Alannah loves animals of any kind. She rides horses. She also loves to draw and is often sketching some sort of animal, or her own original characters.
Her parents have always worked to broaden her skills. For them, it is very important that Pine Tree Society’s Autism Transition program is a small group and the participants receive individual attention. They’ve been surprised at how Alannah has expanded socially in the program and how her patience has increased.
Her mother Margaret recalled how, before her participation in this program, she didn’t have any patience at all.
“Over time in the class she’s been gaining patience with the other kids.”
She’s also had opportunities to immediately apply things she’s learned. At the end of the cooking class the students cooked for their parents and set up an impromptu restaurant.
“They greeted us as customers and presented the menu as part of the service training they received,” said Margaret.
Very soon after that experience, her South Portland High School autism classroom gave a presentation to new teachers and Alannah volunteered to help organize and greet people.
“She was very comfortable doing that and got lots of kudos from her teachers. It was gratifying that she had the opportunity to reinforce what she’d learned in the cooking class with Pine Tree Society.”
Up next for Alannah is finding a part time job. She’s enrolled in Pine Tree Society’s Career Exploration workshop where she’ll learn how to fill out job applications and go through the interview process.
“Pine Tree Society is such a positive environment for Alannah that she looks forward to going when she has classes,” noted her father, Mark. “They are very positive and welcoming for her.”