities.
A powerful new way of thinking about the autism spectrum and education, you’ll come away with practical and inexpensive techniques and strategies focused on recognizing the exceptional potential for all students to learn and thrive throughout the school years and beyond.
Praise for Exceptional Minds
Author of The Autistic Brain and Thinking in Pictures
“A dedicated teacher looks back on a long career working with students with autism. She presents a positive history of educators and leaders who improved our understanding of autism. There is also a great emphasis on developing a child’s strengths and not becoming locked into labels.”
Darold A. Treffert, M.D.
The Treffert Center for Exceptional Minds
“This is an exceptional book about exceptional minds by an exceptional teacher. It insightfully shares 40 years of practical day-to-day experience working in the trenches of the classroom, not the ivory tower…
It advises how to ‘teach to the talent’ and how to use handicaps or deficits as teaching opportunities… If I were to recommend one book on strength-based education to an established or beginning teacher in any public or private elementary or secondary classroom with special needs children with a variety of learning or other disabilities, this would be the book.”
Learn & Strive
Also Available At
After many years of working as a high school English teacher and special educator, Corinne Levitt decided to change direction and work primarily with adolescents with special needs and developmental differences. She wrote this book in recognition of the need to promote the important role an enriched educational experience can have on the lives of students who stand to benefit the most from best educational practices. Her background in learning disabilities, psycholinguistics, and the arts enabled her to “teach to the talent” while encouraging her students to discover and explore their potential.
Now retired from public education, she has maintained her interest in this field, as a private consultant and a workshop leader. She is a member of the VIVA Youth Singers, and sings alongside many of her former students who encouraged her to discover her voice. Corinne has four adult children and four grandchildren, and lives with her husband in Toronto, Canada, where she was born and raised.
About the Artists
Version of Monet’s Bed of Chrysanthemums
by Eric Lewin
by David Lewin
Eric Lewin and his younger brother David attended Corinne’s high school for students with special needs. Now young adults, they have benefitted greatly from gifted and creative professionals who search for potential and are not discouraged by challenges. When he and his brother were asked to contribute artwork for the book cover, Eric exclaimed: “An art commission!” Taking the suggestion of the theme of fall gardens and Corinne’s favourite flower, chrysanthemums, they worked on the project with their art teacher, Gorett Reis, whose input was invaluable. She shows them how to look and how to see, and they are completely engaged in the process. Eric enjoys learning about great art, especially the Impressionists, and he painted his version of Monet’s Bed of Chrysanthemums. David carefully studied photos of their school garden and images from the internet as models. Each of their paintings reflects their skill sets and personalities. They are honoured and proud to have contributed to the book.
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