Autism expert teaching new class to help students voice their needs
The school’s newest class offering on self-advocacy is unique. Instead of the behavior modification strategies used by other school curriculums, this class will help students voice their needs. Author and consultant Michael John Carley is uniquely qualified to lead this class — along with his then four-year-old son, he was diagnosed with Autism in 2000. “I learned that even if someone loves you, they might not understand where you’re coming from if they aren’t on the autism spectrum,” said Michael John. “I’m not a better or smarter person than someone without autism, but because I do, I understand what it’s like to try to advocate for yourself.”
Three groups of students – two high school groups and a middle school group – will meet twice a month with Michael John throughout the year. Using a curriculum he developed for New York City students, League School groups will explore why being different is not a bad thing. Instead of a “let’s fix this” approach, students will learn how to communicate what they’re trying to tell with their behavior.
Michael John Carley’s expertise in autism has kept him busy. He has been interviewed by many media outlets, spoken at conferences, served on multiple boards, addressed the U.S. Congress and United Nations, contributed articles to over a dozen publications, and published three books.
“Thank you to the League School for taking the leap on offering a more humane approach to teaching students with autism,” said Michael John. “By hiring someone with autism to work with students, the school is demonstrating its leadership in the special education field.”