Shane was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2. He has benefited from years of speech therapy, occupational therapy, horseback riding therapy, and applied behavioral analysis therapy. His early years of therapy were very difficult, but I had some amazing individuals to guide us on how to use therapy at home and out in the community. We became frustrated with the school system when he was in first grade, so we decided to try homeschooling. We had a successful three years till he was able to enter into a higher functioning fourth grade class at the local elementary school. He was integrated into classes and found he was really good at math and art.
The move to middle school had a lot of moving parts. PE clothes changes, classrooms across the school, and lunch wherever he wanted. He blossomed from the experience! He had a core group of friends that came over to our house that were typical and a few on the spectrum. The philosophy at his middle school (from the top down)worked for him and he felt safe, and we felt lucky that he had so many people that looked out for him. He went to his first dance at Halloween. I totally cried! Everyone was so nice and welcoming to him. Girls asked him to dance with their group. It was an amazing night. And at the end he thanked me for helping him conquer his fear of the school dance.
Shane took high school in for all it was worth. Freshman year he went to his first high school dance. For three hours he danced his heart out. He joined the video game club and the Sisters and Misters Club of Society. We loved that he wanted to be apart of the typical social events. He endured football games which he doesn’t even like to watch, but because it’s what his friends were doing, he did it. They made posters and painted hand prints on their legs and arms. It was a sight to see!
He was all in! He was nominated Homecoming King his senior year. And at graduation, he was awarded the Principal’s Cup Award for what it means to be a true Leigh High Longhorn. It was the highest award given to an individual at graduation.
When we started Autism in the Arts Show in 2014, we never expected it to grow like it has. With the expansion of Shane’s business to “Out of the Envelope” in Los Gatos, it has taken on a new direction. Coupling with his private instructor, Julie Stover of ArtHouse Studio and Gallery and Mary Guercio, owner of “Out of the Envelope”, and many communities members, we look forward to many more opportunities to show Shane’s art in different ways. Thank you all so much for visiting his web page and supporting his cause and engaging him in a successful future. We feel blessed to be in a community that brings life to others.